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Thursday, 19 October, 2000, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Beatles' film producer dies
The Beatles
The Beatles: Film career helped establish them as world stars
American film producer Walter Shenson, who produced the Beatles' first two movies, has died aged 81 after a long illness.

Shenson was brought in to produce a film for the Beatles in 1964 when the band was the latest pop sensation to hit America.


He was a wonderful, wonderful guy

Arthur Wilde

A Hard Day's Night, which was made for $560,000, was a huge hit when released and went on to make about $13.5m in film rental and TV sales.

The following year Shenson produced Help!, which cemented The Beatles' reputation as the world's most popular band.

Film publicist

A Hard Day's Night, which was nominated for two Oscars, is to be re-released in cinemas in America on 1 December.

Shenson was involved in negotiations for the re-release before his illness.

Film distributors Miramax has restored the film's negative and the soundtrack has been digitally re-mixed for modern cinemas.

Shenson began as a publicist for Paramount after World War II, handling the promotion work for such film as From Here To Eternity.

He worked with Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak and Rita Hayworth.

Other production credits include The Mouse that Roared, which featured Peter Sellers, Reuben, Reuben, starring Tom Conti and the popular children's film, Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World.

Shenson had agreed to make a third Beatles' film that never got off the ground, said his lifelong friend Arthur Wilde.

"The Beatles liked him and they all got along well," Wilde said.

"He was a wonderful, wonderful guy," he added.

Shenson, whose wife, Geraldine, died last year, is survived by a sister, two sons, and four grandchildren.

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