Mark Seiler, the former head of RKO Pictures and Hemdale Films passed away on July 7, as was recently disclosed. Seiler was well-known for his ability to detect creative and executive talent, and had a long run in the industry where his intelligence, his business acumen, and his passion for film was widely acknowledged. His long-time fiancée, actress Morgan Fairchild, his sisters Carolyn Seiler Hehir and Amy Seiler, and his brother Scott Seiler survive him. The film industry, including his close friends and family, is in grief, and several people have released statements in his memory.
What was the cause of Mark Seiler’s death?
Morgan Fairchild has sadly revealed the death of her lifelong companion, Mark Seiler, with a heavy heart. The pair had been together for nearly 36 years, making the death even more traumatic for the 73-year-old American actress. Seiler was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease some years ago, a degenerative ailment that affects the brain over time, according to the NHS. He apparently died after a long struggle with Parkinson’s and complications due to the COVID-19 virus, at 75. A memorial service has been scheduled for early December and instead of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Using Instagram as a platform, the actress conveyed the terrible news and remembered her late fiancé by uploading a black and white snapshot of them together paired with a heartfelt caption.
“#SadNews I’m so sorry to let you know that my beloved life partner & fiancé, Mark Seiler, passed away last Friday. He’d had Parkinson’s for several years but it seems to be #LongCovid that killed him after his 3rd infection. He was a warm, brilliant & very funny man, and I am devastated. Hold your loved ones close and please consider wearing a mask. #BeKind I am Sending Love To You All.”Morgan Fairchild on Instagram
What was Mark Seiler’s legacy in film?
Seiler was a much loved veteran studio executive who has overseen popular and highly praised films such as Meryl Streep’s Plenty, Sigourney Weaver’s Half Moon Street, and Hamburger Hill. In 1985, he was named president of RKO Pictures, and he later became president of programming for Showtime Networks. Seiler was noted for his ability to detect talent, such as casting Denzel Washington in Carbon Copy and seeing Marc Platt’s promise in Legally Blonde, Girl on a Train, Bridge of Spies, La La Land, and Campus Man. Seiler became CEO of Capella Films in the early 1990s, which funded comedies such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Mask, and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. He also contributed to highly praised dramas such as The Shadow and Nobody’s Fool. Mark became extensively involved in anti-piracy technologies in the late 1990s, co-founding Geocodex, a partnership focusing in geo-encryption.