About Herman » Biography
Biography of Herman Cohen
(August 27, 1925 – June 2, 2002)
Herman Cohen started in the movie business at the age of 12 at the Dexter Theater in Detroit, where he worked as a go-fer and later as an usher. At age 18 he was promoted to become the youngest manager ever of the Dexter. He went on to become assistant manager of the Fox Theatre in Detroit, a 5200 seat movie palace. Herman continued to advance in the business until he became a sales manager for Columbia Pictures in Detroit. He moved to Hollywood in the late 1940s where he joined the publicity department of Columbia.
In 1951, Herman began working on the films he loved so much. He started as assistant producer and later became associate producer for Jack Broder Productions on several films including BRIDE OF THE GORILLA and BATTLES OF CHIEF PONTIAC with Lon Chaney Jr., and BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA with horror movie legend Bela Lugosi.
He began producing his own movies in the mid 1950s with TARGET EARTH, a low budget entry into the sci-fi craze for Allied Artists. During this period he worked with stellar talents such as Mickey Rooney and Jack Carson on MAGNIFICENT ROUGHNECKS and Barbara Stanwyck, Raymond Burr, and Fay Wray in CRIME OF PASSION to name a few.
In 1957, Herman came into his own with the cult classic I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF, which he both produced and wrote for American International Pictures. In addition, he cast a young undiscovered actor named Michael Landon, who would go on to become one of the most recognizable and respected actors in Hollywood. Herman went on to write and produce a series of similar 'teenage'-themed films, which include I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN, HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER, and BLOOD OF DRACULA, which were all very successful.
In the 1960s and 70s, Herman produced several films in the United Kingdom, casting British actors he admired such as Dame Edith Evans in CROOKS AND CORONETS and Michael Gough in HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM, KONGA, BLACK ZOO to name a few. He used actress Joan Crawford (BERSERK! and TROG) and actor Jack Palance (CRAZE) when others were not.
Herman's whole life revolved around movies. In 1961, he purchased the Fox Theatre in Detroit where he had worked in his youth, coming full circle back to his roots. He knew as a young boy what he wanted to do and did it. He was working in film distribution the very last week of his life.
Herman died on June 2, 2002. He will be long remembered and appreciated by those who knew and loved him and by the legions of fans his films have entertained over the decades.