June 10, 1921 - April 18, 2014 Our beloved Uncle Paul died peacefully at the Hollywood Hills home he inhabited for 49 years. He is survived by grandnieces Amanda McConnell, Sharon Rosen Leib (Richard) and Dina Rosen; grandnephew Rick Rosen (Rosa); great-grandnieces Hannah, Joelle and Lilyanne Leib; great-grandnephews Samuel and Diego Rosen; the extended Wurtzel family; and many friends from his lifelong career in the picture business. The son of pioneer movie producer Sol M. Wurtzel and Marian Bodner Wurtzel, Paul grew up in the Hollywood film colony. He began working at the Fox Western lot on the corner of Sunset and Western Avenues during summer breaks from Beverly Hills High School in the 1930s. After graduating from BHHS in 1939, he attended UCLA. The siren song of the film biz made it hard for him to focus on academics. After two years, he abandoned his studies and went to work for his father at 20th Century Fox. He started his career in 1942 as second assistant director on the Laurel and Hardy movie "A Haunting We Will Go." Paul moved up to become an assistant director on dozens of movies through 1958. When his father launched an independent company, Sol M. Wurtzel Productions, Paul worked exclusively with him from 1946-1949. Following the advent of television, Paul migrated to the small screen starting as Assistant Director on "The Thin Man" in 1957. He worked as an Assistant Director and Production Manager on many TV series until his retirement in 1987. Personal highlights included his work on "The F.B.I.", "The Streets of San Francisco" and several Quinn Martin productions. A tough but compassionate, loyal man, Paul protected and cared for those he loved. A service to memorialize his extraordinary life will be held Sunday, June 1 at 11:00 a.m. at Hillside Memorial Park. Donations in his honor may be made to his two favorite causes: the Los Angeles Mission (losangelesmission.org) or the Southern Poverty Law Center (splcenter.org).
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from May 7 to May 11, 2014