Robert B. Radnitz, 85, an English teacher who became a movie producer and made some of Hollywood's more distinguished family fare, including
, died Sunday at his home in Malibu, Calif., from complications of a 1996 stroke.
With the release of his first film in 1959 - the boy-and-his-dog tale A Dog of Flanders - Mr. Radnitz started to develop a reputation as a maker of high-quality movies for children and their parents.
He produced nearly a dozen feature films, often mining children's literature to make such movies as Misty (1961), based on the classic Misty of Chincoteague, and Island of the Blue Dolphins (1964).
Nominated for an Academy Award for best picture, Sounder was his most acclaimed film. Based on William Armstrong's best-selling book about a black sharecropping family in the Depression-era South, it starred Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield.
Raised on Long Island, Mr. Radnitz was an asthmatic child who regularly indulged in Saturday movie binges in New York City. Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick said Mr. Radnitz was "the only person who has seen more old movies than I have," People magazine reported in 1976.
The producer's final feature film was Cross Creek, a 1983 drama that unfolds on a Florida bayou. It was nominated for four Academy Awards.