Beatles’ movie producer, Denis O’Dell, passed away on December 30 in Almería, Spain. Variety is reporting that he died of natural causes in his home in San José, Cabo de Gata, where he had lived for 40 years. He was 98 at the time of his passing. According to O’Dell’s son, they plan to hold a local private service and a memorial service at some point, in the United Kingdom.
O’Dell’s first time working with the Fab Four came when he was credited as associate producer on A Hard Day’s Night, the band’s very first movie, which was released back in 1964. Shortly thereafter he would go on to work with Joh Lennon in the 1967 war satire, How I Won the War. During which Lennon composed a lot of Strawberry Fields Forever, a well-known track of the foursome. In that same year, O’Dell would also be credited as a producer for The Magical Mystery Tour, which was directed by three of the Fab Four: George Harrison, Lennon, and Paul McCartney, and worked with Ringo Starr and Pete Sellers on The Magic Christian (1969).
Eventually, O’Dell would become a director at The Beatles‘ Apple Corps company, where he would be head of films at Apple Films and recently appeared in Peter Jackson’s Get Back anthology.
Beyond being a Beatles’ movie producer, O’Dell also was credited as a producer for films like Sydney Lumet’s The Offence (1973), Royal Flash (1975), Robin and Marion (1976) which starred Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn, and the infamous Heaven’s Gate (1980). O’Dell is said to have only worked on the film’s prologue and had almost nothing to do with the rest of Heaven’s Gate.
His daughter, Denise O’Dell, and his grandson, Denis Pedregosa, have been producers for decades with Denis being credited as a producer for Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), and Denis being credited as a producer for Netflix’s The Paramedic.