Famed Director Of ‘Little Shop Of Horrors’ Dead At 98

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Dana Abizaid Contributor
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Famed Hollywood director and producer Roger Corman, known for producing low-budget classics, died at his home in Santa Monica, California Thursday, The Associated Press (AP) reported Sunday.

Corman, 98, was known as “King of the Bs” for directing cult classics like “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Attack of the Crab Monsters” as well as giving many famous actors and directors their first chance in Hollywood, according to The AP.

Corman’s family announced the director’s death in a statement on Saturday, The AP reported. (RELATED: Iconic Television Director Robert Butler Dead At 95)

“He was generous, open-hearted and kind to all those who knew him,” the statement said. “When asked how he would like to be remembered, he said, ‘I was a filmmaker, just that.'”

Corman, who produced and directed hundreds of B-movies in a long career that began in 1955, received an honorary Academy Award in 2007, The AP reported.

“There are many constraints connected with working on a low budget, but at the same time there are certain opportunities,” Corman said in a 2007 documentary. “You can gamble a little bit more. You can experiment. You have to find a more creative way to solve a problem or to present a concept.”

During his career, he helped produce classics like “Black Scorpion,” “Bucket of Blood,” and “Bloody Mama,” while also developing young actors and directors like Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, and Martin Scorsese, according to The AP.

Corman often gave his directors only a few days to complete films on shoe-string budgets, The AP reported.

When Ron Howard was directing the cult classic “Grand Theft Auto” in 1977, he reportedly asked Corman for an extra half day to reshoot a scene and was told, “Ron, you can come back if you want, but nobody else will be there.”

Many of Corman’s low-budget films were relegated to drive-ins and specialty theaters but others, like 1960s “Little Shop of Horrors” starring Jack Nicholson, found their way into national cinema chains, The AP reported.

Although he produced films on the cheap, Corman built strong relationships with his directors and never fired one, saying, “I wouldn’t want to inflict that humiliation,” according to The AP.

Corman, who was born in Detroit, raised in Beverly Hills and earned a degree at Stanford, is survived by his wife and four children, The AP reported.