Christine Spines
October 18, 2009 AT 12:00 PM EDT

The AP reports that Daniel Melnick, the lauded producer behind such provocative and revered ’70’s dramas as Straw Dogs, Network, and Midnight Express, died Tuesday in Los Angeles of multiple ailments. Melnick, who had recently undergone surgery for lung cancer, will also be remembered for his successful tenure as the head of production at MGM where he oversaw the production of Kramer vs. Kramer and The China Syndrome. He also produced the hit spy-spoof TV series, Get Smart.

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