“I soon realized that I got little satisfaction, and no pleasure, trying to convince some clothing manufacturer to buy periwinkle blue lining from me instead of, say, royal blue from my competitor,” he wrote in his book.
He answered an advertisement in Variety that said “experienced agent wanted,” somehow landing the job with no experience. His several years as an agent — which, he said, included placing five actors in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” (1959) — taught him the inner workings of the movie business and introduced him to Mr. Millar. In 1961 the two of them produced their first movie, “The Young Doctors,” and their later projects included Judy Garland’s final film, “I Could Go On Singing” (1963). On his own he produced “The Flim-Flam Man” (1967), and a few months later “The Graduate” was released.
Mr. Turman’s most recent credit was as an executive producer on “The Thing” in 2011 (he had been a producer on the 1982 version), but in 1991 he had taken a new path, becoming director of the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, which has trained numerous producers now active in Hollywood. He retired two years ago.
Mr. Turman’s marriages to Suzanne Trieb, Margaret Buckley Parker and Lorie Berger ended in divorce. In addition to his son John, from his marriage to Ms. Trieb, he is survived by two others sons from that marriage, Andrew and Peter; and four grandchildren.
Mr. Turman was sometimes self-deprecating when talking about the effect of “The Graduate” on his career, but in his book he included a chapter on the film that ended with this reflection:
“The afterlife of any achievement is quite lovely, whether it’s Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, Einstein’s discovery of E=mc², or something as mundane as producing ‘The Graduate.’ It lives after you until, finally, it’s the lead item in your obituary. But until that time, it is continually referenced and, I must confess, continually pleasing.”