Respect and regrets over the death of director Ivan Passer, whom I always admired but was never a huge fan of.

To be perfectly honest, the only Passer film that I felt a genuinely vital current from was Born To Win (’71), the George Segal junkie movie that was set mostly in the Times Square area. It was Passer’s second directing effort — the first in this country. The costars were Karen Black, Paula Prentiss, Hector Elizondo, Jay Fletcher and Robert De Niro.

Note: This is the entire film, and better yet presented in 1.37:1.

Which means, obviously, that I didn’t care for Silver Bears (’77), Cutter’s Way (’81), Creator (’85) and Haunted Summer (’88). (I wrote the Haunted Summer press kit during my time as a Cannon publicity staffer.) I never saw Stalin (’92), the Robert Duvall TV movie.

Passer also co-wrote Loves of a Blonde and The Fireman’s Ball, the Milos Forman-directed Czech films of the late ’60s.

Passer, Buck Henry, Edd “Kookie” Byrnes…showbiz types always seem to die in threes. After the third demise the standard expression is “they’re dropping like flies.”