Benjamin Melniker, best known as the producer who held a credit on every Batman film since Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989, passed away Monday in Roslyn Harbor, New York. His colleague and fellow Batman producer, Michael E. Uslan posted the news on his Facebook page Tuesday.
Melniker was born on May 25, 1913 and started working at MGM in 1939. He worked his way up to executive vp and chairman of the film selection committee. In 1979, Melniker and Uslan bought the rights to the DC comic hero, Batman, and the pair received credit on every film that featured the Dark Knight from 1989’s Batman to, most recently, the 2018 animated films Batman: Gotham by Gaslight and Batman: Ninja.
Uslan’s wrote on Facebook, “Ben was a humble man, never wishing attention. He turned down endless requests to write his book or do interviews about The Golden Age of Hollywood, especially in his latter years as he became the last mogul standing from that era. He owns the Hollywood record books as far as I can tell. He actively worked in the industry over nine decades and this year will still receive on-screen credit past his 105th birthday. Not only was he active in the industry for 79 years, he was sharp right up until the last day.”
Melniker is survived by a son, five grandchildren, and an accumulating number of great-grandchildren. Melniker’s wife of 70 years, Shirley, and his son, Charles, preceded him in death.