Martin Ransohoff, who has died aged 90, was a hands-on film producer, who had to fire directors and actors from time to time. These cruel-to-be-kind executive decisions were justified by his having a string of hits in the 1960s and 70s. Ransohoff is also remembered for having discovered the actor Sharon Tate, whom he introduced to her future husband, the director Roman Polanski.
Tate was 20 and had previously worked in television and magazine advertisements when she met Ransohoff, the chairman of the production company Filmways in 1963. Although she had no acting experience, Ransohoff signed her to a seven-year contract, taking three years to groom her for stardom. In the meantime, he gave her small parts in his company’s television productions of Mister Ed and The Beverly Hillbillies, and walk-on roles