Mark Damon, ‘House of Usher’ actor who produced ‘Monster,’ ‘ 9 1/2 Weeks,’ dead at 91

Mark Damon

LOS ANGELES — Actor Mark Damon, who starred in the 1960 film “House of Usher” and B-movie spaghetti westerns before becoming a producer of such films as “Monster” and “9 1/2 Weeks,” died Sunday. He was 91.

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Damon died of natural causes in Los Angeles, his daughter, Alexis Damon Ribaut, told The Hollywood Reporter.

He spent the first 20 years of his career as an actor, playing the leading man in approximately a dozen Italian action movies, including “Johnny Yuma” and “Black Sabbath,” Variety reported. He won a Golden Globe as Most Promising Newcomer in the Vincent Price horror classic “House of Usher.”

He then transitioned to the business side of the movie industry.

Damon was executive producer for 1981′s “Das Boot” and “The NeverEnding Story” three years later, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He shared an Independent Spirit Award with director Patty Jenkins and others for “Monster” in 2003.

Damon was either a producer or executive producer for more than five dozen features, the entertainment news website reported. That included “9 1/2 Weeks” (1986), “Short Circuit” (1986), “The Lost Boys” (1987), “Stalingrad” (1993), “The Jungle Book” (1994), “Lone Survivor” (2013), “The Last Full Measure” (2019) and “Willy’s Wonderland” (2021).

Damon was born Alan Harris on April 22, 1933, in Chicago. He earned a business degree at UCLA and then traveled to Europe, where he established himself as an actor in Italian films, Variety reported.

He returned to the United States and founded Producers Sales Organization to bring American independent films to international distributors, according to the entertainment news website.

Damon is survived by his wife, Maggie Markov Damon; son Jonathan; Ribaut and son-in-law Mathieu Ribaut, Variety reported.