Karolyn Ali, Oscar-nominated producer of Tupac documentary, dies at 70

Karolyn Ali
Source: Twitter/@kalicom2

Veteran film and video producer Karolyn Ali, who was nominated for an Oscar for her work on the 2003 documentary Tupac: Resurrection, passed away earlier this week in her Los Angeles home. She was 70.

Throughout her career, Ali worked on a number of well-received commercials, documentaries, films and music videos for the likes of Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Ziggy Marley and others. Since 2003, Ali had served as executive assistant to her longtime friend Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said an Academy spokesman in announcing her death.

Ali started her career in the music industry working for Benny Ashburn, then manager of the legendary R&B outfit The Commodores, before moving to work for Dick Griffey’s S.O.L.A.R. Records, where she would do commercial and music video production. In 1984, she started her company, Renge Films, with partners Bill Parker and Peter Allen. It was with Renge that Ali produced over 200 music videos including Wonder’s award-winning “Part Time Lover” clip in addition to commercials for the likes of Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.

In 1994, Ali teamed with Carolyn Pfeiffer to produce the Jasmine Guy and Giancarlo Esposito led crime thriller, Kla$h, among other projects. She joined forces with Tupac’s Amaru Entertainment in 2000 as senior production executive and in 2004 earned an Oscar nod for her contribution to the highly acclaimed documentary on the beloved rapper, Tupac: Resurrection

Ali earned the Lillian Gish Award from Women in Film, as well as the NAACP/Legal Defense Fund’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. She also was a founding member and board chair of Theatre of Hearts/Youth First Artists-in-Residence, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that empowers underserved youth through mentoring and fine arts educational workshops.

She is survived by her mother Jennie Golden and sister Daaiyah Ali, niece Shebibah Ali-Birdsong and step-brother Kermit Golden.

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