Karolyn Ali passed away at age 70 in her LA home due to natural causes on Tuesday, August 18.
The Oscar-nominated producer collaborated on projects ranging from film, documentaries, music videos and commercials for more than three decades.
In her early music industry career Ali assisted Benny Ashburn, manager of the famed musical group the Commodores, as well as served as an executive at Dick Griffey’s S.O.L.A.R. Records which was a launching pad for her career in commercial and music video production.
In 1984 Ali founded Renge Films Inc. along with Bill Parker and Peter Allen, and together they went on to produce commercials for Coco Cola and McDonalds. An early pioneer in the genre, Ali also produced more than 200 music videos with Renge including Stevie Wonder’s American Music Award-winning song and video “Part Time Lover.” Her clients ranged from Sinbad, Steele Pulse and Ziggy Marley, to Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach. In 1994 Ali produced her first feature film, along with Carolyn Pfeiffer, “Kla$h,” starring Jasmine Guy and Giancarlo Esposito.
Ali went on to join Tupac Shakur’s company Amaru Entertainment, Inc. in 2000 as Senior Production Executive. In 2004, she received an Oscar nomination (along with Lauren Lazin) for the Documentary Feature “Tupac: Resurrection.”
Since 2013, Ali served as Executive Assistant to Cheryl Boone Isaacs, her longtime friend and President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The recipient of numerous honors, Ali earned the Lillian Gish Award from Women in Film, as well as the NAACP/Legal Defense Fund’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Heavily involved in her community, Ali was a founding member and board chair of Theatre of Hearts/Youth First Artists-in-Residence, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that empowers under-served youth through mentoring and fine arts educational workshops.
Information regarding services is forthcoming.