Michael Laughlin, ‘Two-Lane Blacktop’ Producer And ‘Town & Country’ Writer, Dies At 82

Director, producer and screenwriter Michael Laughlin, whose credits include Two-Lane Blacktop, Town & Country and Strange Behavior, died on October 20th at the age of 82.

Laughlin succumbed to complications related to Covid-19 and passed in his residence in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Michael Stoddard Laughlin was born in 1938 and brought up in Minonk, Illinois. Laughlin played basketball at Stanford University, later graduating from Principia College in 1960.

Shortly after, he moved to London where he started his career as a film producer. He worked on projects like The Whispers and 1968’s Joanna directed by Michael Sarne. Laughlin married French actress Leslie Caron during his time in Europe. They divorced in 1980.

In the 70’s, Laughlin helped produce the Monte Hellman-directed cult classic Two-Lane Blacktop, starring James Taylor. In 2012, the Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Other credits include 1981’s Strange Behaviors, a horror film starring Louise Fletcher and Michael Murphy, 1983’s sci-fi mystery Strange Invaders starring Nancy Allen and Michael Lerner, and 1985’s Mesmerized starring Jodie Foster and John Lithgow.

In 2001, Laughlin co-wrote the Peter Chelsom-directed rom-com Town & Country, starring Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn.

Laughlin is survived by three stepchildren, Christopher Hall, Jennifer Caron Hall and Lulu Sylbert.

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