Duncan Henderson, Oscar-nominated producer of Peter Weir Master and Commander: The Other Side of the World, a longtime member of the DGA’s National Board of Directors and recipient of the guild’s Frank Capra Achievement Award, has died of pancreatic cancer. He was 72 years old.
Henderson was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Picture category in 2004 for Master and Commander. The veteran producer, unit production manager and assistant director had served continuously on the DGA’s national council since 2005, winning eight consecutive elections.
Deaths in Hollywood and in the media in 2021: a photo gallery
“It’s hard to overstate how much Duncan meant to the DGA and his colleagues,” DGA Chairman Lesli Linka Glatter said Thursday. “His love for his guild and its members shined brightly through his exceptional leadership and his 16 years of service as a board member, as a longtime member of the Western AD/UPM Council, including a term as Chairman of the Board and a five-time member of the DGA’s Bargaining Committee. Additionally, Duncan was proud to give back to the organization that helped get him into the industry and the guild, serving as Administrator of the DGA-Producer Assistant Director Training Program since 2004. Our hearts go out to Duncan’s wife, Michele, his children Jessica, Ian, Fiona and Ivy, as well as his many colleagues and friends. He will be greatly missed. »
Henderson had a prolific film career with credits including the DGA Award Master and Commander and Dead Poets Society; by Wolfgang Peterson The Perfect Storm and Epidemic; Chris Columbus’ Harry Potter at the Sorcerer’s Stone and home alone 2; by Joseph Kosinsky Oversight; and Malcolm D. Lee Space Jam: A New Legacy. Before joining UPM, Henderson worked as an assistant director on feature films ranging from John Cassavetes Great difficulty to Sylvester Stallone Rocky IV. As a DGA intern, Henderson worked on projects such as Paul Schrader american gigolo and Michael Cimino The Gate of Paradise.
“A member of the DGA for over 40 years, Duncan’s level of passion, service and commitment was more than exemplary – and for that we honored him with the Frank Capra Achievement Award in 2020 as a token of his extraordinary dedication,” Glatter said. “No matter how big the movie is, whether it’s The perfect storm, home alone 2 or DGA and Oscar nominated features Master and Commander: The Other Side of the World and Dead Poets Society, Duncan was always available as a leader, mentor and friend. He gave the same sound advice and thoughtful consideration to award-winning directors and production assistant during his first job in the industry.
Asked about his long-standing commitment to the guild, Henderson said after receiving the Frank Capra Award that “I was like all my DGA compatriots – busy. At some point, I realized that other members who were just as busy as me were taking the time to contribute to the guild with their service. I decided to follow their example and join the AD/UPM Council. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It broadened the full scope of my film career.