Oscar-nominated filmmaker Stacy Title passed away today after a three-year battle with ALS, confirmed to Deadline, her longtime manager, production partner and friend Dannie Festa. She was 56 years old.
Title, whose father was a commercial producer, grew up in New York City. She entered the business with a splash; First work produced of the title, the 1993 short On the seafront, received an Oscar nomination in 1994. The same year, she made her directorial debut with The last supper with Cameron Diaz.
The title began to gravitate towards the horror genre with the 1999 That the devil wears black, which she also co-wrote, and the 2006 Snoop Dogg’s Horror Hood, until she finds success with the 2017 The Bye Bye Man.
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But just as great opportunities began to open up for the title – in 2017, she also made her episodic directorial debut with Weird – tragedy has struck.
In August 2017, Title was the victim of a car accident. After starting to notice small changes in his walking and speaking habits, Title underwent a series of medical tests. In December 2017, she was diagnosed with ALS, with doctors suggesting the car crash may have triggered the fatal neurodegenerative disease in her system. ALS ravaged Title’s body with frightening speed. In March, she could no longer walk. In September 2018, she could no longer speak or swallow; she was on a feeding tube and on a ventilator.
Still, Title persevered and made plans to make one final film, Time bomb, with Jason Alexander, Cary Elwes and Bob Odenkirk attached to the star. Sadly, the film was not made, but Title’s courage and determination to not let his illness define it has earned him the respect and admiration of the industry.
Over the past three years, Title has become an advocate for people with disabilities in Hollywood and has directed public service announcements on ALS.
In her battle, Title was supported until the end by her 30-plus husband, Survivor Jonathan Penner, a writer-producer himself who has co-wrote with Title a number of feature films and television projects, including That the devil wears black and the notoriety of the BM Lonely ranger pilot.
Along with Penner, Title is survived by their two children.