Saturday, October 20, 2012
Robert Lee Munger, the man behind ‘The Omen’ has passed way
He once introduced me to Gregory Peck and the cast of The Waltons
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
HOLLYWOOD, CA (ANS) -- The phone rang in the office of the Sunday People, one of Britain’s largest-circulation tabloids where I was working at that time in the mid-sixties.
He told me the film was about an American ambassador who learns to his horror that his son is actually the literal Antichrist, and was being directed by Richard Donner (who went on in 1978, to direct “Superman: The Movie,” starring a then-unknown Christopher Reeve, as well as a string of other hits including other blockbusters like the Lethal Weapon series).
Intrigued, I agreed and met him at the famous film studios just outside of London, and we went in together and within minutes he went over to Gregory Peck and explained to the superstar that I was a journalist and we had a brief chat.
After “The Omen” became a cult classic, Munger went on to produce “Born Again,” a movie about Chuck Colson, and he got Irvin Rapper, the director of the film, to contact me while he was in London, and my wife Norma and myself spent many happy hours with this legendary American director as he regaled use with stories about the times he directed Bette Davis in movies like “Now Voyager,” a 1942 American drama film starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, and Claude Rains.
Fast forward to a short time later, when Norma and I, and our two sons, Andrew and Peter, were over in Los Angeles for a short vacation and we just happened to bump into Robert Munger on Hollywood Blvd., and he invited us to join him at Warner Brothers where they were just begin to shoot “Born Again,” which starred Dean Jones as Colson.
Afterwards, he asked Frank Capra Jr., who was a producer of “Born Again” and the son of the noted Hollywood director Frank Capra, whose best-known film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” was released in 1946, to drive us back to our hotel.
Subsequently, he invited us to a Bible study with his family at their Holmby Hills, that was once owned by “Quincy, M.E.” star, Jack Klugman, and we even enjoyed have a swim in his pool at the end of the study which Bob Munger led.
After we finally moved across the “Big Pond” to Southern California in June of 1982, I only saw Robert Munger one more time -- at the premier of the first of the “Left Behind” films -- and then I lost touch with him.
But now I have just learned the sad news that Mr. Munger, who was born on January 16, 1931 in Indianapolis, Indiana, passed away on Monday, October 8, after a massive stroke.
Grace went on to explain: “The Munger family began in Lake Hollywood, with Robert II, Melodee, and Joy, then expanded to four children, in Holmby Hills, with Mark, and finally moved on to Westlake Village. California.
“In his retirement years, Bob was involved in Internet marketing, but especially loved to help people increase their business by giving good marketing hints to organizations such as Ted Baehr’s Movieguide®. Bob also authored, ‘How to Find Profit and Success Through Helping Others.’
“Bob had some complications following open heart surgery. Yet a member of his church small group, Bill, reported that even as Bob was recovering he asked about Bill’s business. He made some suggestions that he thought might increase it. Bill implemented those ideas and had the best month ever.
“Bob died four days after having a massive stroke, a complication following open heart surgery six weeks previously. He died on October 8, 2012, after hearing the recorded cries of his fourth grandson, named after him, at Kaiser Woodland Hills Hospital, Los Angeles. Gunner Lee Munger arrived two hours before Robert Lee Munger passed into eternity, a divine exchange.
“Part of the Lord's orchestration was that Bob's son, Robert Lee II, was also born on that day. Bob had four children, Robert Lee 11, Melodee, Joy, and Mark. He had seven grandchildren and Melodee’s children are Benjamin, Brielle, and Samuel. Mark's children are Madison, Isabella, Elijah, and Gunner.
The memorial service for Bob Munger took place on Thursday, October 18, 2012, at Calvary Community Church, Westlake Village, California, and was attended by his family and many friends.
At the service, Dr. Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission® (CFTVC) ministry and publisher of its family guide to movies, Movieguide® (www.movieguide.com), delivered the eulogy in which he described Bob Munger as “a genius, gifted by God who used his brilliance to help others.”
Dr. Baehr went on to say, “He helped the Billy Graham production company, World Wide Pictures, to promote ‘The Hiding Place.’ This powerful movie told the story of Corrie ten Boom, who hid Jews in a secret room before being sent to Auschwitz. Bob also promoted Brother Andrew's book, ‘God’s Smuggler.’ And, Bob helped us at Movieguide® a lot.
“It is very important to remember that God has no grandchildren. He loves each of us so much that He gives us the freedom to choose eternal life with Him, or, reject Him and His faith, hope, love, and joy….Therefore, each person, each child, each generation has to choose.”
Dr. Baehr added, “However, knowing Bob, I am convinced that God does have grandfathers and that he was a preeminent spiritual grandfather who not only introduced many to eternal life in Gods Kingdom, but also helped them to grow in faith and grace.
“He is with us in the great cloud of witnesses cheering for us, rejoicing over us, praying for us, and looking forward to giving us a big hug again in His Kingdom.”
Baehr concluded by saying, “Bob was a gift from God, as was his love for Jesus Christ. Let us thank God for him, celebrate his life, and rejoice in his victory over death through Jesus Christ, as we are witnesses to the resurrection that comes only through Jesus Christ.”
On a personal level, all, I can say is that I will miss this most unusual visionary who showed me that Christians can be involved in Hollywood and make a difference through their work and ideas. Bob Munger certainly did just that!
If you would like to write to Grace to send your condolences, please e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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