Joffe, Charles: Woody Allen’s Producer Dies at 78

Charles H. Joffe, who co-produced most of Woody Allen’s films, died Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after a long illness. He was 78.

Joffe and his business partner Jack Rollins nurtured many young comics through their New York City agency. They were the first to bring Lenny Bruce to New York and helped develop the act of Mike Nichols and Elaine May.

They signed Woody Allen when he was writing sketches for others and encouraged him to perform his own material as a stand-up comic before he became a filmmaker.

Joffe facilitated Allen’s first movie deal, to write and play a part in the 1965 box-office hit “What’s New Pussycat” He began producing Allen’s films in 1969 with “Take the Money and Run,” the first picture Allen wrote and directed.

He is survived by his wife, two daughters, Suzanne Joffe and Nicole Holofcener (who’sa director); a son, Cory; his stepmother, Esther Joffe; and three grandchildren.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. July 16, 1929, he entered talent management as a booker of bands while a journalism student at Syracuse University. He worked briefly for the MCA talent agency before joining Rollins in 1953.

He and Rollins remained partners through the late 1980s, when Rollins became exec producer for David Letterman while Joffe handled Allen and produced his films.

In 1977, he won the Best Picture Oscar as producer of Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall.” Joffe is listed as co-executive producer on Allen’s upcoming comedy, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” starring Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson.