Howard Ross Perry passed away Saturday November 14, in an Ottawa hospital. He suffered from complications to a wonderful life.
He was a warm and lovely man who truly cared about his friends and family. He was my friend. He was my mentor. We laughed, cried, and lived life at its best and worst. Howard had a zest for life and living that was infectious. He wanted to live life on his own terms.
I met Howie in the 90’s. He’d retired from active film making, but still tinkered doing budgets and sharing his wisdom and experience with goofballs like me at the time. I turned him on to the works of Charles Bukowski, and he turned me on to the head space of making movies.
When I moved to Los Angeles to break into that market and was having doubts about the decision he angrily blasted me on the phone threatening bodily injury if I returned so soon. He was that kind of guy. When something I created was nominated for an Oscar he probably was more happy than I was.
He ended up in film almost accidentally, but being the Rooster that he was and loving attention it was the right place at the right time. He ended up at the NFB when the NFB actually had money and made films, ending up as a production manager and trouble shooter. That job took him all over the world which is a good thing when you like to move like Howard did. He also was a founding member of The Director’s Guild of Canada.
In the Donald Sutherland movie “Dan Candy’s Law” he was dropped in with a wad of cash to save the shoot. He yelled, screamed, and got the movie done. He also taught workshops on Production Management and there are quite a few of his students working in the business.
He left the NFB and successfully worked for a spin off of Disney before retiring after a car crash in the 80’s.
Howard loved people; he especially loved his ladies. He married three times, and never was far from another adventure. He is survived by his 5 children, Deborah, Grant, Randy, Michelle, and Christine, grand-children, and many friends whose lives he warmly touched.
There will be a party in his honor at his favorite Ottawa drinking hole, the Royal Oak on Bank & Somerset Saturday November 21 from 1-3 (or closing!)
please visit our sponsors: