LOS ANGELES (AP) -- When Ted Ashley took over Warner Bros. in 1969, it was a drab studio that had been losing money year after year. When he left 11 years later, it was a powerhouse that had churned out such hits as "The Exorcist," "Superman" and "Dirty Harry."
Ashley's legacy at Warner Bros. was remembered after he died Saturday in New York from acute leukemia at 80.
Under Ashley, Warner Bros. became the much-emulated model of a successful studio.
In the early 1970s, Ashley teamed with Frank Wells, who later became chief of Walt Disney Co., and John Calley, current chairman of Sony Pictures.
The studio released a laundry list of hits under their guidance, including "All the President's Men," "Blazing Saddles," Chariots Of Fire," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Deliverance," "Klute," "Oh, God!" "The Outlaw Josey Wales," "Superman," "Summer of '42," "Towering Inferno" and "What's Up Doc?"
Under Ashley's direction, Warner Bros. also was responsible for the box office successes of Clint Eastwood, Barbra Streisand and the directorial ascendancy of Stanley Kubrick and "A Clockwork Orange."
"The studio had been losing money year after year, and the first year we got there, I think the studio made $35 million, which was a lot of money," Calley said Sunday from Beverly Hills.
In addition to his widow, Ashley is survived by four daughters, a brother and two grandchildren.
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