Moustapha Akkad, the Syrian-born producer of the Halloween horror films, died Friday from wounds sustained in the triple hotel bombings, a hospital official said, according to The Mercury News. The 75-year-old Los Angeles resident died at 7:30 a.m. in a Jordanian hospital where he was being treated, according to surgeon Dr. Yousef Qisous. Our thoughts and prayers go with the Akkad family, read on if you’d like the rest of the story…
The Mercury News continues:
“He had bleeding in the lungs, his ribs were fractured and he died of his wounds and a severe heart attack this morning,” Qisous told The Associated Press.
Akkad’s daughter, Rima Akkad Monla, 34, also died in one of Wednesday’s three explosions, her mother Patricia Akkad, said Thursday.
A woman who answered the telephone at Moustapha Akkad’s home early Friday said she was too upset to talk.
A telephone message left at Patricia Akkad’s Los Angeles area home was not immediately returned. She left for Lebanon late Thursday.
Three suicide bombers hit the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS and Days Inn hotels in the Jordanian capital, Amman, Wednesday night and killed at least 59 people, including the three suicide bombers.
Officials suspect Iraqi involvement in the attacks, which were claimed by al-Qaida’s Iraq branch.
Moustapha Akkad, best known for producing all eight films in the “Halloween” franchise, also produced and directed “The Message” (1977) and “Lion of the Desert” (1981). Both latter films starred Anthony Quinn.
“The Message,” a movie about the prophet Mohammed, was declared sacrilegious by a group of black American Muslims, who took hostages in three Washington, D.C. locations when the movie opened in March 1977, demanding that it not be shown in the U.S.
Akkad said he was baffled by the reaction to the movie, which he said cost $17 million to make.
“I made the film to bring the story of Islam, the story of 700 million of people, to the West,” Akkad told The Associated Press in 1977.
Akkad said he turned to the horror genre because it was hard to raise money for religious-themed movies, according to a 1998 New York Times report.
Akkad’s daughter, Rima, grew up in Los Angeles an avid polo player who graduated from the University of Southern California in 1995 with a degree in international relations.
She pursued a master’s degree in Middle East studies at the American University in Beirut, where she met her husband Ziad Monla, 35.
Her husband’s family owns the Monla Hospital in Tripoli, Lebanon. The couple, married for six years, has two sons, ages 2 and 4.
“Rima is a totally American girl,” Patricia Akkad, 64, said Thursday in a phone interview from her ex-husband’s home in Los Angeles. “Here’s an American who was over there and innocently killed for no reason.”
She said her daughter loved living in Beirut.
“We all know the problems in the Middle East, and you never think it’s going to touch you,” she said.
Funeral services were scheduled for Friday in Tripoli.
“She was the light of everybody’s life,” Patricia Akkad said. “She put everybody else first.”