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David Brown, 93; produced 'Jaws' and 'The Sting'

David Brown, a film and theater producer who helped bring to the screen two of the 1970s' biggest hits, "Jaws" and "The Sting," has died. He was 93.

Brown, who was the husband of longtime Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown, died Monday at his Manhattan home following a long illness, according to the Hearst Corp., which owns Cosmopolitan.

Brown came to Hollywood in 1953, in the waning years of the studio system, and remained active into the 21st century. As a producer, he was nominated for the best picture Oscar four times, for "Jaws," 1975; "The Verdict," 1982; "A Few Good Men," 1992; and "Chocolat," 2000.

"Yes, I've survived," he told The New York Times in 1999, when he was 83. "At a certain age you become cool, not cold. I kind of represent the new and old Hollywood."

In 1991, he and his former partner, Richard D. Zanuck, received the Irving G. Thalberg award, given at the Academy Awards for a producing career of consistent high quality.

He also earned a spot in popular culture history for encouraging his wife to write her groundbreaking 1962 book, "Sex and the Single Girl," that led to her fabled career at Cosmopolitan magazine, which Brown himself had worked at years earlier.

"I owe him everything" Helen Gurley Brown told Success Magazine in 2008. "[Without him,] I wouldn't be who I am or achieved what I did."

David Brown was credited with writing some of the formerly staid magazine's sizzling cover lines during his wife's 32 years at the helm: "The startling truth about sex addicts." "How to be very good in bed." "The terrible danger of a perfect sex partner."

"The extraordinary thing about Helen is that she's so unpredictable," he told The New York Times in 1995. "I've never had a boring moment with her." For her part, she once told the newspaper that "I look after him like a geisha girl."

Brown brought Elvis Presley to the big screen for the first time in "Love Me Tender," (1956) and was credited with talking George C. Scott into playing "Patton," according to Hearst.

He became a close ally of Zanuck, the son of Darryl F. Zanuck, the mogul who reigned over Fox from the 1930s until age and changing audience tastes brought him down in the early 1970s. Brown worked with the younger Zanuck when he followed in his father's footsteps as the studio's production chief.

The pair formed Zanuck-Brown Productions, which helped produce "The Sting" in 1973; Steven Spielberg's first big-screen feature, "The Sugarland Express," in 1974; and the Spielberg blockbuster "Jaws" in 1975. Other Zanuck and Brown films included "MacArthur," "The Verdict" and "Cocoon."

A funeral has been scheduled for Thursday at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel in Manhattan.

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