Acclaimed screenwriter Mardik Martin, best known for writing Raging Bull and Mean Streets, has passed away. Born to an Armenian family and raised in Iraq, Martin worked as a film distributor before moving to the United States and attending film school at NYU. It was at NYU where he met Martin Scorsese. The two collaborated on Scorsese’s 1964 short film It’s Not Just You, Murray, as well as Scorsese’s first feature Who’s That Knocking at My Door and the documentary Italianamerican.
Martin went on to wrote the screenplays for Scorsese’s 1973 film Mean Streets and helped write the treatment for his 1978 documentary The Last Waltz. He also worked on the treatment for Scorsese’s 1978 documentary American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince the same year. Martin earned a Golden Globe nomination for co-writing Scorsese’s Raging Bull, (1980) with Paul Schrader. Martin spent a year and a half researching boxer Jake LaMotta’s life to prepare for the script.
In 2012, Martin was honored by the Parajanov-Vartanov Institute “for the mastery of his pen on iconic American films” Mean Streets and Raging Bull. His last screenplay credit was for Fatih Akin’s 2014 The Cut.
Martin passed away five days short of his 83rd birthday.
A documentary about his life, “Mardik: Baghdad to Hollywood,” was made in 2008.