Producer Bill Marshall, who co-founded the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 1976, has died at the age of 77 here.

Marshall died of cardiac arrest on January 1 in a hospital, according to his family, reports variety.com.

Marshall produced feature films and documentaries – the most noted one was the Canadian film “Outrageous!”. He also produced live theatre productions.

A statement from the festival read: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and TIFF Chair Emeritus Bill Marshall.

“Founder of the Festival of Festivals in 1976 (along with co-founders Henk Van der Kolk and Dusty Cohl), Bill was also the organisation’s director in its first three years.

“He was a pioneer in the Canadian film industry and his vision of creating a public Festival that would bring the world to Toronto through the transformative power of cinema stands today as one of his most significant legacies.

“Without his tenacity and dedication, the Toronto International Film Festival would not be among the most influential public cultural festivals today.”

Marshall moved to Canada from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1955. He served as campaign manager and chief of staff for three different Toronto mayors and an advisor to Canadian politicians.

In addition, he helped establish the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, The Toronto Film and Television Office and he was past president of the Canadian Association of Motion Picture Producers.

He is survived by his wife Sari Ruda, his children Lee, Stephen and Shelagh and six grandchildren.

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