'Raging Bull' and 'Mean Streets' screenwriter Mardik Martin dies at 82

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Mardik Martin (Credit: AP Photo/David Azia)

Mardik Martin, screenwriter and long-time collaborator of filmmaker Martin Scorsese, has died at the age of 82.

Martin penned the screenplays for the movies Raging Bull, New York, New York, and Mean Streets, Scorsese's breakthrough feature.

Born in Iran and raised in Iraq, Martin arrived in New York to study economics at NYU, where he met the young Scorsese in 1961.

Hitting it off, the pair would decamp to Martin's Chrysler Valiant and write in all weathers, working with Scorsese on his early projects, like the short film It's Not Just You, Murray! in 1964.

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They co-wrote the semi-autobiographical Season of The Witch together, which would later be renamed Mean Streets and made into a movie in 1973, starring a young Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 06: Writer Mardik Martin arrives at the 101 Greatest Screenplays gala reception at the Writers Guild Theater on April 6, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Martin then co-wrote the musical drama New York, New York with Earl Mac Rauch in 1977, and the same year moved to Hollywood, where he wrote Valentino, the biopic of Rudulph Valentino, for British director Ken Russell.

Then in 1980, Martin collaborated with Paul Schrader to writer Raging Bull, the story of boxer Jake LaMotta, regarded today as one of the best movies ever made.

Latterly, he became a writing professor at NYU and USC, but later struggled with drug addiction.

His final movie project was the drama The Cut, made in 2014, about the Armenian genocide, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival.