Video: Hollywood producer among Jordan dead

updated 11/11/2005 10:16:35 AM ET 2005-11-11T15:16:35

Moustapha Akkad, the Syrian-born producer of the “Halloween” horror films, died Friday from wounds sustained in the triple hotel bombings in Amman, a hospital official said. His 34-year-old American daughter Rima Akkad Monla was also killed in the attacks.

The filmmaker lived in Los Angeles and was 75, according to his sister Leila who lives in Damascus, Syria.

Akkad’s death pushed the toll from Wednesday’s attacks in the Jordanian capital to at least 60, including three suicide bombers.

Akkad was with his daughter in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt hotel when the bomber struck, Jordanian TV said Friday. His daughter died instantly in the attack and Akkad was badly wounded and suffered a heart attack.

Severe heart attack
Akkad died at 7:30 a.m. in a Jordanian hospital where he was being treated, said surgeon Dr. Yousef Qisous.

“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 was living in Beirut. Both had traveled to Amman for a wedding.

Three suicide bombers hit the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS and Days Inn hotels in the Jordanian capital, Amman, Wednesday night and killed at least 60 people.

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.

Daughter had two sons
His daughter, Rima, grew up in Los Angeles. She was 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.”

Akkad 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.”

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