Rose Kaufman, co-screenwriter of the first NC-17 rated film – “Henry & June” – which changed the MPAA ratings system – and loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend has died after a four year battle with cancer. She died at age 70 on Dec. 7, 2009 in the San Francisco home she shared with her husband, filmmaker Philip Kaufman.
Born in Saugus, Massachusetts, Rose attended the University of Chicago where she met her future husband. After getting into a spirited argument about a movie they had just seen, Philip Kaufman fell madly in love with Rose, and a lifetime of filmmaking and family life began. The couple moved to the Bay Area in 1960, then to Europe with their infant son, Peter, who later would become a film producer. The Kaufman family then lived in Italy, Greece, Holland and on a kibbutz in Israel. The Kaufmans returned to Chicago in the early 60’s, where they began making independent films. At this time, there were only a very small, pioneering group of independent filmmakers in the U.S. In 1967, they moved back to San Francisco where – except for a few years in Los Angeles and while making films in Europe- they have lived ever since.
Rose Kaufman was an actor and script supervisor in Philip’s film “Goldstein” which shared the Prix de la Nouvelle Critique at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival. She had small acting roles in “Invasion of the Bodysnatchers” and “Henry & June”.
Rose Kaufman began her screenwriting career in the early 1970s after their son Peter said Richard Price’s novel “The Wanderers” would make a good film. Philip and Rose wrote a screenplay based on the book, which Philip later directed. They later collaborated on the groundbreaking “Henry & June” an adaptation of Anais Nin’s memoir of her love affair with Henry Miller and his wife, June. The film was produced by Peter Kaufman.
Rose Kaufman was a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Motion Picture Academy.
Mrs. Kaufman is survived by her beloved husband of 51 years, Philip, her son, Peter, her daughter-in-law Christine Pelosi, and her grandchildren, Octavio and Isabella.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to: juniperpath.org.