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Updated: July 17, 2022

Nicknamed the "Master of Disaster," producer-director Irwin Allen almost single-handedly fueled the disaster movie craze during the 1970s with such classics as "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972) and "The Towering Inferno" (1974). Allen cut his teeth on a number of adventure movies during the 1950s and 1960s, including "The Lost World" (1960), "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" (1961) and "Five Weeks in a Balloon" (1962), while also creating notable television series like "Lost in Space" (CBS, 1965-68). After directing "City Beneath the Sea" (NBC, 1971) for the small screen, he donned his producer's hat for "The Poseidon Adventure," one of the biggest box office hits of 1972.

Allen went on to direct the master of all disaster movies, "The Towering Inferno," which featured an all-star cast of Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway and Paul Newman, and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Allen retired in the mid-1980s due to poor health. Despite a quiet end to his career, Allen's contributions to cinema were undeniable, while his influence on blockbuster filmmaking was felt well into the next century.

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