Roger F. Goodwin, 69; filmed campaign ads

Rod Goodwin was a Republican-bred Ohio farm boy whose high-water mark might have been filming TV commercials that helped Democrat Jimmy Carter win the presidency in 1976.

Mr. Goodwin's firm, Magus Films, with offices in a rowhouse near 17th and Lombard Streets in Center City, went on to film many campaign ads, from the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination bid of Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt to ads for German Chancellors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, both Social Democrats.

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Roger F. Goodwin

His peripatetic career - "I moved 18 times before I was 20," he told Inquirer columnist Maralyn Lois Polak - suited a personality that he said he shared with his Republican father.

"Impulsive. Compulsive. Very dry. Very, very middle American."

Roger F. Goodwin, 69, of Center City, died of complications of prostate cancer Thursday, May 27, at Pennsylvania Hospital.

Polak's profile, in January 1977, reported that Mr. Goodwin, known as Rod, "projects the wholesome, believable image of a good-guy grown-up farm boy from Ohio who hikes, plays handball and prefers discussing sports to film or politics."

Mr. Goodwin's films blended into the work of Atlanta ad executive Gerald M. Rafshoon, Carter's longtime ally.

Asked whether he would ever go into politics, Mr. Goodwin said, "I don't want to be another piece of clutter."

But he said if President Carter "would appoint me Envoy of Common Sense, just somebody who would go out and talk to people in Iowa and ask them what they thought and then go back and tell him, I'd love it."

"It would be another challenge." Another?

From a movie studio at the H.G. Peters Building in Primos, Delaware County, he had already produced 28 films for the Carter campaign.

Richard Fuller, in a profile in the November 1976 issue of Philadelphia Magazine, reported that the output included a 15-minute film shown at the Democratic National Convention, five-minute TV films, and 60-second and 30-second ads on TV.

Mr. Goodwin was born in Wilmington, Ohio, and graduated from Audubon (Ind.) High School in 1959, where he was in the starting lineup on the football, basketball, and baseball teams. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism at DePauw University in 1963.

From 1963 to 1967 he was an Army officer and served for a time as an aide to Gen. William Westmoreland.

Mr. Goodwin began his career as a writer and director for 6ABC in Philadelphia and worked at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel before setting up his firm in 1971.

Inquirer business news columnist Tom Belden said that Mr. Goodwin, a longtime golfing companion, told him that he was a freelance contributor of footage from Super Bowls, World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, and Masters tournaments.

Belden said that, in 1983, Mr. Goodwin's firm produced a half-hour video, Peace on Ice, for the International Fund for Animal Welfare that helped end the slaughter of baby seals in remote northeastern Canada.

In more recent days, Belden said, Mr. Goodwin was a volunteer with the homeless shelter Women of Hope.

"He sat at the front desk one day a week for years," Belden said. "He usually chose Fridays because it cost more to play golf on Fridays" at public courses.

Mr. Goodwin was also the information officer for the chamber music group 1807 & Friends, Belden said.

Mr. Goodwin is survived by his wife, Patricia Boyer; his mother, Marie; two brothers; and two sisters. He had been married twice before.

Plans for a memorial ceremony were incomplete.


Contact staff writer Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.