American producer, writer, and director Josef Shaftel spent his film career in Great Britain. Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, Shaftel was a violin prodigy performing in concerts until age 16. He later went to Italy as a news photographer. In 1948, he covered the War of Independence in Israel and his adventures there became the basis for the best-selling A Star in the Wind (1962) by Robert Nathan. Shaftel entered the movie business in 1953 with The Paris Express, starring Claude Rains. In 1956, he made his directorial bow with The Naked Hills. Shaftel became a producer for the television crime drama The Untouchables between 1950 and 1960. In 1962, he was given a producer award. Shaftel continued producing features through the mid-'70s. From 1993 to 1996, Shaftel devoted his energies toward promoting the charity he funded, a scholarship for the Yehudi Menuhin School for musically talented youths. Shaftel died from multiple myeloma, a kind of cancer, on March 9, 1996.