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Robert Mark Kamen is an American screenwriter, film producer and winemaker best known as creator and co-creator of The Karate Kid, Transporter and Taken franchises. Since 1999 he has produced Kamen wine from his vineyards near Sonoma, California.

Robert Mark Kamen
Born (1952-02-29) February 29, 1952 (age 66)
The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States
Occupation Screenwriter, producer, winemaker
Years active 1981–present


Early lifeEdit

Kamen grew up in the Bronx borough of New York City.[1] Starting in 1965, he took karate classes in Queens from instructor Ed McGrath.[2] He received a B.A. from New York University and a Ph.D in American Studies from The University of Pennsylvania.[3]


Kamen is a frequent collaborator of French writer/director Luc Besson—his co-creator on The Fifth Element, The Transporter, and the Taken series of films. The two first worked together on the Natalie Portman and Jean Reno thriller The Professional. After the success of The Fifth Element, Besson invited Kamen to join him in his goal of creating a "mini-studio" in Europe, making "movies that would travel, international movies, you know, action movies."[4]

In 1980, after being paid $135,000 for his first screenplay (which was never produced), Kamen used the check to buy 280 acres of rocky land on Mount Veeder in Sonoma County, California. He hired winemaker Phil Coturri to make 46 acres into a vineyard in 1981. In 1984, the first grapes were sold to local winemakers. The vineyard suffered a fire in 1996, destroying a pipe that carried nutrients to many of the vines. Kamen reorganized the vineyard by replanting different varietals, and in 1999 he bottled his first Kamen-branded wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2002, Kamen hired Mark Herold of Merus Wines to craft his wines.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Kamen lives on his vineyard in Sonoma County.[citation needed]



  1. ^ Hartlaub, Peter, "Robert Mark Kamen established his roots in Hollywood. But his heart is in the hills of Sonoma, where he tends to his vineyard," San Francisco Chronicle, March 11, 2004.
  2. ^ DeClemente, Bill (May 1994). "The One and Only Karate Kid". Black Belt. p. 15. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  3. ^ "Robert Mark Kamen - Kamen Wines".
  4. ^ Gotshalk, Shira, "The Script Assassin", Writers Guild of America, February, 2009.
  5. ^ Brown, Sunny (2008). "Kamen Estate Wines". Winegeeks. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  6. ^ Maslin, Janet (1984-06-22). "SCREEN 'KARATE KID,' BANE OF BULLIES". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
  7. ^ "Devil's Own, The - Ethics & Public Policy Center". Ethics & Public Policy Center. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  8. ^ Pfeiffer, Lee; Lewis, Michael (2002-01-01). The Films of Harrison Ford. Citadel Press. ISBN 9780806523644.

External linksEdit