Mel Howard dabbled in different aspects of the filmmaking process. He was primarily a producer but also occasionally worked on screenplays, acted, and assisted with directing chores. His production credits include the Gene Wilder vehicle Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx (1970) and Snapshots (1974), for which he also wrote the screenplay and appeared as an actor. As a performer, Howard was particularly memorable for playing a Talmudic scholar in Hester Street (1975). Howard married filmmaker Michelle Le Brun extremely late in life, and found out soon after their nuptials that he was suffering from a terminal illness. His journey down that path became the subject of Le Brun's 1999 film Death: A Love Story, shot in the early to mid-'90s and released three years after Howard's death in July 1996.