Sunday, May 26, 2024

Jerry Weintraub, Famed Beloved and Feared Hollywood Superstar Producer, Dead at 77


One of the great Hollywood producers of all time, Jerry Weintraub, has reportedly died at age 77. He was at his home in Palm Springs. Weintraub is one of the great modern Hollywood legends, with huge successes and massive failures. He’s been on a roll for the last several years, though, with the “Oceans Eleven” movies among others. He got so involved with George Clooney and Don Cheadle on those films that he even helped them raise money for Darfur and the Sudan. I knew Jerry, and he was a really amazing person. It’s sort of inconceivable that he’s gone.

Weintraub was just seen at the June 9th premiere of his HBO series “The Brink.” Sources tell me he seemed fine was “acting like Jerry”– meaning expansive and happy. Weintraub was at the premiere with his long time girl friend Susan. (Weintraub had an usual personal situation, having a wife of 50 years at the same time.)

Jerry had lots of projects in development. His first executive producer credit was Robert Altman’s Oscar nominated classic “Nashville” in 1975. He produced the “Karate Kid” movies and many others. He recently had a major hit “Beyond the Candelabra” with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, and has “Westworld” series coming for HBO.

So many stars are close to Jerry– Clooney, Affleck, Damon, Michael Douglas. And of course, there’s the story of Weintraub’s great failure– a movie studio in the 1980s that was propelled by “Look Who’s Talking” and then collapsed.

But Jerry Weintraub mainly was just huge, and a great great guy. This loss is big, and it’s too soon.

More to come shortly…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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