One of Hollywood’s greatest producers and moguls, Robert Evans, has died at age 89. He’d been in fragile health for some time, but had no terminal illnesses, says Nikki Haskell, one of his closest friends and business associates.
“He died of a broken heart,” says Haskell, referring to Paramount recently ending his 52 year tenure with the studio. Evans was responsible for “The Godfather” movies, among other great hits. “He didn’t want to leave. He had been pitching them a remake of Love Story, which he’d made there in 1970. They didn’t want to do it. They said it was too important in their catalogue. But Bob had a vision for it, to make a modern movie.” To that end he’d had talks with Lee Daniels, and wanted Scott Eastwood, either with Cardi B. or Zendaya.
“He was so amazing. His legacy will live on forever,” Haskell added.
Evans’ career was famously subject of a huge successfully documentary, “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” which was based on his best selling autobiography. Evans, among other notable achievements, was married to Ali McGraw and to Phyllis George. They were just two of his five wives. With McGraw he had one son, Josh. His brother, Charles Evans, was a fashion mogul.
But it was Bob Evans larger than life personality, his myth, which propelled him. He was the real deal, the last of the great names of real Hollywood. He convicted for cocaine trafficking in 1980. The making of the movie The Cotton Club included a hit job murder that made everyone involved infamous and notorious. Dustin Hoffman actually played Evans in Barry Levinson’s movie, “Wag the Dog.”
Here’s a link to the astounding number of hits Evan was associated with including “Chinatown,” “Serpico,” “Urban Cowboy,” and, more recently, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.”
But it’s “The Godfather” movies for which Evans will be always remembered. They are probably the greatest films of our time, and Evans was responsible for bringing them to fruition.