Jerry Weintraub, the legendary film producer and music manager par excellence who pushed the careers of legends such as John Denver and produced hit movies “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Nashville” has died. He was 77 years old.
Weintraub’s representatives told the press that he had died on Monday. He had reportedly had a cardiac arrest in Santa Barbara, California.
Weintraub had risen to prominence when he became a top concert promoter in the 1970s, working with the likes of the king himself, Elvis Presley, and shaping legendary musician John Denver’s career. He then took up movie production and produced memorable films such as “Oh, God,” “Diner,” the remake of “Ocean’s Eleven” and its sequels; and “The Karate Kid” and its sequels.
Though Weintraub’s attempt to set up his own studio, the Weintraub Entertainment Group studio, ended in bankruptcy in 1990, his success as an independent producer spanned decades, including 2013’s Emmy-winning “Behind the Candelabra”, a TV drama about Liberace.
When he died, he still had numerous projects in development, including the recently debuted HBO series The Brink and an upcoming remake of “Tarzan”. Jerry Weintraub was also a personal friend of former U.S. president George H.W. Bush.
“Jerry was an American original who earned his success by the sheer force of his instinct, drive and larger-than-life personality,” Bush said when he heard about his friend’s death. “He had a passion for life, and throughout the ups and downs of his prolific career, it was clear just how much he loved show business.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger also tweeted his dismay. He said, “Jerry Weintraub is larger than life. He was a giant in Hollywood & his heart was so big it lit up the town. My thoughts are with his family.” Larry King also tweeted, that he was “shocked to learn of the passing of Jerry Weintraub. I just saw him last week. This is a great loss to show business, what a legend.”
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