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Jerry Weintraub: A look at the effect he had on Hollywood

Weintraub, who has died, was a producer behind such projects as the 'Karate Kid' and 'Ocean's Eleven' film series and the HBO movie 'Behind the Candelabra.'

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
Jerry Weintraub poses backstage with the award for Best TV Movie or Mini-Series for 'Behind the Candelabra' at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards.

Film and music producer Jerry Weintraub died Monday in Santa Barbara, California, according to his publicist, The Associated Press reported.

Weintraub was behind everything from Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra concerts, when he worked as a concert promoter, to the “Karate Kid” and “Ocean’s Eleven” films. His early credits frequently involve singer John Denver, with Weintraub having produced “An Evening with John Denver,” “Rocky Mountain Christmas,” and “John Denver: The Higher We Fly,” among other credits.

Some of the best-known movies Weintraub produced include 1982’s “Diner,” the “Karate Kid” films, and the recent HBO TV movie “Behind the Candelabra.” He is also a producer on the current HBO series “The Brink,” a comedy which stars Jack Black and Tim Robbins, as well as the upcoming HBO series “Westworld,” which stars Ed Harris, and an upcoming version of the “Tarzan” story which stars “True Blood” actor Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie of “Focus,” “Big Eyes” actor Christoph Waltz, and Samuel L. Jackson of “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” The film is due to be released next summer.

“I can get anything done, anywhere, at any time,” Weintraub told the Los Angeles Times in a 2012 interview. He wrote in an essay for Vanity Fair published earlier this year that “my perfect day in L.A. is every day… I am lucky enough to speak with some of the most interesting and creative people in the world. These conversations are what keep me going through the day; they engage and excite me… One thing stays the same: I am continually stimulated and excited by talking with extraordinary people about extraordinary projects.” 

Weintraub was a super-producer who was involved in almost all genres of entertainment and his tributes have included industry watchers calling him “one of the last of Hollywood’s great old-school impresarios… touching nearly every corner of the entertainment world,” “a lion,” and “a force in showbiz for nearly half a century.” 

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