Jerry Weintraub, the legendary Hollywood producer behind The Karate Kid and Ocean’s Eleven, has died of cardiac arrest aged 77.
Weintraub passed away in his Santa Barbara home surrounded by his family, his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press.
He was remembered as a “larger than life” core member of Hollywood’s inner circle and the “ultimate producer” by many in the entertainment industry.
Born in Brooklyn to a New York Bronx jeweller, he worked as a concert promoter before becoming a leading film producer, encountering stars such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, George Clooney and Brad Pitt along the way.
His attempt at establishing his own studio, WEG, in 1987 resulted in bankruptcy, but he went on to produce a number of hugely successful films including the 2013 Liberace drama Behind the Candelabra.
Describing his passion for his work, he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2007: “You know, I don't have to work. This is an environment that I love. You know me for a long, long time. I love making movies. I really relish it.”
Clooney joined a number of stars mourning his passing. “In the coming days there will be tributes, about our friend Jerry Weintraub. We’ll laugh at his great stories, and applaud his accomplishments,” he said in a statement.
“And in the years to come the stories and accomplishments will get better with age, just as Jerry would have wanted it. But not today. Today our friend died. To his family and friends, Amal and I send our love. And to those who didn’t know him we send our deepest sympathy. You would have loved him.”
So sad and shocked that a creative spirit like Jerry Weintraub's could EVER be silenced. He was the ultimate producer. #BehindTheCandelabra; Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) July 7, 2015
So sad at loss of Jerry Weintraub, you were 1 of a kind, my friend. Last of a breed. So glad I got to be "that kid" pic.twitter.com/ebN7p8ptUL; Ralph Macchio (@ralphmacchio) July 6, 2015
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.; Larry King (@kingsthings) July 6, 2015
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.; Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) July 6, 2015
R.I.P Jerry Weintraub; Don Cheadle (@IamDonCheadle) July 6, 2015
J Weintraub also passed away! RIP.. Truly incredible man. His book - essential reading for anyone interested in the entertainment industry.; Dane Cook (@DaneCook) July 6, 2015
HBO CEO Richard Plepler and president of programming Michael Lombardo released a joint statement praising Weintraub as an “incredibly gifted producer” and a “singular life force”.
“He made everything we did together a joy,” he said. “There is a great hole left without him."Reuse content