Tinseltown Legend, Jerry Weintraub Dies at 77

Hollywood mogul, Jerry Weintraub, best known for his producing hit films Nashville, Karate Kid and Ocean’s Eleven franchised recently passed away from cardiac arrest, at age 77. He was surrounded by his family in Santa Barbara, California. Previously, Jerry has been reportedly suffering from ill health.

Destined for Greatness

Born Jerome Charles Weintraub, Jerry was raised in the Bronx, first enlisting himself in the army during his teenage years as a radio operator and later on came to work in the MCA mailroom, easily being promoted to assistant agent and then agent between the ‘50s and ‘60s. By the time the early ‘70s hit, he already co-owned Concerts West, booking big talents the likes of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and the Beach Boys.

Already, people saw how hardworking, charismatic and hands-on Jerry Weintraub was. He was deemed as the innovative showman, always able to book the best of the best in the biggest of stadiums.

Forwarding to Film

Soon enough, Jerry found his place in the world of cinema. In 1975, he produced the Robert Altman-directed “Nashville”. For the years to come, he would later on produce more films like “All Night Long” and “Happy New Year”.

But it was the unexpected hit, “Karate Kid” that would place Jerry among the top Hollywood honchos everyone loves. Seeing the potential of holding his own ground, he launched Weintraub Entertainment Group in 1987 in hopes of rivaling major Hollywood studios. He produced more Karate Kid installments.

When he produced a high-profile remake of “Ocean’s Eleven” in 2001, the witty film collected over $451 million worldwide. He would later on produce the rest of the franchise.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, he shared: I’m an entrepreneur — I’ve been an independent guy all my life. I love doing what I do. I love the movies, I love actors, I love directors, I love writers, I love working with the studio, I love the marketing, I love the whole process.”

He also received the Kodak Award at 2001’s ShowEast confab for a lifetime in film, and in 2002 he was honored in France with the Deauville Festival of American Film’s Coup de Chapeau trophy for lifetime achievement in film. His memoir, “When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man,” was published in 2010.

Jerry Weintraub is survived by his girlfriend and four children.