Jerry Weintraub, the Hollywood producer behind the Ocean’s 11 remakes, died yesterday at an California hospital yesterday after suffering cardiac arrest.
According to TMZ, Weintraub was in Santa Barbara with family when he fell ill.
In addition to producing the Ocean’s 11 films, Weintraub also produced, promoted and managed several big names, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan and Elvis among them.
Weintraub’s long career began as a talent agent, having managed relatively unknown singer John Denver in 1970, developing Denver’s success through concerts, television specials and film roles, includingthe Oh, God! films. Weintraub has been credited with making “show business history” by being the first to organize and manage large arena concert tours for singers.
In 1986, the National Association of Theater Owners named Weintraub the Producer of the Year. He was one of the first independent film producers to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2007, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.
Weintraub also won three Emmy awards during his career, dating back to 1975. His most recent was for producing “Behind the Candelabra” with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.
According to Wiki, Weintraub was a major contributor to many charities, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Music Center and the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles. In 1988, the American Friends of the Hebrew University gave Weintraub and his wife, Jane, the Scopus Award in gratitude for their support. He was also a major supporter of Chabad and was close with the late Lubavitcher Rebbe.
He also began doing charitable work to help stop the ongoing genocide taking place in Darfur in 2007. Weintraub, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Don Cheadle, and Brad Pitt cofounded the nonprofit organization, Not On Our Watch, dedicated to preventing mass killings in Darfur and other areas of the world. They also raised $9.3 million to aid their relief efforts.
Following the announcement of his death, celebrities and friends paid tribute to Weintraub that were then printed in his Wiki page: “Jerry was an American original, who earned his success by the sheer force of his instinct, drive, and larger-than-life personality,” said former president George H.W. Bush, a longtime friend. “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.”