Jerry Weintraub. Date unknown.
Jerry Weintraub on Wikipedia
Jerry Weintraub on the Internet Movie Database
Jerry Weintraub with George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon
Forecourt Ceremony held on Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Born: September 26, 1937, in Brooklyn, New York
Age at the time of the ceremony: 69
Died: July 6, 2015, in Santa Barbara, California, age 77
Jerry Weintraub rose from total obscurity to become a concert promoter and personal manager of musical acts. Taking a flyer on Robert Altman and his Nashville movie, Weintraub continued to produce films, including the hugely successful Ocean's Eleven and its sequels.

Weintraub's parents were both Jewish, with his father Samuel being a gem dealer. The family moved to the Bronx, where the young Jerry worked as an usher in a movie theatre, and as a waiter in the Catskills.

Going to work at MCA as a mailroom clerk, he became assistant to MCA chairman Lew Wasserman. After marrying the singer Jane Morgan in 1965, Weintraub quit MCA to open a personal management firm. Weintraub managed acts like Paul Anka, Shelly Berman, Pat Boone, Joey Bishop, The Four Seasons, Jackson Browne and Jimmy Buffett.

In 1970, Weintraub signed a singer he saw in a Greenwich Village club — John Denver. Additionally, Weintraub convinced Elvis Presley and Colonel Parker to let him handle a national tour, something that Elvis had never done before. He also convinced a retired Frank Sinatra to go on the road and play stadiums — it worked, and resulted in what would become the first of many Weintraub produced television specials: Frank Sinatra: The Main Event, aired over ABC in October 1974. This was followed by An Evening with John Denver, aired over ABC in March 1975.

Meeting director Robert Altman at a party, the two smoked a joint and Altman told Weintraub about a film about country music he wanted to make, but no studio would touch. Weintraub dug up the money, becoming the executive producer of the legendary Nashville (released in June 1975). The film's rejection by audiences didn't matter to Weintraub. Producing films was way fun!

Weintraub produced many more television specials — almost all for ABC: The Dorothy Hamill Special, aired over ABC in November 1976, Carpenters Very First Television Special, aired over ABC in December 1976 and Neil Diamond: Love at the Greek, aired over NBC in February 1977.

Weintraub got together with Richard Thomas (who was quitting The Waltons) and director James Bridges for a film about the effect of the news of James Dean's death on September 30, 1955 (released in January 1977). The picture flopped, but that did not happen on the next one: he put his client John Denver in with George Burns and the result, Oh, God! (released in October 1977), became a hit.

Weintraub produced a tour of Japan, Europe and the US for Bob Dylan in 1978. He also produced stadium concerts for Led Zepplin, The Main Ingredient, The Moody Blues, the Capenters and The Beach Boys. He continued to produce television specials for the Carpenters, John Denver, Pat Boone and Dorothy Hamill.

Weintraub has been credited as being the sole producer on almost all of his films, beginning with Cruising (released in February 1980) with Al Pacino, and a television movie about a rock band Blue Jeans, aired over ABC in July 1980. He was co-producer of All Night Long (released in March 1981) with Gene Hackman and Barbra Streisand. The small-scaled film Diner (released in May 1982) with Steve Gutenberg, became a surpise hit.

His next picture became something of a touchstone: The Karate Kid (released in June 1984) with Ralph Macchio. It was so successful that Weintraub was invited to be CEO of United Artists by Kirk Kerkorian, but the two men fought like cats and dogs, so Weintraub split after five months.

Karate Kid would be followed by The Karate Kid Part II (which played the Chinese in June 1986). Weintraub was executive producer on My Stepmother Is an Alien (released in December 1988) with Dan Aykroyd, and produced The Karate Kid Part III (released in June 1989) with Ralph Macchio.

The Karate Kid was something of a goldmine for Weintraub. He turned it into 13 episodes as an animated version: The Karate Kid, aired over NBC beginning in September 1989. There would be more. Weintraub was producer on Pure Country (released in October 1982) with George Straight, and The Specialist (released in October 1994) with Sylvester Stallone.

Vegas Vacation (released in February 1997) with Chevy Chase, did well, but The Avengers (which played the Chinese in August 1989) with Ralph Fiennes, flopped horribly. So did Soldier (released in October 1998) with Kurt Russell. For some reason, Weintraub was executive producer on the low budget comedy The Independent (released in March 2000) with Jerry Siller.

Weintraub's connection to The Rat Pack enabled his producing the remake of Ocean's Eleven (released in December 2001) with George Clooney playing Danny Ocean. The lavish film made a fourtune, so it was followed by Ocean's Twelve (which played the Chinese in December 2004).

Weintraub and the gang of Clooney, Pitt and Damon were asked down to the Chinese to make their imprints for the Forecourt just before the US Premiere of Ocean's Thirteen on Tuesday, June 5, 2007 (the film played the Chinese for three weeks in June 2007).

Next for Weintraub was an adaptation of Nancy Drew (released in June 2007) with Emma Roberts in the title role. He produced a remake of The Karate Kid (released in June 2010) with Jackie Chan, and got together with the Ocean's director Steve Soderbergh for the Liberace story Behind the Candelabra, aired over HBO in June 2013 with Michael Douglas.

Weintraub was executive producer of 10 episodes of The Brink, aired over HBO beginning in June 2015, with Tim Robbins and Jack Black. Jerry Weintraub passed away in July 2015. After his death, his production of The Legend of Tarzan (which played the Chinese in July 2016), came out, as well as his having been executive producer for 16 episodes of a documentary about climate change, Years of Living Dangerously, aired over Showtime, beginning in April 2014; he had been an executive producer for 11 episodes of Westworld, airing over HBO, beginning in October 2016.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Jerry Weintraub Forecourt block. Executed by Unknown, Tuesday, June 5, 2007. 36 x 36 inches.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Jerry Weintraub, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon Forecourt ceremony, Tuesday, June 5, 2007. Producer Jerry Weintraub looks over as Geroge Clooney pretends to lose his footing in the cement.
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