LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Jerry Weintraub, the Hollywood producer behind the “Ocean’s Eleven” remakes and “The Karate Kid” franchise, has died. He was 77.
Weintraub, who had been in poor health recently, died of cardiac arrest at a Santa Barbara hospital Monday morning, according to a statement by Rogers & Cowan.
Born in the New York City borough of the Bronx in 1937, Weintraub began working in show business in the 1950s and ’60s, managing musical acts such as John Denver, The Four Seasons and The Moody Blues.
He went on to produce Hollywood films like “Diner,” “Nashville,” “The Karate Kid” and “Oh, God!” Weintraub produced all three of the “Ocean’s Eleven” movies starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.
Weintraub briefly led United Artists but left to start his own production house, known as Weintraub Entertainment Group, before eventually landing at Warner Bros.
He earned an Emmy Award for co-producing the climate change documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously,” and shared another as a co-producer of HBO’s Liberace drama “Behind the Candelabra.” He also won an Emmy in 1975 for co-producing the musical special “An Evening with John Denver.”
Clooney, who starred in the “Ocean’s Eleven” films, issued the following statement: “In the coming days, there will be tributes about our friend Jerry Weintraub. We’ll laugh at his great stories, and applaud his accomplishments. 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,” Clooney said. “And to those who didn’t know him we send our deepest sympathy. You would have loved him.”
“To my great sorrow, my friend and former producer Jerry Weintraub has died suddenly,” director William Friedkin wrote on his Twitter page. “He was loved and admired. God bless him.”
Friedkin directed the 1980 Al Pacino crime drama “Cruising,” which Weintraub produced.
“Karate Kid” star Ralph Macchio also offered his condolences on Twitter.
“Terminator” star and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger also took to social media to offer his condolences at Weintraub’s passing, calling the late producer “larger than life”.
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