More Jerry Weintraub Bios & Profiles
Biography #2 (for Ocean's Twelve)Jerry Weintraub's more than 40-year career in entertainment has spanned all genres of music, film, Broadway theatre, concerts and television.
He began his filmmaking career in 1973 when he was offered a challenge by maverick director Robert Altman to come up with the financing for a script he had called Nashville. Two days later, Weintraub had set up the financing on the movie, which was released to critical acclaim and is today considered one of the most important films of modern cinema
Weintraub went on to produce Barry Levinson's Diner, which helped launch such young talents as Kevin Bacon, Paul Reiser, Mickey Rourke, Tim Daly, Ellen Barkin and Steve Guttenberg; the smash comedy, Oh, God, directed by Carl Reiner and starring George Burns and folk singer John Denver and the highly successful Karate Kid series of four films.
Through his Jerry Weintraub Productions, based at the Warner Bros. Studios, he produced Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven, The Specialist, starring Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone and Pure Country, starring country singer George Strait.
One of the first independent movie producers to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Weintraub also produced a remake of the stylist television spy series, The Avengers, starring Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes and the science-fiction thriller, Soldier, starring Kurt Russell.
For television, he has produced myriad projects including An Olympic Gala, ABC's telecast of the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Olympic Games.
The older of two sons, Weintraub was born in the Bronx, New York and enlisted in the United States Air Force following high school. After receiving an honorable discharge, he returned to New York and immediately secured a job at NBC-TV as a page for the Steve Allen Show. During the day, he studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse under famed acting coach Sandy Meisner.
Realizing that his talent for acting was not as acute as his talent for business, Weintraub got a job in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency while keeping his position as a page at NBC at night. Three weeks into his position at William Morris, he heard about an opening for an agent at the MCA talent agency. He applied and got the job. Still in his early twenties, he went from mailroom to agent in three weeks.
After several years at MCA, he left and formed his own personal management company. Among the acts that Weintraub managed at this time were Joey Bishop, The Four Tops, and nationally known pop singer Jane Morgan. Inevitably, his relationship with Morgan went from professional to personal and the two were married.
In 1964, Weintraub formed another artist management company, Management III. They managed acts such as Jack Paar, the Muppets, Norm Crosby and Jane Morgan. He also produced over 100 television shows and purchased from Jimmy Nederlander several Broadway theaters for which he produced such shows as Canterbury Tales, Wait A Minium, and later, Frank Sinatra-Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald On Broadway.
One night Weintraub awoke from a deep sleep with a vision. He then made a call that would become the first of several career-affecting moments, to Elvis Presley's legendary manager Colonel Tom Parker. After a year of calling Parker every day, a deal was made for Weintraub to produce the Elvis tour - if he could come up with a $1 million cash guarantee in 24 hours. The next day, Weintraub delivered the cash and began organizing Elvis' first national appearance tour.
With Elvis' tour successfully underway, Weintraub founded Concerts West. He soon was promoting concerts for some of the biggest names in the recording industry, including Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Led Zeppelin, The Beach Boys, John Denver and Frank Sinatra, whom he presented at Madison Square Garden in the famed first around the world by satellite concert called The Main Event. He also owned several independent record labels and music publishing companies.
Weintraub was soon invited by entertainment industry mogul Kirk Kerkorian, to become Chairman and CEO of his film company, United Artist. He subsequently formed his own film and television production company, Weintraub Entertainment Group.
Three years later, he formed Jerry Weintraub Productions at the Warner Bros. Studios. where he enjoyed a life-long relationship with Chairman of the Board Steve Ross, Bob Daly and Terry Semel.
In 1988, his friend of more than 30 years, George Bush, became the 41st President of The United States of America. In 1991, President Bush appointed Weintraub to the Board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a position he would hold through the end of the decade. His wife, Jane, was appointed to the President's Committee for the Arts and Humanities, where she served throughout the tenure or President Bush's term in office.
As he solidified his position as an entertainment industry mogul, Weintraub's interest in politics and various philanthropic endeavors flourished. His humanitarian efforts are as impressive as his professional career. He has contributed to, received awards from and sits on the board of directors of more than 30 charitable organizations including the Hebrew Home for the Aged, The Urban League, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation, the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital Department of Orthopedics, the American Heart Association, the George Bush Presidential Library Center, the Los Angeles Music Center, the Variety Club, the B'nai B'rith, the Mount Sinai Medical Center, the Children's Diabetes Foundation, the Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences, the Rose and Sam Weintraub Elementary School, Brown University, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Jane and Jerry Weintraub Library of the Vista Del Mar School, among others.
In 1997, Weintraub funded UCLA's Jane and Jerry Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Bio-Technology, the first medical center in the world to blend a variety of intellectual approaches and scientific fields including tissue engineering, gene therapy, oncology and wound healing.
The Weintraubs have four children and maintain homes in Malibu, Beverly Hills, Palm Desert and Kennebunkport, Maine where he and his wife enjoy visiting with the Bushes and the many political and diplomatic friends he has made from all over the world.