Why I'm Involved
Disasters around the world are twice as big as they ever were, and ice is melting where it's not supposed to melt, and everything's changing - the world is changing - and it's all because of global warming, I think.
About Jerry Weintraub
Jerry Weintraub is one of the most influential and successful people in the entertainment industry, with a career spanning more than 50 years and encompassing the genres of feature films, television, theatre and music. Weintraub had already enjoyed tremendous success in the management and music fields when he made an auspicious motion picture producing debut with Robert Altman’s seminal 1975 feature film, Nashville. Released to widespread acclaim, the film went on to earn five Academy Award® nominations, including one for Best Picture.
Over the next decade, Weintraub repeatedly demonstrated an eye for emerging talent, producing such features as September 30, 1955, starring Richard Thomas under the direction of James Bridges; Oh, God!, directed by Carl Reiner and starring George Burns and John Denver in his first acting role; Barry Levinson’s directorial debut, Diner, which helped launch the careers of Kevin Bacon, Paul Reiser, Mickey Rourke, Tim Daly, Ellen Barkin and Steve Guttenberg; and the inspiring drama The Karate Kid, which spawned three sequels, including one starring a young Hilary Swank. To underscore the enduring popularity of the series, the most recent The Karate Kid, released in 2010, starring Jaden Smith was just as successful as the original film.
Now heading up Jerry Weintraub Productions, he previously produced the hit remake of the Rat Pack comedy Ocean’s Eleven and its sequels, Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen, all directed by Steven Soderbergh and featuring an all-star cast. Additionally, Weintraub produced the family film Nancy Drew, starring Emma Roberts as the intrepid teenage detective. Jerry Weintraub Productions also has a number of films in development, including a new live-action version of Tarzan, and a biopic of Hugh Hefner both for Warner Bros. Films. Also in development are The Wild Bunch, 40 Summers, and Matt Helm.
Brooklyn-born and Bronx-bred, Weintraub likes to joke that his goal when starting out in entertainment was to get out of the Bronx. He began his career as a talent agent, eventually segueing to personal management. Forming Management III, he handled such names as The Muppets, Jack Paar and Norm Crosby, among others. His success opened the door to the music industry at the height of the Rock ‘n Roll revolution. He produced the legendary Elvis Presley’s first arena tour and, throughout the 1950s and ’60s, continued to make his mark as a concert promoter for some of the biggest names in the business.
Founding Concerts West, Weintraub broke new ground when he presented Frank Sinatra at Madison Square Garden in the celebrated “first around the world by satellite” concert, called “The Main Event.” He also helped boost the careers of such renowned artists as Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Neil Diamond, John Denver, The Carpenters and The Beach Boys. Weintraub went on to produce a number of high-profile television specials and movies, many starring the musical artists with whom he had worked.
In addition, he produced An Olympic Gala, the telecast of the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Weintraub also produced several Broadway shows, including Canterbury Tales and Starlight Express.
Returning to the motion picture arena, Weintraub was named Chairman and CEO of United Artists. He later left to form his own film and television production company, Weintraub Entertainment Group. Three years later, he founded Jerry Weintraub Productions, based at Warner Bros. Studios. The first film produced under the Jerry Weintraub Productions banner was 1992’s Pure Country, starring country legend George Strait.
Weintraub subsequently produced The Specialist, starring Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone; Vegas Vacation, starring Chevy Chase; the big-screen version of The Avengers, teaming Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman; and the sci-fi actioner Soldier, starring Kurt Russell.
In addition to his professional endeavors, Weintraub is well known for his philanthropic efforts on behalf of a wide variety of worthwhile causes, ranging from health concerns to education to the arts and more. He joined forces with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle in “Not on Our Watch,” a humanitarian campaign to end the genocide in Darfur.
Weintraub has also been the recipient of several professional honors. He was one of the first independent movie producers to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame® and, in 2001, won the Kodak Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Filmmaking. In 2007, the National Association of Theatre Owners named him ShoWest Producer of the Year. In June 2007, he became the first producer ever to be “cemented” in the courtyard of Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre when he joined George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon in a Hand and Footprint Ceremony in celebration of the opening of Oceans Thirteen At the Boston Film Festival he was awarded the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award; in December 2007 he received a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars, and in January 2008 he received the SAG Foundation Patron of the Arts Award.
In 2009, he was honored by UNICEF as Man of the Year with the organization’s Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award for his philanthropic contributions. In 2010, he was awarded the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award at Celebrity Fight Night XVI, an event that has raised nearly $60 million to benefit the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.
In 2010, Weintraub authored his memoirs, the New York Times bestselling book “When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories From a Persuasive Man,” a witty chronicle of his remarkable career and life journey. His Way, a documentary of Weintraub’s life was released on HBO® in April of 2011. It was a critical and audience hit, and went on to earn an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Nonfiction Special.
His most recent project is Behind the Candelabra, the story of the entertainer and showman Liberace. The biopic, directed for HBO® Films by Steven Soderbergh stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon and debuted to critical and audience acclaim at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and won eleven 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Movie, Outstanding Director (Steven Soderbergh) and Outstanding Lead Actor (Michael Douglas).Share This