JERRY WEINTRAUB's (Producer) more than 40-year career in
entertainment has spanned all genres of music, film, Broadway theatre, concerts
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 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
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
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
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