Today, we lost one of the last Hollywood Movie Moguls – Jerry Weintraub.
Unfortunately for me, I was never blessed to have met his acquaintance. However, like most music and movie buffs, I met him through his work as a promoter for Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, producer of “Nashville”, “Diner”, “The Karate Kid” and the “Ocean” films with Brad Pitt, George Clooney and the rest of the gang. Take a look below at the trailers for Nashville, Diner and Karate Kid 2 (which was remade a few years ago with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan)
The Karate Kid 2 Trailer
Shortly after the news spread in Hollywood about his passing, I ran across a documentary called “His Way” devoted specifically to life and career of Jerry Weintraub.
Weintraub loved show business and was the world’s greatest salesman (much like his Dad). Of course, every great salesman knows the pitch is the heart of any successful sale and Jerry Weintraub could pitch like no other, making him an even greater storyteller.
What I learned in “His Way” is that Jerry and his second wife Jane (Morgan) Weintraub speak very candidly about their upbringing (him being Jewish and her not being Jewish), their “open” relationship and how their paths initially crossed.
Jerry Weintraub had no fear and was full of innovative, crazy ideas…making him a millionaire many times over. Ideas like cold-calling Colonel Tom Parker and convincing him to take Elvis on tour for a million dollars, a live-televised concert of Frank Sinatra for ABC-TV – “The Main Event” and managing Grammy-winning folk-singer John Denver.
Many people weigh-in with stories like Irving Azoff, George Clooney, Ellen Barkin, Brad Pitt, Melvyn Weintraub, Susie Ekins, Terry Semel, Steven Soderbergh, Andy Garcia, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Bryan Lourd, Jamie Weintraub, Julie Weintraub, Michael Weintraub, Former U.S. President GeorgeBush and Former First Lady Barbara Bush, Jody Weintraub, James Caan, Elliot Gould…the list is endless.
The one movie Weintraub was unable to produce before his passing was a film about him, Elvis and Colonel Tom Parker. Maybe his wish will be granted so that he may look down smiling knowing that he had one more story that was finally being told with the Weintraub “bravado” only he was known and loved for by his family, peers and constituents.
“His Way” can be seen now on HBO NOW, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu and YouTube.com
R.I.P. Jerry and as Sinatra sings in one of his classic songs “…Oh what a life”.