Robert Newmyer, producer of films including “Training Day,” died Monday morning of a heart attack provoked by asthma while exercising at a health club in Toronto. He was 49. Newmyer, a founder of Outlaw Prods., was in Canada shooting “Breach” for Universal with Laura Linney, Ryan Phillippe and Chris Cooper.
Born in Washington, D.C., he graduated from Swarthmore College and Harvard Business School. He worked as an exec in several departments at Columbia before launching Outlaw with Jeff Silver in 1987. Newmyer’s first producing credit came on Steven Soderbergh’s “sex, lies and videotape” in 1989. He went on to produce more than 20 features, including “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead,” “Mr. Baseball” and “The Santa Clause,” which launched a franchise with “Santa Clause 2,” which Newmyer produced, and “Santa Clause 3,” which is in production at Disney.
He recently funded and co-produced Mo’nique starrer “Phat Girlz,” which sold in November to Fox Searchlight.
Producer Douglas Wick, a friend and cousin, said, “He was a real light in the community.” Wick remembered that when Newmyer optioned New York Times article “The Lost Boys of the Sudan,” he was so involved in the project that he organized a reunion of the young refugees and put several of them up at his home.
“He was an inspiration, because he managed to do it all,” said Wick, who recalled Newmyer’s enthusiasm for river rafting and houseboating trips.
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who worked with him on “Training Day,” said, “Making a movie was an adventure for him. He appreciated every single day.”
His other credits include “Don Juan de Marco,” “How to Be a Player” and “Mindhunters.”
He is survived by his wife Debra Jelin Newmyer, a producer; four children; his parents; and two sisters.
Donations may be made to the Bobby Newmyer Memorial Fund, which will perpetuate his commitment to the Lost Boys of Sudan, c/o Outlaw Prods., 3599 Beverly Glen Terrace, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423.