Bel-Air Entertainment chairman Steven Reuther, who produced “Pretty Woman” and exec produced “Dirty Dancing,” died of cancer Saturday in Santa Monica. He was 58.
At Bel-Air, a co-venture with Warner Bros. Studios and Canal Plus, Reuther produced such pics as “Pay It Forward,” “Collateral Damage” and “Sweet November.”
Reuther came to Los Angeles in the late 1970s. He landed his first job in the mailroom at William Morris, quickly becoming the first assistant to Stan Kamen. Leveraging his relationship with Kamen, he worked with such stars as Donald Sutherland, Jon Voight, Goldie Hawn and Sally Field.
He became an expert in film finance and structured numerous movies, pioneering the use of Canadian tax structures.
Reuther served as VP of Galactic Films, where he helped develop Adrian Lyne’s “9 1/2 Weeks.” He then segued to Vestron Pictures in 1986, exec producing Patrick Swayze starrer “Dirty Dancing” and other pics. He then partnered with Arnon Milchan at New Regency developing such pics as Sidney Lumet’s “Family Business” and the Kathleen Turner/Michael Douglas starrer “War of the Roses.” He went on to produce and exec produce more than 35 films in partnership with Milchan, and later Douglas, including the 1990 smash “Pretty Woman,” which launched Julia Roberts.
In 1998, Reuther created Bel-Air, and as its chairman and CEO, he was most proud of “Pay It Forward,” whose title became part of the culture.
Survivors include a daughter, his mother, two brothers and a sister.