Robert Chartoff, who shared an Oscar with partner Irwin Winkler to produce “Rocky,” and was Oscar-nommed for Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull” and Philip Kaufman’s “The Right Stuff,” died Wednesday in Santa Monica. He was 81 and had been battling pancreatic cancer.
Chartoff had a producing credit on the Rocky movie “Creed” that is in post-production as well as the Sylvester Stallone film “Scarpa,” and also worked recently on “Ender’s Game” in 2013.
The duo were responsible for numerous influential films of the late ’60s and 1970s through their Chartoff-Winkler Productions, including Sydney Pollack’s “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?,” Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall starrer “True Confessions,” John Boorman’s “Point Blank” and James Caan starrer “The Gambler.”
When Stallone brought them the script for “Rocky,” they convinced United Artists to make “Rocky” on a low under $1 million budget, since Stallone insisted on playing the lead, and the film went on to garner a rare 10 Oscar nominations and gross more than $200 million. Chartoff-Winkler produced four more Rocky films and exec produced “Rocky Balboa” in 2006.
Among their other productions were “Up the Sandbox” with Barbra Streisand, Scorsese’s musical “New York, New York,” and “The New Centurions.”
After Chartoff-Winkler spilt up in 1985, Chartoff went on to produce films including “In My Country” and Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest.”
Chartoff is survived by his wife, Jenny, and children William, a producer, Jennifer, Julie, Miranda and Charlie.