J.C. Spink, Manager and ‘The Hangover’ Producer, Dies at 45

J.C. Spink Dead
J. Berliner/BEI/BEI/Shutterstock

Manager and producer J.C. Spink, who founded Benderspink with Chis Bender and produced comedies like “The Hangover,” died Tuesday at his home in West Hollywood, the Los Angeles County Coroner confirmed to Variety. He was 45.

Spink was found unresponsive in his home by his brother and pronounced dead at 8:18 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the coroner. A cause of death has not yet been revealed. An autopsy will be conducted, and he appeared to have died of natural causes. Foul play is not currently suspected.

The relentlessly upbeat Spink was well-liked by the Hollywood community for his good humor and industriousness. Even as the spec market began to dry up in Hollywood over the past decade, Spink remained as active as ever with dozen of projects in development. And while he was known for his ability to package specs, Spink also made sure to stay busy on branded material, whether it was his “Hangover” franchise or the upcoming live-action “Mulan” pic at Disney.

While many execs and producers often give into displays of temper and brashness, Spink had a reputation for being polite and kind no matter what the circumstances — whether it was over the phone or at a movie premiere.

Spink was a Philadelphia native who met Bender at Bucknell University. He and Bender formed their company in 1998 after the two had worked as assistants at Zide-Perry Productions, where Bender received a co-producing credit on “American Pie.”

Spink focused mostly on management while Bender focused on producing. The duo had a longtime first-look deal through New Line starting in 2001. They delivered mid-budget titles such as “Horrible Bosses” and “The Butterfly Effect” franchises, “Vacation,” “Just Friends,” “A History of Violence,” “We’re the Millers,” “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” the “Arthur” reboot  and “Monster-in-Law.”

New Line issued a statement Wednesday: “We are all deeply saddened to learn of J.C.’s passing. J.C. was a groundbreaking manager, producer, partner, and dear friend of New Line’s for over 20 years. He was an innovator who helped re-shape the industry and leaves behind a legacy of classic films. We will forever miss his tremendous humor and infectious passion. We extend our deepest condolences to his family.”

Friends and business associates, such as “Baywatch” writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, tweeted that they were heartbroken by his death.

“The Secret Life of Pets” writer Brian Lynch remembered him as “a good guy, a funny guy.”

“A History of Violence” received the most critical praise for a Benderspink title with two Oscar nominations. “We’re the Millers,” which took over a decade to develop, was their top grossing movie at $270 million worldwide.

Benderspink generated mostly comedies, starting with 2001’s “Cats & Dogs.” Bender played a key role in the development of “The Hangover” franchise, by suggesting that the plot could involve a bachelor party gone wrong, inspired by his brother’s spec script “One Night.”

Spink and Bender announced in May that they were dissolving the management and production company. Bender went on to form Good Fear Film and Management with former Benderspink staffers Jake Wagner and Jake Weiner.

Bender and Spink were involved in several non-Warner Bros. projects — “The Ring” and “Ride Along” franchises, “I Am Number Four” and Kevin Costner’s action-thriller “Criminal.” Former Benderspink employees include producers Roy Lee and Mason Novick, “The Vampire Diaries”  showrunner Julie Plec, Studio 8 executive Jon Silk, Management 360 manager Jill McElroy and Mosaic manager Langley Perer.

Spink is survived by two brothers, Brian and Dan; and his parents Marsh and Helyn. Funeral arrangements are pending.

 

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 4

Leave a Reply

4 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. I really enjoyed “I Am Number Four” and am sad to see this news about Mr. Spink. Sympathies to his friends and family.

  2. Liz says:

    Looking at the man’s neck size, I would bet he died of undiagnosed sleep apnea. This runs in families so a wake up call to his family members.

  3. Caligula says:

    I think we know why he died. Come on guys-a multi millionaire at 400lbs? lose the weight for phucks sake, bud!!

    • jmengele says:

      it might have been better had you said these things to his face while he was alive. to say them now that he is gone is hurtful to his family and friends. no one needs to hear that now while they are still trying to process his death. i also know that it is very, very difficult to lose weight although it is very easy for someone who does not have a weight problem to look at someone who does have that problem and say to them without an ounce of empathy, “Lose the weight!!” I guess you must have known him personally because you said specifically that his weight was a certain amount. how did you know what his weight was because if you were THAT close to him, then you should have spoken to him directly about it and tried to help him in the weight loss endeavor.

More Film News from Variety

Loading