You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Producer Bean dies

Manager guided career of wife Mitzi Gaynor

Producer and personal manager Jack Bean, who guided the career of his wife Mitzi Gaynor to stardom in motion pictures, television musical specials and Las Vegas, died of pneumonia Dec. 4 at the couple’s Beverly Hills home. He was 84.

Bean displayed his show business savvy at age 14 in his native Minneapolis when he approached the Benny Carter Band to allow him to book a Saturday night dance event, which sold out. The event initiated a series of such bookings of known personalities in Minneapolis until he enlisted in the U.S. Army at l9, serving in the Battle of the Bulge during WWII.

His sergeant learned of his show business acumen and enlisted him for the Special Services division, in which Bean organized and oversaw numerous USO tours.

Upon completion of his military duties, Bean headed for New York, where he became a manager for the Joe Mooney Quartet, then headed West to earn his master’s degree in psychology at USC. He began a new career in social services, working with mentally ill war veterans, utilizing his show business interests to entice such superstars of the day as Charles Laughton and Orson Welles to perform for patients as part of the vets’ therapy.

Such activities took him back to show business, where he landed a spot as an agent for singer Ella Fitzgerald and others at Music Corp. of America. He then met Gaynor, under contract to 20th Century Fox and already the star of pictures like “Golden Girl.” The actress asked Bean to become her agent, beginning a relationship that turned into a 52-year marriage as well as a firm professional partnership.

Bean fought for the young singer-actress to star in the film version of “South Pacific,” the biggest hit musical of the time, which became one of her biggest films, a major box office blockbuster and, to this day, at more than five years, the longest-running motion picture in London.

Leaving MCA, Bean partnered with Bob Rose in Bean/Rose Public Relations, introducing Wishbone Salad Dressing, initiating the pattern of product placement in films by placing Hamilton watches on the arm of such high-profile figures as Jack Benny. Amid servicing such commercial accounts as Maytag appliances, he continued to guide Gaynor’s career.

When the pair formed Green Isle Inc., Bean produced the “Mitzi Gaynor Show” theatrical act, booking it in theatres and public appearances throughout the country and later producing l0 multi-Emmy Award-winning musical specials starring Gaynor for NBC and CBS.

For the past several years, Bean has been producing the Mitzi Gaynor lecture series and personal appearance tours and was in the midst of developing a new act to tour the country.

In addition to Gaynor, Bean is survived by a daughter. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Professional Dancers Society, P.O. Box 15605, Beverly Hills, CA 90209.

More Film

  • 'The Dirt' Review: A Mötley Crüe

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Idris Elba Netflix 'Turn Up Charlie'

    Idris Elba in Talks to Join Andy Serkis in 'Mouse Guard'

    Idris Elba is in negotiations to join Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Fox’s fantasy-action movie “Mouse Guard” with “Maze Runner’s” Wes Ball directing. Fox is planning a live-action movie through performance capture technology employed in the “Planet of the Apes” films, in which Serkis starred as the ape leader Caesar. David Peterson created, wrote, [...]

  • Zac Efron Amanda Seyfried

    Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried Join Animated Scooby-Doo Film as Fred and Daphne

    Zac Efron has signed on to voice Fred Jones while Amanda Seyfried will voice Daphne Blake in Warner Bros.’ animated Scooby-Doo feature film “Scoob.” It was revealed earlier this month that Will Forte had been set to voice Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, while Gina Rodriguez would be voicing Velma Dinkley. The mystery-solving teens and their talking [...]

  • 'Staff Only' Review: Cultures And Values

    Film Review: 'Staff Only'

    Marta (Elena Andrada) is 17, from Barcelona and alternately bored and mortified to be on a Christmas vacation to Senegal with her estranged dad, Manel (Sergi López), and annoying little brother, Bruno (Ian Samsó). For her, the freedoms of imminent adulthood, such as the occasional poolside mojito, are tantalizing close but still technically forbidden, rather [...]

  • Rocketman

    Candid 'Rocketman' Dares to Show Elton John as 'Vulnerable,' 'Damaged,' 'Ugly'

    Elton John movie “Rocketman” dares to portray the singer’s personality early in his career to have been, at times, “ugly,” Taron Egerton – who plays the pop star – told an audience at London’s Abbey Road Studios Friday, following a screening of 15 minutes of footage from the film. It is a candid portrayal, showing [...]

  • Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck's Addiction Drama Set for Awards-Season Release

    Warner Bros. has given Ben Affleck’s untitled addiction drama an awards-season-friendly release date of Oct. 18. The film, which has been known previously as “The Has-Been” and “Torrance,” is directed by Gavin O’Connor and stars Affleck as a former basketball player struggling with addiction, which has led to him losing his wife. As part of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content