Producer David Brown’s credits read like a history of modern Hollywood and include Oscar-winning hits such as “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Jaws,” “Cocoon” and classics such as “The Sugarland Express,” “A Few Good Men” and “The Verdict.” Brown watched Peter Bart move from reporting on Hollywood for the New York Times to helping run Hollywood at Paramount Pictures and decades later back to reporting on show business at Variety. Here’s the box score on Bart from one of the best seats in the house:
“I brought Bob Evans to Hollywood. Peter was his literary arm. Bob rarely read as much as Peter did. Peter was not on the negotiating side, he was on the creative side. He’s the same person.
“As a journalist, he is first-rate. In a business that frequently depends on advertising, it can be costly for a journalist to be frank. This business tends to cover up its defects, but Peter doesn’t. Peter is his own man.
“His view of Hollywood is quite jaundiced. He’s not cynical, but he is objective and he has a long view of Hollywood. Many reporters know the business, but sometimes the nuances elude them. Peter has a good grasp of the financial underpinnings of the business.
“He is just a great person and in a very wicked world.”
— As told to Robert Hofler & Steven Gaydos