You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jerry Weintraub Dies: George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Ralph Macchio React

Legendary producer Jerry Weintraub, best know for “The Karate Kid,” “Nashville” and “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise, died on Monday at 77.

The three-time Emmy winner’s most recent project was exec producing the HBO political comedy “The Brink.”

George Clooney was among the actors who paid tribute to his “Ocean’s Eleven” producer.

“In the coming days there will be tributes about our friend Jerry Weintraub. We’ll laugh at his great stories, and applaud his accomplishments,” Clooney said in a statement. “And in the years to come the stories and accomplishments will get better with age, just as Jerry would have wanted it. But not today. Today our friend died. To his family and friends, Amal and I send our love. And to those who didn’t know him we send our deepest sympathy. You would have loved him.”

Brad Pitt mirrored Clooney’s sentiments.

“He was an absolute original,” Pitt said. “I loved him and will genuinely miss him.”

Clooney and Pitt’s “Ocean’s Eleven” co-star Don Cheadle also honored the producer.

“Jerry was to me equal parts Godfather, rainmaker, caretaker, PT Barnum and friend,” he said. “I am happier for having known him. He will be sorely missed.”

Meanwhile, HBO execs Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo said Weintraub’s death has left a “great hole.”

“Jerry was part of our family and we are devastated by his passing. He was not only an incredibly gifted producer but a singular life force. He made everything we did together a joy. There is a great hole left without him.”

And Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara issued a statement: “Jerry Weintraub was the consummate producer. He was creative, driven and could make projects come together like nobody else in the business. Warner Bros. was fortunate to have a relationship with Jerry for almost four decades, including several projects currently in production.  He was a true original and he will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones.”

Dan Fellman, longtime domestic distribution chief at Warner Bros., called Weintraub “a true original,” pointing to the successes in the disparate fields of Broadway producer, music manager, film and TV producer and author.

“I’ll miss my dear friend. My heart goes out to his family.”

“He had success in every facet of our industry. He was quite a unique character. He was a great friend personally and a great friend to the business. Jerry had a great passion for the whole industry and is a great part of our history at the studio.”

Justin Hayward, lead singer of the Moody Blues, whom Weintraub managed in the ’70s, said he will forever treasure the moments the two shared together.

“I was proud to be part of Jerry Weintraub’s amazing life and I treasure every moment I had with him,” Hayward said. “He was on our side always and his passing leaves the world, and show business, with one true legend less.”

See More: Legendary Producer Jerry Weintraub Dies at 77

Meanwhile, “Karate Kid” star Ralph Macchio and director William Friedkin took to Twitter to remember Weintraub. Friedkin helmed the 1980 Al Pacino crime drama “Cruising,” which Weintraub produced.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Aaron Janus Lionsgate

    Lionsgate Hires 'A Quiet Place' Producer Aaron Janus as Senior VP of Production

    Lionsgate has hired Aaron Janus as its new senior vice president of production and promoted Meredith Wieck to the post of vice president of production.  Prior to Lionsgate, Janus served as Platinum Dunes’ head of development, where he oversaw filmmakers Brad Fuller, Andrew Form and Michael Bane. There, he brought in “A Quiet Place,” on [...]

  • Ang Lee Reveals First Look at

    Ang Lee on 'Gemini Man' and De-Aging Will Smith

    On paper, Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man” is a standard-issue, shoot ’em up with Will Smith playing a deadly assassin who must battle a younger clone of himself. The explosions and gun battles aren’t what drew Lee to the project, even if they’re the reason that most people will show up at theaters when it opens [...]

  • Hopper Reserve

    Dennis Hopper's Dying Wish: His Own Strain of Marijuana

    Even as celebrity brands are starting to flood the emerging Cannabis market, Hopper Reserve stands out. The brand was launched by Marin Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s daughter from his marriage to Brooke Hayward. Hopper Reserve is a gram of California indoor-grown flower, two packs of rolling papers, a pair of matches and a trading card either [...]

  • Sean Clarke Aardman Staff Photography Bristol.Pic

    Aardman Appoints Sean Clarke as New Managing Director

    Aardman, the Oscar-winning animation studio behind “Chicken Run” and “Early Man,” has appointed Sean Clarke as its new managing director, replacing co-founder David Sproxton, who is stepping down after 43 years. Clarke has worked at the British studio for more than 20 years, including heading the international rights and marketing department for over a decade. [...]

  • The Antenna

    Toronto Film Review: 'The Antenna'

    Jump scares, creepy noises and the tease of hidden-from-view dangers are all fine. But a truly frightening horror film unsettles with more than its crafts, but instead through the vulnerability of defenseless people stuck with bad options only. First-time writer-director Orçun Behram’s highly stylized and mildly disturbing “The Antenna,” a metaphor on Turkey’s current ruling [...]

  • Ad Astra Box Office

    Box Office Battle: 'Ad Astra' Takes on 'Rambo: Last Blood' and 'Downton Abbey'

    “Hustlers” and “Good Boys” proved that even in the age of Marvel dominance and remake mania, movies that don’t exist within an established franchise can still be box office draws. Can “Ad Astra” continue that trend? The space drama — starring Brad Pitt and directed by James Gray — arrives on the big screen this [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein Accuser Lucia Evans Breaks

    Harvey Weinstein Accuser Lucia Evans Breaks Silence After D.A. Dropped Charge

    Lucia Evans gave a wrenching account on Tuesday of her efforts to hold Harvey Weinstein responsible for sexual assault, saying she felt betrayed after the Manhattan D.A.’s office dropped her allegations last year. Evans spoke to Variety after giving a speech at a conference on influencer fraud in Manhattan, making her first public comments on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content