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Steve Golin, Prolific Producer and Founder of Anonymous Content, Dies at 64

Steve Golin, an Oscar-winning producer who was founder and CEO of Anonymous Content, died Sunday in Los Angeles of cancer. He was 64.

Golin was a pioneer in blending the business of talent management with production. Anonymous Content, which Golin founded in 1999, worked with a stable of big name artists such as Steven Soderbergh, Emma Stone, Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Alfonso Cuaron, and Cary Fukunaga to shepherd such movies and TV series as “Spotlight,” “The Revenant,” “13 Reasons Why,” HBO’s “True Detective” and “The Knick” and USA’s “Mr. Robot.” He was an executive producer on the upcoming series “Catch-22.”

“As a prolific producer of film and television, Steve Golin was a man of impeccable taste and unmatched instincts,’ HBO said in a statement. “Those of us at HBO fortunate enough to have worked with him, also knew him as a true gentleman and a superb partner. We are deeply saddened by this loss.”

In a statement, the partners at Anonymous said, “The partners of Anonymous Content said, “We are devastated by Steve’s passing. He was a trailblazer in the industry, a devoted colleague, a remarkable leader and a truly kind man. He was a rare individual who encompassed intense creativity with a keen business mind. Above all, Steve showed us the power of kindness and generosity. His compassion was unparalleled. He led by example and inspired each and every one of us to be better. In his life and in his work, Steve created a family – he meant the world to many of us, and will leave a lasting impression on our lives. Together, we will continue to build upon the immense legacy Steve has left us.”

Anonymous had the good fortune of emerging at a time when an arms race between broadcast channels, cable networks, and streaming service created an intense demand for high quality content. Dubbed the “peak TV” era, it corresponded with a willingness by media companies to back attention-grabbing shows and limited series that took creative risks.

“What we don’t like is going around to networks and getting development deals,” Golin told Variety in 2015. “We would much rather find a piece of material, hire the writer, develop it and package it the way we like it, and figure out what broadcaster out there likes what we have developed.”

Golin had a strong eye for talent. Prior to founding Anonymous Content, Golin created Propaganda Films, a talent management, advertising and production company that helped launch the careers of Spike Jonze and Michael Bay. He sold Propaganda to Polygram and exited the company when Polygram was in turn sold to Seagram in 1998.

Golin earned Oscar nominations for producing “Babel” and “The Revenant,” and won the Academy Award for Best Picture for “Spotlight.” At Propaganda, he shepherded creatively daring projects such as  “Being John Malkovich,” “Lost Highway” and “Kill Me Again.” Later he oversaw films including “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and “Boy Erased” as well as the rare commercial and critical misstep like the WikiLeaks drama “The Fifth Estate.” In a 2014 interview with Variety, Golin said he had learned to be sanguine about the fates of the projects that he helped bring to the wider public.

“You’re going to have your successes and failures, and to try to realize that it’s all about doing what you believe in and hard work, and when a movie’s not a success you kind of just have to dust yourself off, get up and go again, because there’s no logic to it,” he said. “Nobody sets out to make a bad movie or bad TV show. We all set out to do great work.”

Survivors include a son and a daughter.

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