Bernard was born in 1927, and grew up in Chicago. He attended University of Wisconsin, and after graduation moved to New York City to become a band leader and then a publicist. As a publicist, he worked with Billie Holiday, Stanley Kramer, Louis B. Mayer, David Selznick and Ben Hecht, among others.
Bernard would begin his career as a producer in 1967 with the Elvis Presley musical film “Double Trouble.” While working on the film as a co-producer, he met Patricia Casey, who served an assistant on the film. He and Casey married shortly afterwards and moved to London together. The two worked together as producers on multiple projects, including “The Man Who Had Power Over Woman,” “Fade In” and Bernard’s final film credit, 1989’s “Blood Red.”
Bernard’s most famous film was the 1967 crime drama “Point Blank,” which stars Lee Marvin as a career criminal attempting to pull off a robbery of a major criminal organization on Alcatraz Island. Directed by John Boorman, the film is recognized today as a classic and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2016. Bernard also produced films such as “Blue,” “Negatives” and “Enter the Ninja.” In addition to his work as a producer, Bernard also wrote the screenplays for several films, including “The Marseille Contract,” a thriller starring Michael Caine, as well as 1975’s “Inside Out” and “The Class of Miss MacMichael.”
Bernard was a long-serving member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, working particularly extensively in the Academy’s foreign film committee.
Bernard is survived by his wife Casey, children Michael Bernard and Alicia Richards, and his grandchildren Tallulah, Callum, Eli and Leila. He is predeceased by his daughter Adrianna Bernard, who died in 1994.