Samuel Goldwyn Jr., film executive and heir to a Hollywood dynasty, has died at 88. Goldwyn was born in Los Angeles Sept. 7, 1926, to Samuel Goldwyn, a film entrepreneur, and actress Frances Howard.
Goldwyn died Friday of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Los Angeles, his son, former Paramount Pictures chief John Goldwyn told The New York Times.
Goldwyn served in the military during World War II and was married three times. He worked as a theatrical producer in London and then went on to work at CBS in New York. He had six children, including son Tony Goldwyn, 54, who starred in 2009 horror film “The Last House on the Left” and currently plays president of the United States Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III on ABC drama “Scandal.” Samuel Goldwyn had 10 grandchildren.
In 1979, Goldwyn founded Samuel Goldwyn Co., which established a successful business model for indie productions by taking advantage of low budgets and guerilla marketing tactics. He was also known for vouching for less experienced directors with potential, such as Ang Lee and Kenneth Branagh.
In 2003, Goldwyn received a best picture Oscar nomination for “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” which starred Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. His last producing credit was 2013's “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” starring Ben Stiller.
"Sam is very old school,” Tom Rothman, president of Sony’s TriStar Pictures and the former chairman of 20th Century Fox, told The New York Times in 2004. “He doesn't trade on his father’s name. He comes from an era when producers made genuine aesthetic judgments and not just deals.”
Goldwyn is also known for films such as “Cotton Comes to Harlem,” “Mystic Pizza,” “The Preacher’s Wife” and “Tortilla Soup.”