Legendary Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub, age 77, died on Monday in Santa Barbara, California, due to heart failure. As word of his death spread, celebrities and Hollywood stars paid tribute on social media to the producer’s incredible five-decade career.
The producer celebrated Independence Day at the Biltmore Hotel in Montecito, California, and later fell ill. Unfortunately, two heart attacks caused his death, family sources told TMZ.
New York-born Weintraub was best known for the Hollywood films he produced, such as “Diner” and “The Karate Kid.” He was also in charge of “Ocean’s Eleven” and its sequels, which starred Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon.
Weintraub's career began in the 1950s as a talent agent for MCA. He managed musicals and later represented talents such as Dolly Parton, Frank Sinatra, Jack Paar, Neil Diamond and John Denver. He also became a leading concert promoter, handling performances by Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan.
His career spanned more than 50 years, and he attributed his success to his courageous spirit. "I'm not afraid of anything," Weintraub once told National Public Radio. "I'm never afraid of failing. I failed many times. Failure only teaches you how to be successful next time."
Former President George W. Bush described Weintraub as an “American original.” George Clooney also paid tribute: "We'll laugh at his great stories, and applaud his accomplishments. 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," Clooney told E! News.
Before landing a position in Warner Bros., Weinstraub led United Artists but left the company to start his own production team, Weintraub Entertainment Group. Throughout his career, he received many titles and awards, including three primetime Emmy Awards.