Jerry Weintraub, Legendary Producer of ‘Karate Kid’, ‘Ocean’s’ Movies, Dies

Jerry Weintraub, true baller and someone who got s**t done in Hollywood, passed away last night. If you don’t know this dude, read his book, When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man. You’ll learn some real chutzpah and what it takes to have big balls and survive in Hollywood.

TMZ reports “…Weintraub’s been in failing health recently, and had been at his Palm Springs home with family — but it’s still unclear what caused his death.” Weintraub was only 77. Too young.

He got his start booking shows and his first big client was Elvis Presley. One story he tells is of him cold calling Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Parker, every day for a year straight just to book Presley’s tour. Finally, Parker relented on one condition: show up with a check for a million dollars at a Vegas roulette table the next morning. And Weintraub did.

Weintraub moved from putting on shows for Presley, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra and the Beach Boys, to making movies with Brad Pitt and George Clooney. He did the Ocean’s Eleven movies, all the Karate Kid films, Vegas Vacation with Chevy Chase and became the first ever producer to get his hands cemented in what’s now known as TCL Chinese Theatre.

If you’re an actor, writer, producer, director or any creative type in Hollywood, Weintraub has a piece of advice for you, as told to Vanity Fair:

“I love my work, so it actually feels more like fun. I am lucky enough to speak with some of the most interesting and creative people in the world,” he wrote. Weintraub ultimately concluded, “Every day has moments of perfection because, when you’re living your dream, every day feels perfect.”

George Clooney already released a statement celebrating Weintraub.

“In the coming days there will be tributes, about our friend Jerry Weintraub,” Clooney said in a statement obtained by E! News. “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. 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.”

The Hollywood Reporter has a huge rundown of his life, and what the hell, do they write these obituaries ahead of time? Weintraub’s latest project was a new Tarzan movie. It’s in post-production and the cast sounds pretty amazing: Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson and Alexander Skarsgård. We assume Jackson does not play Tarzan?…

Without this guy, there’d be no Karate Kid, no wax on, no wax off, and we’d never have one of the greatest workout songs ever.

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