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Also Known As: Died:
Born: June 2, 1945 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Van Nuys, California, USA Profession: producer, personal manager, hairdresser, beauty-parlor owner

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Once described as a hustler who latched on to fame for his own purposes, former hairdresser-turned-movie producer Jon Peters undoubtedly left an indelible mark on Hollywood for better or worse. For most people he came across, however, Peters left an unmistakably negative impression thanks to his unrelenting ability to use others for his own needs. He also possessed a titanic temper, a huge appetite for sex and drugs, and the insatiable desire to boast about everything from his wealth to all the famous women he had bedded; he even claimed that the characters in "Shampoo" (1975) and "American Gigolo" (1980) were modeled after him despite the filmmakers claiming otherwise. Peters broke into the producing game after establishing himself as a top Hollywood hairdresser with four salons and exclusive clientele, some of whom became his romantic partners. His entry into show business came via Barbra Streisand, for whom he designed a wig and later becoming her business manager and lover. After landing a big hit his first time out with "A Star Is Born" (1976), the pair were seemingly attached by the hip, with Peters doing just about everything from producing albums to marketing Streisand's image, all in an...

Once described as a hustler who latched on to fame for his own purposes, former hairdresser-turned-movie producer Jon Peters undoubtedly left an indelible mark on Hollywood for better or worse. For most people he came across, however, Peters left an unmistakably negative impression thanks to his unrelenting ability to use others for his own needs. He also possessed a titanic temper, a huge appetite for sex and drugs, and the insatiable desire to boast about everything from his wealth to all the famous women he had bedded; he even claimed that the characters in "Shampoo" (1975) and "American Gigolo" (1980) were modeled after him despite the filmmakers claiming otherwise. Peters broke into the producing game after establishing himself as a top Hollywood hairdresser with four salons and exclusive clientele, some of whom became his romantic partners. His entry into show business came via Barbra Streisand, for whom he designed a wig and later becoming her business manager and lover. After landing a big hit his first time out with "A Star Is Born" (1976), the pair were seemingly attached by the hip, with Peters doing just about everything from producing albums to marketing Streisand's image, all in an attempt to transform her career while establishing his own. Once the couple split some time in the early 1980s - though they remained friendly - Peters formed another, albeit different partnership with buttoned-up, but no less ambitious producer Peter Guber. Representing the yin and yang of both of their personalities and professional drive, the duo churned out a series of commercial and critical hits throughout the decade, including "Flashdance" (1983), "The Color Purple" (1985), "The Witches of Eastwick" (1987), "Rain Man" (1988) and "Batman" (1989). Based on that track record, Sony hired Peters and Guber after their acquisition of Columbia Pictures and installed the pair as co-studio heads, only to force Peters out a year later because of his throat-grabbing style and profligate spending. Once on his own, Peters' career hit a long, precipitous slide that saw few hits and the potential for a blizzard of lawsuits for his kiss-and-tell-all book plans, proving that even the mightiest Hollywood titans can fall into disgrace.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Sheena (1984) Black Beret
2.
 Parole (1982) Doorman
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Van Nuys, CA in the San Fernando Valley
1956:
Rode a donkey as one of Cecil B De Mille's cast of thousands in "The Ten Commandments"
:
Went to work in a hairstyling shop at age 14
:
Opened his own string of beauty salons
1974:
Break came when he styled a wig for Barbra Streisand, receiving first feature credit for "wig design" on "For Pete's Sake"
:
Became Streisand's personal manager
1976:
Produced first feature film, "A Star is Born"; considered casting himself in the Kris Kristofferson role until his pitiful, off-key warbling convinced him to reconsider
1979:
Co-produced (with Streisand) "The Main Event"
1980:
Formed Jon Peters Organization
1980:
Joined with Peter Guber to become co-owner and co-managing director of Polygram Pictures
1980:
Formed the Boardwalk Co with Guber and Neil Bogart
1981:
Boardwalk dissolved
1982:
Guber and Peters sold Polygram and formed the Guber-Peters Company
1987:
Guber-Peters Company merged with (Chuck) Barris Industries forming Guber-Peters-Barris Productions; Peters crowed "We're a real studio now" to the LOS ANGELES TIMES (company renamed Guber-Peters Entertainment Company--GPEC--after Australian shopping mall and TV magnate Frank Lowy bought out Barris)
1989:
Sony purchased Columbia Pictures and at great expense ($800 million to buy Peters and Guber out of their contract with Warner Bros) installed him and Guber as co-heads of the studio at $2.75 million a piece per year
1991:
Resigned (really forced out by Guber and Sony) as co-chair of Columbia Pictures Entertainment and severed all ties with GPEC; continued affiliation with Columbia through his own production company (film, music and TV)
1995:
First producing credit post-Guber, "Money Train"
1999:
Produced "The Wild Wild West", directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Will Smith, Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline; Robert Conrad, star of the 1960s CBS-TV series source material also appeared
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

"He will definitely tell you how much money he has. Like Sylvester Stallone, he's very working class gone rich, with his paintings and possessions. He'll invite you to ogle a wretched, billboard-size Picasso and say, 'Irwin Winkler has one that's only five by twelve.' With Peters and Stallone, it's on the level of 'See how big mine is.'" --a literary agent quoted in US, February 21, 1991

About the filming of "The Witches of Eastwick": "I don't know if he [Peter Guber] actually did anything. Jon Peters at least would scream and yell, and you'd know what he was thinking . . . You never knew what was going on with Guber. I mean, he would just smile." --Cher in VANITY FAIR, June 1996

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Lesley Ann Warren. Actor. Married in 1967; divorced in 1975; mother of Peters' son Christopher.
companion:
Barbra Streisand. Singer, actor. Met in 1974 when he styled a wig for her; became her personal manager and later produced the remake of "A Star Is Born"; godmother to Peters' two daughters.
wife:
Christine Forsyth. Architectural designer, producer. Married in 1987; divorced in 1988.
companion:
Kim Basinger. Actor. Relationship lasted the duration of the "Batman" shoot.
companion:
Vendela. Model. Became engaged in July 1993; no longer together.
companion:
Catherine Zeta-Jones. Actor. Reportedly turned down Peters' marriage proposal; no longer together.
companion:
Mindy Williamson. Real estate broker. Dating in 1996.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jack Peters. Cook. Of Cherokee descent; owned a diner in Hollywood; dropped dead of a heart attack when Peters was 10.
son:
Christopher Peters. Born on September 23, 1968; mother, Lesley Ann Warren.
daughter:
Caleigh Peters. Mother, Christine Peters.
daughter:
Skye Peters. Mother, Christine Peters.
son:
Jordan Peters.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood" Simon & Schuster

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