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Roger Birnbaum

Roger Birnbaum

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Teaneck, New Jersey, USA Profession: executive, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This film industry executive, most recently the head of Caravan Pictures, was also for a time an executive vice president of 20th Century Fox, where he oversaw the production of such blockbusters as "Home Alone" and "Die Hard 2" (both 1990), "Hot Shots!" (1991) and "My Cousin Vinny" and "White Men Can't Jump" (both 1992). After spending five years as an executive in recording industry, Birnbaum expanded his horizons when he joined the Robert Stigwood Organization as special assistant to the chair. During his tenure, Stigwood produced both "Saturday Night Fever" (1977), the stage production of "Evita" (1978 in London; 1979 in the US), as well as successful albums for artists like Eric Clapton and the Bee Gees. Working in conjunction with Henry Winkler at Monument Pictures, Birnbaum produced the well-received "Young Sherlock Holmes" and "The Sure Thing" (both 1985). In his brief stints as president of the Guber/Peters Company (c. 1985-87) and later United Artists (c. 1987-88), his efforts helped realize a series of respected and generally popular productions including Barry Levinson's Oscar-winning "Rain Man", "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" and "Gorillas in the Mist" (all 1988) and Tim Burton's "Batman"...

This film industry executive, most recently the head of Caravan Pictures, was also for a time an executive vice president of 20th Century Fox, where he oversaw the production of such blockbusters as "Home Alone" and "Die Hard 2" (both 1990), "Hot Shots!" (1991) and "My Cousin Vinny" and "White Men Can't Jump" (both 1992). After spending five years as an executive in recording industry, Birnbaum expanded his horizons when he joined the Robert Stigwood Organization as special assistant to the chair. During his tenure, Stigwood produced both "Saturday Night Fever" (1977), the stage production of "Evita" (1978 in London; 1979 in the US), as well as successful albums for artists like Eric Clapton and the Bee Gees.

Working in conjunction with Henry Winkler at Monument Pictures, Birnbaum produced the well-received "Young Sherlock Holmes" and "The Sure Thing" (both 1985). In his brief stints as president of the Guber/Peters Company (c. 1985-87) and later United Artists (c. 1987-88), his efforts helped realize a series of respected and generally popular productions including Barry Levinson's Oscar-winning "Rain Man", "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" and "Gorillas in the Mist" (all 1988) and Tim Burton's "Batman" (1989). Joining Fox in 1988, Birnbaum established an amicable working relationship with chairman Joe Roth which led to a 1991 promotion increasing his interaction with marketing, video and international affairs.

In 1993, Roth left Fox to form Caravan Pictures, an independent producing company headquartered at Disney. Birnbaum was a salaried producer until Roth became chairman of Disney in 1993, when Birnbaum became Caravan's head. Caravan's first release was the indifferently-received remake of "The Three Musketeers" (1993), but the company has remained active, turning out films ranging from the Sandra Bullock vehicle "While You Were Sleeping" and "Powder" (both 1995) and the Fran Drescher comedy "The Beautician and the Beast" (1997). Other 'Caravans' have included "Angels in the Outfield" (1994), Jeremiah Chechik's "Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventures of Pecos Bill" (1995), "Celtic Pride" (1996) the unsuccessful Eddie Murphy action comedy, "Metro" and the John Cusack vehicle "Grosse Point Blank" (both 1997). Also that year, Birnbaum produced the kid comedy "Rocket Man" and Ridley Scott's "In Pursuit of Honor", with Demi Moore as an army recruit.

Birnbaum also worked in TV, beginning with Henry Winkler's Fair Dinkum Productions, which produced the medical series "Ryan's Four" (ABC, 1983), the TV- movie "When Your Lover Leaves" (NBC, 1983), the teen drinking cautionary tale "All the Kids Do It" (CBS, 1984), the PBS "Wonderworks" special "Happily Ever After" (PBS, 1985) and "Scandal Sheet" (ABC, 1985). With Guber/Peters, Birnbaum co- produced the thriller "Bay Coven" (NBC, 1987), thereafter abandoning TV for his film career. He was seen on the small screen, however, as an interviewee on "Naked Hollywood" (A&E, 1991).

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CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

1973:
Served as vice president, artists and repertoire, A&M Records
:
Worked as senior vice president, artists and repertoire, Arista Records; produced records and scouted new acts
:
Became special assistant to the chairman of the board of the Robert Stigwood Organization
:
Partnered with Henry Winkler at Monument Pictures; held position of president
:
Was president of Guber/Peters Co.
:
Served as president of production for United Artists
1988:
Appointed president of worldwide production of 20th Century Fox in October
1991:
Renewed contract with Fox; given added corporate title of executive vice president
1993:
Joined Joe Roth's new Caravan Pictures, headquartered at Disney
1994:
Became head of Caravan, renegotiating five-year deal with Disney (November)
1995:
Served as producer for the romantic comedy feature "While You Were Sleeping"
1996:
Produced the thriller feature "The Rich Man's Wife," which starred Halle Berry
1997:
Served as executive producer of the romantic comedy "The Beauty And The Beast"
1998:
Produced the blockbuster hit "Rush Hour," which co-starred Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker
2000:
Served as executive producer to M. Night Shyamalan's thriller feature "Unbreakable"
2001:
Returned as producer to Brett Ratner's "Rush Hour 2"
2002:
Produced the thriller feature "Abandon," Stephen Gaghan's directorial debut
2003:
Produced "Seabiscuit," directed by Gary Ross
2005:
Produced the Rob Marshall directed "Memoirs of a Geisha," based on the best-selling novel of the same name
2007:
Produced the thriller, "The Lookout"; directed by Scott Frank
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Education

University of Denver: Denver , Colorado -

Notes

"I came to the conclusion years ago that if I could become the king of Hollywood, on the day I leave, no one would really care. So why invest a lot of myself in something that's relatively exploitative?" --Roger Birnbaum

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Pamela Birnbaum. Married c. 1985.

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