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Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: March 19, 1952 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Queens, New York, USA Profession: executive, producer, exhibitor, director, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A flamboyant, aggressive and often confrontational co-chairman who formed Miramax Films with his younger brother Bob, Harvey Weinstein became the darling distributor of the indie film world, ultimately emerging as one of the most powerful moguls in Hollywood. But with huge success came a reputation for rudeness and bullying, earning him a large share of detractors. Still, he was passionate about film and managed to shine a light on movies that otherwise would have been ignored. With Miramax, Weinstein distributed such art-house hits as "sex, lies, and videotape" (1989), "My Left Foot" (1989), "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" (1990) and "The Crying Game" (1992), the last being one of Miramax's first big hits. But it was Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" (1994) that cemented his place as a top studio head. He won his first Best Picture Oscar with "The English Patient" (1996) while joining forces with Disney, proving that he had as much business savvy as he did taste in film. During his partnership with Disney, Weinstein elevated his game with "Good Will Hunting" (1997), "Shakespeare in Love" (1998) and "In the Bedroom" (2001), all of which earned significant award recognition. But the venture with Disney...

A flamboyant, aggressive and often confrontational co-chairman who formed Miramax Films with his younger brother Bob, Harvey Weinstein became the darling distributor of the indie film world, ultimately emerging as one of the most powerful moguls in Hollywood. But with huge success came a reputation for rudeness and bullying, earning him a large share of detractors. Still, he was passionate about film and managed to shine a light on movies that otherwise would have been ignored. With Miramax, Weinstein distributed such art-house hits as "sex, lies, and videotape" (1989), "My Left Foot" (1989), "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" (1990) and "The Crying Game" (1992), the last being one of Miramax's first big hits. But it was Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" (1994) that cemented his place as a top studio head. He won his first Best Picture Oscar with "The English Patient" (1996) while joining forces with Disney, proving that he had as much business savvy as he did taste in film. During his partnership with Disney, Weinstein elevated his game with "Good Will Hunting" (1997), "Shakespeare in Love" (1998) and "In the Bedroom" (2001), all of which earned significant award recognition. But the venture with Disney dissolved in highly public fashion, leaving the Weinsteins without control over their former company. The brothers re-emerged with The Weinstein Co., which saw them on top of the heap once more with the Oscar-winning drama, "The King's Speech" (2010), proving that Weinstein also had that rare ability to mount a comeback.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Light Years (1988) Director (American Version)
2.
  Playing for Keeps (1986) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
3.
 I Think I Cannes (1999)
4.
 Burn, Hollywood, Burn (1997) Sam Rizzo
5.
 Forgotten Silver (1996) Himself
6.
 Cannes Man (1996) (Cameo Appearance)
7.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Produced rock concerts with his brother Bob Weinstein during college
:
Gained control of a movie theater; began putting on second- and third-run features costing $50-$100
1977:
Produced first feature, "White Rock"
1979:
Brothers journeyed to Cannes Film Festival with the proceeds from a music-producing business they ran in college; acquired rights to concert film "The Secret Policeman's Ball" and achieved art-house hit on double bill with "The Secret Policeman's Other Ball"
1979:
With brother Bob, founded Miramax Films, named for their parents Miriam and Max Weinstein
1986:
With brother Bob, co-directed first feature "Playing For Keeps"; also co-produced, co-scripted, and co-executive produced music
1987:
Directed the animated film "The Gnomes' Great Adventure"
1988:
Became partners with Samuel Montagu Ltd. (an investment concern), expanding Miramax
1990:
Miramax sued the Motion Picture Association of America over X rating given to Pedro Almodovar's "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!"; court dismissed case but the new rating NC-17 was instituted by MPAA
1991:
Added new releasing branch to Miramax, Prestige Films
1991:
Retained services of celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz to monitor the networks after ABC, CBS and NBC refused to run ads for "The Pope Must Die"
1992:
Offshoot Dimension Films formed by Bob Weinstein
1993:
Miramax purchased by Disney
1994:
Miramax released first blockbuster, Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction"
1996:
Signed seven-year deal with Disney
1996:
Miramax won first Best Picture Oscar with "The English Patient"
1997:
Made film acting debut in Arthur Hiller's " An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn"
1998:
Served as executive producer of the Oscar-winning "Shakespeare in Love"
1999:
Miramax signed eight-film agreement with MGM
1999:
Executive produced the Oscar-nominated "The Cider House Rules," directed by Lasse Hallstrom
2000:
Executive produced the box-office smash comedy spoof "Scary Movie"
2000:
Served as executive producer on "Bounce," starring Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow
2000:
Was an executive producer on "Chocolat," helmed by Lasse Hallstrom
2004:
Co-produced the hit Bravo reality series "Project Runway"
2005:
Miramax ended 12-year exclusive relationship with Disney for a settlement worth $135 million; the Weinsteins took Dimension Films, Miramax's genre label, with them to their new company
2006:
The Weinstein Company announced a distribution pact with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; MGM distributed the product domestically in theaters, while the Weinstein Company retained long-term ownership of their product
2010:
Executive produced the Oscar-winning "The King's Speech"
2012:
Hosted an election fundraiser for President Barack Obama at his Westport, CT home
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Education

University of Buffalo: Buffalo , New York -

Notes

Awarded an honorary doctorate from SUNY, Buffalo in 2000.

Made Chevalier de L'Ordre Arts et Lettres by the French government in 2001.

"In terms of his sense of how to run a studio and his incredible taste in the years when he was at MGM, I suppose the guy that I look to has always been Irving Thalberg. I guess David Selznick also, because he took wild risks like 'Gone with the Wind' and Alfred Hitchcock and worked very closely as a producer and filmmaker. On the marketing side, I admire Mike Todd, who produced 'Around the World in 80 Days.' During the depression, when he was a Broadway showman, he had a play that was a bomb with the critics. He hired a thousand people to stand in line every day of the week on Broadway, so people thought it was this massive hit. They were buying tickets that he couldn't give away, and then finally the show ran six months to a year just based on the stunt that he pulled. So I get a kick out of all three of them." --Harvey Weinstein, quoted in GQ, October 1995.

"Harried-looking aides stream in and out of Harvey's shoe-box office, looking like medical orderlies in 'ER,' delivering scripts, faxes, contracts and other random data. All this they heap onto Harvey's desk, which already is strewn with crumpled memos, abandoned coffee cups, an oversized ashtray filled with cigarette butts and a collection of over-the-counter remedies ranging from Mylanta to simple aspirin. While many top film executives arrive at their office looking like they were prepping for a GQ photo shoot, Harvey dresses for combat duty--indeed, he occasionally looks like a refugee from a food fight. Harvey is often described as pugnacious, but those who've made movies at Miramax testify to his passion for films and filmmakers--most of all, his passion for hits." --J Max Robins in Variety, January 28, 1996.

In order to promote the film "The Pope Must Die", Miramax eventually decided to retitle the tale of a corpulent pontiff "The Pope Must Diet". Some newspapers had been advertising the film as "The Pope Must..." while in Yugoslavia the movie was being sold as "Sleeping with the Fishes".

Referring to Miramax's plans to redistribute "The Long Walk Home" in the spring of 1991, Weinstein said, "This effort is for everybody who strikes out one time and needs another chance. And if Miramax means anything, its epitaph would be that this was the place that wasn't afraid to break the rules." --from The New York Times, March 20, 1991.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Eve Weinstein.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Max Weinstein.
mother:
Miriam Weinstein.
brother:
Bob Weinstein. Distributor, producer. Born in 1954; co-founded Miramax with Harvey.
daughter:
Lily Weinstein. Born c. 1994.
daughter:
Emma Weinstein.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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