Happy birthday Bob Evans!

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Robert Evans (born June 29, 1930) is an American Hollywood film producer. His best known films are Rosemary's Baby (1968), Love Story (1970), The Godfather (1972), and Chinatown (1974).

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Evans was born Robert J. Shapera in New York City to Florence and Archie Shapera. His mother came from a wealthy family and his father was a dentist in Harlem. He spent the first years of his career doing voice work and other promotional work. (Image source)

In 1956, he was discovered by actress Norma Shearer. Soon, he played the parts of her deceased husband, Irving Thalberg, in Man of a Thousand Faces. He went on to appear in the film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises (1956) and The Best of Everything (1959).

But not long after, Evans saw his own acting deficiencies and moved toward producing. Evans was aggressive—he saw the opportunity to buy the rights to adapt the 1966 novel, The Detective, and he snagged them. He then got Frank Sinatra, Lee Remick, Jack Klugman, Robert Duvall and Jacqueline Bisset to star in it and released the film in 1968.

 

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When the media conglomerate Gulf & Western reorganized Paramount pictures, Charles Bluhdorn hired Evans as head of production. During his time there, Evans ushered Paramount back into a top slot with such films as Barefoot in the Park (1967), The Odd Couple (1968), Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Italian Job (1969), True Grit (1969), Love Story (1970), Harold and Maude (1971), The Godfather (1972), Serpico (1973), Save the Tiger (1973), The Conversation 1974), and The Great Gatsby (1974).

 

 

 

 

Realizing that he wanted more independence, he renegotiated his contract with Paramount before leaving entirely to pursue his own enterprises. He went on to produce many films on his own including Chinatown (1974), Marathon Man (1976), Black Sunday (1977), Urban Cowboy (1980), The Cotton Club (1984), The Two Jakes (1990), and many others.

Evans' own likeness has frequently been portrayed or spoofed in various films and television including in the Orson Welles film, The Other Side of the Wind (unfinished). He also lends his home for scenes depicting the character Bob Ryan in the television series Entourage, who is based on Evans.

Evans continues to produce, but currently appears mostly on his Sirius XM talk show, In Bed with Bob Evans.

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Sunday, 29 June 2014
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