UPDATED with memorial service details: Longtime producer John Heyman died this morning in New York at age 84. We are trying to get more information, but believe that his wife Nizza was by his side, and he passed away in his sleep. Heyman, who was getting active again in raising funds to finance movies, had been in and out of the hospital in recent weeks. He is remembered as a prolific producer and for a time the agent of Elizabeth Taylor and other stars. He’s also the father of David Heyman, the Warner Bros-based producer of the Harry Potter films.
Over a long career, John Heyman produced more than 15 films and co-financed over 100 of them. His producing resume includes The Go-Between and The Hireling, both of which won the Grand Prix prize at Cannes. He also co-produced what was for its time the longest-running Hamlet in Broadway history, with Richard Burton starring and John Gielgud directing. He also produced with Burton and Taylor the 1968 film Boom!
Heyman began in the business by forming The International Artists Agency, with clients that included Taylor, Burton, Richard Harris, Laurence Harvey, Trevor Howard, Shirley Bassey and Burt Bacharach.
Heyman is also remembered for his crafty work raising funding for films. That ranged from his efforts to fill in a funding gap when financing fell out on Warren Beatty’s film Reds to hammering out the template for the structured financing of films. He raised around $4 billion has been provided to co-finance more than 150 films and television programs including Awakenings, Black Rain, Chinatown, Edward Scissorhands, Grease, Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan, Heaven Can Wait, Home Alone, Looking For Mr Goodbar, The Man Who Would Be King, Marathon Man, The Odessa File, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Saturday Night Fever, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Trail Of The Pink Panther, and Victor Victoria.
Heyman also co-founded Island World in 1990, a company that produced such films as The Cure, Eddie, Juice, The Sandlot, Toy Soldiers, Airheads, and The War. The company was sold to Polygram in 1994, and Heyman retained control of the London TV production company World Productions Limited, an active producer of TV programming.
A funeral service will be Sunday, June 11 at 9:30 AM at Riverside Memorial Chapel at 180 West 76th Street & Amsterdam in Manhattan, with a caravan then heading to the Sharon Gardens Cemetery in Valhalla, NY.