Evans began at Paramount in 1967, at the age of 36, the youngest studio production boss at the time. During his tenure he revitalized 1970s cinema with such blockbusters as The Godfather, Love Story and as a producer of such classics as Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby.
While Evans had a staff that includes development exec Jay Sikura, Exec. Director of Development Melissa Prophet and executive assistant Michael Alfred, he has been working from his Woodland estate in Beverly Hills due to poor health. The last feature that Evans, 89, produced, was the 2003 Matthew McConaughey-Kate Hudson romantic comedy How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days which grossed more than $177 million at the global box office.
“Bob Evans has been an iconic part of the Paramount legacy for over half a century. His contributions to the studio and film industry have been innumerable, from Rosemary’s Baby to The Godfather, to Love Story, to name just a few,” a Paramount spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday. “Today we mark the end of our formal relationship with Bob as a producer, but his legacy will endure in our studio and in our hearts. There aren’t words to express our gratitude and reverence for the man whose name is synonymous with this company and the magic of movies. We’re proud to announce the dedication of the Robert Evans Screening Room, may many more generations of film lovers share his passion for great cinema. We wish him the very best.”
Evans started off selling women’s apparel with this brother. During a business trip, he was spotted by actress Norma Shearer who thought he’d be right to play the role of her late husband Irving Thalberg in Man of a Thousand Faces. An acting career flourished.
His 1994 memoir The Kid Stays In the Picture detailed candidly his rise and fall, and triumphs again in Hollywood. The title came from a line attributed to studio head Darryl F. Zanuck, who defended Evans after some of the actors involved in the film The Sun Also Rises (1957) suggested he be removed from the cast. The book was later turned into a 2002 documentary from Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen.
Evans also provided the voice-over and executive produced his own Comedy Central animated series, 2003’s Kid Notorious, which was a parody of his life.