Producer, indie film champion Samuel Goldwyn Jr. dies at 88

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Samuel Goldwyn Jr., a champion of the independent film movement and son to one of the founding fathers of Hollywood cinema, has died. He was 88.

Goldwyn died Friday night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said family friend A. Scott Berg, the author of a biography on Goldwyn’s father.

Goldwyn produced low-budget hits like “Mystic Pizza” starring Julia Roberts and “Cotton Comes to Harlem” in the 1970s and 1980s. His company was one of the largest indie film operations. As a producer, he was nominated for a best picture Academy Award in 2004 for “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.” His final production credit was for “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” in 2013.

Goldwyn’s father was one of the founders of Paramount Studios and his production company became part of one Hollywood’s largest studios, MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). The Hollywood dynasty extends to the third generation: Goldwyn’s son John was vice chairman of Paramount Pictures, and another son, actor Tony Goldwyn, stars in the ABC drama “Scandal.”

In 1986, Goldwyn told the Los Angeles Times his goal was to appeal to sophisticated movie lovers.

“I was brought up in a tradition of patience,” Goldwyn said. “My father never made films that were instantaneous hits. ‘Wuthering Heights’ was not a success the first time around. Neither was ‘Best Years of Our Lives.’ They had to be nursed …. Basically, he was always waiting.”

Besides John and Tony, he is survived by a two other sons, Peter and Francis; two daughters, Catherine Goldwyn and Elizabeth Goldwyn; and his third wife, Patricia Strawn.

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