If something has taken the life of Robert Evans that was developed at the height of his passion film. The legendary producer and director of Paramount, a character made to himself, had an existence of cinema, a carousel of love -she was married seven times-and, of farewells and comebacks professional, imitators who did not own their talent. If someone wanted to look like Evans, was another Hollywood legend, producer Irving G. Thalberg, which led MGM when it came to the sound to the film, and who died with only 37 years leaving a footprint perennial in the film. Evans has lived quite a bit more: the filmmaker died Saturday at 89 years of age after an unfortunate (and short) career as an actor and long curriculum of movies and the fascinating vicissitudes of personal and professional: as an example, it has been the only directors in Hollywood who starred in her own animated cartoon series.


“it takes Me three years to produce a film” In the navel of the film

The godfather, urban Cowboy, Catch-22, Love Story, Marathon Man, Chinatown, The great Gatsby, The seed of the devil… In all of them in a greater or lesser extent participated Robert Evans, who many times pointed out some of the more in your curriculum. In 1976, in Madrid, during the promotion of ‘Marathon Man’, he responded to THE COUNTRY: “The main and practically the only quality of a producer must be instinct, the sense that you’re going to like the public. I make films for people to be entertained for two hours. I’m an animator, not a teacher.” And claimed: “My intention is to return to classic mode. The current producers only think in money, in return. For them film is a business. Are you able to produce four or five films a year. It takes me three years to produce a single movie, but I’m fully dedicated to it”. Something that was not exactly true.

Robert Evans was born Robert Shapera in New York city in 1930. Before the age of 18 had already been involved in hundreds of works by radio, and in some works on film and television. Because of a lung disease he spent a year in bed, and when he returned to showbusiness, he realized that he had left behind, and so he reinvented himself as a traveling salesman and founded, with his brother Charles, the company of women’s dress Evan-Picone. Until one day he crossed in the swimming pool of the Beverly Hills hotel with Norma Shearer, actress and widow of Irving G. Thalberg, who convinced him to embody in a movie her husband, the producer. So it happened in The man of a thousand faces (1957), which was followed by his participation as a bullfighter in Fiesta, the adaptation of the text by Hemingway. In that shooting, the actors asked the producer, another legend of classic Hollywood, Darryl Zanuck to fire Evans. Zanuck stopped the protest with a telegram in which one could read: “The kid stays in the picture”. With that phrase, decades later, Evans titularía his autobiography in 1994, and so would be called originally the documentary in 2002, which recount his career, which in Spain was baptized as The guy who conquered Hollywood.

expand photo Robert Evans, at the opening of an exhibition of photographs of Helmut Newton in Los Angeles in 2013. Richard Shotwell, AP

But it was clear that the action was not his thing. Evans returned to his company, Evan-Picone, made it grow and was sold to Revlon for $ 2 million. Decided to buy the rights to the novel The detective, put it on Fox, which then was presided over by Zanuck, and he returned to the cinema. With its ease for public relations, became a friend of Charles Bluhdorn, owner of Gulf & Western, the company that owns your time of Paramount, which bordered on bankruptcy. Bluhdorn decided to bring the neophyte, and in 1966 he was appointed vice president in charge of production. Thus came The legend of the city without a name, Darling Lili, Catch-22, Chinatown, Value of law, the first two Godfathers, Marathon Man, The seed of the devil… “The peacock playboy Paramount”, Life magazine called them in a long report in 1969.

Evans mixed the professional with the personal: his third wife was Ali MacGrawn, whom he met in Love Story, and who left him for Steve McQueen in the filming of The flight. Collided with Coppola in The godfather -but then repeated in Cotton Club-and began her cocaine dependence. Womanizer unrepentant, his housekeeper, wrote to him on pieces of paper hidden under cups the names of the girls he had slept the night before, and with whom he was at that moment having breakfast. When Paramount changed owners, Evans signed a multi-million dollar settlement of outsourcing of production, unparalleled in the industry. His first work in that regime, which was led from its offices in Beverly Hills, the complex Woodland-which had belonged to Greta Garbo – was Chinatown (1974), rewarded with 11 oscars. Followed Popeye’s or Cowboys of the city.

So began their decline -came to pass by the courts, which condemned him for possession of cocaine – and Cotton Club (1984), a film that absorbed more than 50 million dollars, was his tomb. In the nineties he returned to Paramount, with products that are more commercial such as Sliver (Harassed), Jade, The Phantom, or The Holy, which coincided in time with the publication of his memoirs, The Kid Stays In The Picture, in which it hid none of their defects. But their time had ended.

Evans still met another resurrection. When his autobiography became a documentary sensational, The boy who conquered Hollywood (2002), your name regained part of its popularity, and even a series of cartoons with his adventures: Kid Notorious (2003), which coincided with his last credit as a producer: How to lose a guy in ten days. He continued to develop projects for Paramount, though he did not achieve that none is to become a movie.


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