Jon Peters

Active - 1976 - 2018  |   Born - Jun 2, 1945 in Van Nuys, CA  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Action

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A hard-case kid who spent his formative years in and out of reform school, Peters settled down at 14 to go into his mother's line of work as a haircutter in a beauty shop. Armed with an instinctive genius for self-promotion, he amassed a huge celebrity clientele at his trendy Jon Peters Salon on Rodeo Drive, raking in millions by merchandising the salon's ancillary cosmetic products. Along the way, Peters made hundreds of valuable showbiz contacts, and married one of his best customers, actress Leslie Ann Warren. Privy to confidences that the Rich and Famous only reveal to their hairdressers, Peters was fairly hip to the ways and means of Hollywood by the time he fell in love with Barbra Streisand in 1974 (he divorced Warren a year later). Streisand trusted Peters enough to put her entire career in his talented hands. He produced her 1976 remake of Star is Born, which earned the derision of the "suits" and the drubbing of the critics, but which made a fortune and yielded an Oscar-winning song, Evergreen. Virtually overnight, Peters blossomed into an A-list producer, a status he sustained long after his breakup with Streisand. His subsequent productions included The Eyes of Laura Mars (1977) and Caddyshack (1980), all knocked by reviewers but eaten up by the public. In 1980, Peters teamed with former Casablanca Records and Filmworks exec Peter Guber; together with Neil Bogart, Peters and Guber formed the Polygram Productions, later renamed the Boardwalk Company. A series of mergers and selloffs later, Guber-Peters Productions was born in 1983. The team's willingness to take enormous chances with huge amounts of money transformed Guber and Peters into the wunderkind of Hollywood, especially after such critical and/or financial successes as The Color Purple (1985), Gorillas in the Mist (1988) and Rain Man (1989). Shortly after reforming as Guber-Peters-Barris, the partnership took its biggest risk and scored its biggest hit with Batman: The Movie (1989), which won Peters and his partners a multimillion-dollar seven-year WB contract. Within months, they were wooed away by Sony Corporation, which offered Peters, Guber et. al. one billion dollars to assume chief executive posts at Sony's newest acquisition, Columbia Pictures. In 1991, after taking a bath with Bonfire of the Vanities, Jon Peters bolted Columbia for the independent Jon Peters Organization; within a year, he was back on his feet with Batman Returns (1992). Seldom one to joke about his accomplishments, Jon Peters has on at least one occasion flippantly compared moviemaking to hairdressing: "When I was in the hair business I produced huge spectacular shows. Film is just another form of production." A fairly deliberate producer who always took the time to nuture his projects, Peters would produce only eight films in the thirteen years following Batman Returns, with a trip to the ring in 2001's Ali preceding a return to the superhero arena with the 2006 blockbuster Superman Returns.

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