Producer Bert Schneider was behind a number of important and topical films of the late '60s and early '70s. The son of a high-ranking studio executive at Columbia, Schneider always tended toward the rebellious. He briefly attended Columbia University but was tossed out. Because of his radical activities, the army rejected him. In the early '60s, he went to work for Columbia's Screen Gems. In 1965, Schneider, Bob Rafelson, and eventually Steve Blauner teamed up to form BBS Productions. It was Schneider and Rafelson who brought The Monkees, a television rock group devised to present an American version of The Beatles, to network television. Schneider and Rafelson broke into feature films with the pseudo-counterculture film Head, starring The Monkees and featuring a screenplay penned by Jack Nicholson. They had their first major success with Easy Rider (1969) and followed it up with a series of groundbreaking films including Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show (1971) and Rafelson's The King of Marvin Gardens (1972). In 1975, Schneider earned a Best Documentary Oscar for Hearts and Minds. Following the 1982 drama Broken English - which suffered from distribution problems and was barely seen -- Schneider withdrew from production and maintained a low profile during his last few decades. He died of natural causes at age 78 in December 2012.