NEW YORK (AP) — Robert Evans, the protean and fast-living Hollywood producer who backed such seminal 1970s films as “Chinatown,” ″The Godfather” and “Harold and Maude,” has died. He was 89.
A representative for Evans confirmed that Evans died on Saturday. No other details were immediately available.
His career was a story of comebacks and reinventions. Evans had launched a successful women’s clothing line with his brother, Charles, and was visiting Los Angeles on business when actress Norma Shearer saw him sunbathing by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She persuaded her husband, movie mogul Irving Thalberg, to hire the handsome, dark-haired 26-year-old to play Thalberg himself in “Man of a Thousand Faces,” a film about horror movie star Lon Chaney.
After acting roles faded, Evans re-emerged as head of production at Paramount Pictures and quickly converted the studio from a maker of mediocre films to the biggest hit machine in Hollywood, home to “The Godfather” and “Love Story” among others.