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A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Legendary producer Jerry Weintraub, who died July 6 of a heart attack at age 77, was remembered by his closest friends Sept. 27 during a memorial at Hollywood & Highland’s Ray Dolby Ballroom followed by an afterparty at one of his favorite places — Craig’s restaurant in West Hollywood.
George Clooney, Matt Damon, Billy Crystal and Don Cheadle took turns at the podium sharing stories (and Weintraub impressions) with the ballroom crowd that included Sharon Stone, Tim Robbins, Irving Azoff and Frankie Valli.
The memorial was “the party Jerry would’ve loved,” says restaurant owner Craig Susser. “It was the perfect mix of class with a great show — the right mixture of sincerity and insincerity, which is Jerry,” he says. “The only thing missing was him.”
“Elegant” is how another source described the memorial, adding that Weintraub’s two dogs appeared onstage with his widow, Jane Morgan, who spoke to the guests along with other family members. The source added that highlights included Clooney and Crystal’s remarks and Paul Anka‘s performance of “My Way.”
“It was very touching — everybody who is anybody was there,” the source continued to THR. “There were pictures of Jerry everywhere … and a lot of tears. It’s as if Jerry had come out of the sky and clouds and produced the event himself.”
Linda Thompson documented the event on her Instagram, posting a collage of Clooney, Damon, Crystal and Anka sharing memories of their friend. “What a tribute to an extraordinary life,” Thompson wrote with the hashtag #rememberingjerry. She also posted this video from inside the ballroom.
Napkins at the event also featured a Weintraub quote: “I’m a guy who shakes your hand and will never let you down. I have a code of honor and I don’t lie.” Nearly 500 guests turned out for Sunday’s event, according to reports.
Weintraub had a diverse entertainment background, starting in the management and music business, promoting concerts and some of the best-known acts including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton and The Beach Boys. He then segued to the film business, producing such movies as Karate Kid and the successful Ocean’s Eleven franchise.
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