Documentary Producer Brian Gerber Dead in Apparent Suicide

Brian Gerber Headshot - P 2012

Brian Gerber Headshot - P 2012

The filmmaker behind documentary "The 11th Hour" apparently drove over the edge of the Angeles National Highway.

Documentary film producer Brian Gerber has died in what investigators consider a "possible suicide," the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Aug. 29. 

Investigators think Gerber, producer of environmental documentary The 11th Hour, drove his vehicle off the Angeles National Highway and into a ravine in the Angeles National Forest, according to a report in L.A. Weekly. The Weekly also said Gerber, 41, left a suicide note at mile marker 32 of the highway in the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles.

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According to Ed Winter, assistant chief of the coroner's office, Gerber's crashed silver Prius was discovered by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and he was pronounced dead at 7:35 a.m. L.A. Weekly reported that authorities began searching the area after hearing from family members that he was distraught and considering driving his car off a cliff.

A sheriff's department spokesman issued a brief statement to THR that did not name Gerber but said detectives found the body of an adult male near the crashed vehicle and pronounced him dead at the scene.  

Winter said that an autopsy "will probably be done in the next two days," adding that Gerber's death was reported to the coroner's office at 8:33 a.m.

A message posted midday Aug. 29 on Gerber's Facebook page acknowledges his death, saying: "Our worst fears regarding Brian Gerber have been confirmed. Brian’s family thanks you for all the condolences, good thoughts, prayers and asks for your patience and understanding during this most difficult of times. Obviously they are overwhelmed with this situation and are asking for privacy. We will be in touch as soon as arrangements have been made for services."

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The 11th Hour was narrated and co-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and released in 2007. Gerber's other documentary producing credits include The Dungeon Masters and Project Kashmir. He also co-founded and helped stage Digital Hollywood's biannual Los Angeles summits.

Gerber is survived by his wife, actress Arabella Field, and their two young sons. Gerber's apparent suicide could be the second such death of a Hollywood personality in recent weeks -- Top Gun director Tony Scott killed himself Aug. 19 when he jumped off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro.


Twitter: @DanielNMiller