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On April 20, a group of us went to JR’s BBQ in Culver City for lunch. We ordered like J.C. would have (three meats, three sides) and told stories. There are so many. “We should quit and start a company [Benderspink]. We’re ready,” he said one night. And he was still my intern!
Like others who took his brash advice, I’m grateful I listened. J.C. was a maddening, complicated person and a loving, generous soul. He was whip-smart yet gullible. He was family. I could trust him implicitly while knowing that he’d occasionally bald-faced lie to my face about something pointless. He had a deep respect for the old guard — Bernie Brillstein, Robert Evans, Sue Mengers and others — and could provoke poignant personal moments with living legends of our business. He valued loyalty so much, he often was disappointed in others (and often overreacted). But for almost 20 years, we always had each other’s back, and you can’t put a price on that.
I loved J.C. I’ll miss him. I have missed him. I hope he’s at peace.
This story first appeared in the April 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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