John Heyman, Producer, Agent and Film Financier, Dies at 84

John Heyman - Getty - H 2017
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He repped Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and produced their 1968 film 'Boom!' His son is 'Harry Potter' producer David Heyman.

John Heyman, a producer, agent, film financier and father of Harry Potter producer David Heyman, has died. He was 84.

Heyman died Friday in New York City, his daughter, Dahlia Heyman, who also is a producer, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Heyman was the founder of the London-based International Artists Agency, with clients that included Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Michael Caine, Richard Harris, Shirley Bassey and Burt Bacharach, and among the films he produced was the Burton-Taylor starrer Boom! (1968).

He also produced Joseph Losey's The Go-Between (1971) — which starred Julie Christie and Alan Bates and won the Palme d'Or at Cannes — and a long-running 1964 Broadway production of Hamlet that starred Burton, was directed by John Gielgud and was then adapted into a three-hour film.

Heyman's producing résumé also included Taylor's Secret Ceremony (1968), Richard Donner's Lola (1970), Losey's A Doll's House (1973), The Jesus Film (1979) and D.A.R.Y.L. (1985).

A native of Leipzig, Germany, Heyman was a pioneer in the foreign sales business. He had a hand in financing such pictures as Chinatown (1974), The Odessa File (1974), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Marathon Man (1976), Reds (1981), Black Rain (1989), Awakenings (1990) and Edward Scissorhands (1990).

In 1990, Heyman and Chris Blackwell founded Island World Productions, which produced and/or co-financed such films as Toy Soldiers (1991) and The Sandlot (1993) as well as many series for British television. The company was sold to PolyGram in 1994.

In addition to David and Dahlia, survivors include his wife Nizza and children Lil, Gabrielle and Daniel.

David Heyman produced all the Harry Potter films at Warner Bros. and earned an Oscar nom for Gravity (2014).