Jonathan D. Krane, Producer of the 'Look Who's Talking' Films, Dies at 65
The husband of actress Sally Kellerman, he worked on more than a dozen films that starred John Travolta.
Jonathan D. Krane, who produced the Look Who's Talking films that starred John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and, in the first two comedies, Bruce Willis as the voice of a snarky toddler, has died. He was 65.
Krane, the husband of Oscar-nominated M*A*S*H actress Sally Kellerman, died suddenly Monday in their home in the Hollywood Hills, her manager, Bruce Tufeld, told The Hollywood Reporter.
"I am totally devastated," she wrote on her Facebook page.
Krane also produced the action-packed Face/Off (1997), directed by John Woo, and Mike Nichols' election campaign movie Primary Colors (1998), still two more films that toplined Travolta, whom Krane once managed.
Their other collaborations included The Experts (1989), Chains of Gold (1991), Phenomenon (1996), Michael (1996), The General's Daughter (1999), Battlefield Earth (2000), Lucky Numbers (2000), Swordfish (2001), Domestic Disturbance (2001) and Basic (2003).
Krane founded the talent management/production firm Management Company Entertainment Group in 1997, and its fortunes soared with the success of the low-budget Look Who's Talking (1989), which starred Travolta as a cab driver who gets involved with Alley, who plays a single mother. Willis' Mikey character can communicate with other babies.
The Amy Heckerling comedy grossed nearly $300 million at the global box office, and the sequel, Look Who's Talking Too (1990), also directed by Heckerling, brought in another $120 million.
However, MCEG overextended itself when it paid a reported $83 million for the foreign distribution company Virgin Vision and then filed for bankruptcy protection in 1990. Shareholders including Krane — who resigned as chairman and CEO and whose interest in the company was at one time reportedly worth $15 million — were virtually wiped out.
"A lot of people seemed glad that I failed," Krane told the Los Angeles Times in November 1993, before the opening of Look Who's Talking Now. "I learned that I'm not a golden boy. And I also learned that arrogance can be a horrible trait."
Look Who's Talking Now (1993) grossed just $10 million in the U.S.
The son of a Los Angeles car-leasing executive, Krane attended St. John's College and Yale Law School. He was president of Blake Edwards' production company and executive produced the director's Trail of the Pink Panther (1982), Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), The Man Who Loved Women (1983), Micki + Maude (1984), A Fine Mess (1986), That's Life! (1986) and Blind Date (1987), Wiilis' feature debut.
Later, he produced Nicolas Roeg's Cold Heaven (1991), starring Theresa Russell; Love Is a Gun (1994), with Eric Roberts; Mad City (1997), directed by Costa-Gavras; and The Lay of the Land (1997), starring Kellerman, whom he met at a group therapy session. They married in 1980.
Survivors also include their twin children Jack and Hannah.
Scott Feinberg contributed to this report.