Steve Bing, Producer and Real Estate Heir, Dies at 55

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Bing, who was also a major Democratic donor, wrote 2003's CGI comedy 'Kangaroo Jack.'

Steve Bing, the producer behind Get Carter, Rules Don't Apply and Rock the Kasbah and the writer of Kangaroo Jack, has died. Bing, also a real-estate heir, political power player and philanthropist, was 55.

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that someone had died after falling from the Ten Thousand complex at 10000 Santa Monica Blvd. between Beverly Hills and Century City around 1 p.m. on Monday. On Tuesday, the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office confirmed the individual was Bing. The manner of death was ruled suicide. 

On Tuesday morning, Bing's ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley, with whom he has a son, also confirmed it was him. "I am saddened beyond belief that my ex Steve is no longer with us," the actress wrote in a social media post. "It is a terrible end. Our time together was very happy and I'm posting these pictures because although we went through some tough times, it's the good, wonderful memories of a sweet, kind man that matter. In the past year we had become close again. We last spoke on our son's 18th birthday. This is devastating news and I thank everyone for their lovely messages."

Born in 1965, Bing received an estimated $600 million inheritance upon his 18th birthday from real-estate developer Leo S. Bing, the namesake of the L.A. County Museum of Art's Leo S. Bing Theatre. After dropping out of Stanford University, Bing chased a career in Hollywood and found early success in screenwriting.

Following a gig writing 1984's Chuck Norris flick Missing in Action, the producer penned Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985), an episode of Married With Children in 1989 and 2003's CGI comedy Kangaroo Jack, starring Jerry O'Connell and Anthony Anderson and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

In 2000, Bing founded Shangri-La Entertainment, which produced and financed films including Robert Zemeckis' motion-capture films The Polar Express (2004) and Beowulf (2007), among other titles. Bing took off as a producer, working on Sylvester Stallone's Get Carter (2000), 2001 Judy Greer film Without Charlie andThe Big Bounce with Owen Wilson and Charlie Sheen (2004).

In recent years, Bing has helped launch several documentary projects. He produced the 2012 documentary Marley and an episode of PBS' POV series. The 2012 Rolling Stones documentary Crossfire Hurricane credited Bing with a "special thanks" and, at the time of his death, he was working on an untitled Jerry Lee Lewis documentary, according to IMDb.

Bing's personal life nabbed headlines almost as often as the films he helped to finance and produce. Once a regular at the clubby Tower Bar in the Sunset Tower Hotel, he was a sometimes-friend of Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss and dated actress Elizabeth Hurley, who would later claim he was the father of her then-unborn son, which Bing denied. (A DNA test proved Bing was indeed the father.) Bing was embroiled in yet another paternity controversy when the notorious private investigator Anthony Pellicano, hired by MGM mogul Kirk Kerkorian, proved through a DNA test that Bing was the father of Kerkorian's ex-wife Lisa Bonder's child, Kira.

Chummy also with producer Brett Ratner and writer-producer Mitch Glazer, in 2003, Bing invested in Melrose vegan restaurant Crossroads (now called Crossroads Kitchen) along with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.

Bing was a notable donor to Democratic causes, as well as a friend of former president Bill Clinton. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Bing most recently donated $2,800 to Elizabeth Warren's campaign for president in March 2019. Previously, he lended financial support to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during Senate run in 2005, Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and former Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, among others, and donated between $10 and $25 million to the William J. Clinton Foundation.

In 2009, Bing made headlines when he paid for the flight that carried Bill Clinton and American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee home from North Korea. The two reporters were captured after allegedly illegally entering the country.

The ultra-luxe, 40-story Ten Thousand Building where Bing was found is home to attorney Michael Avenatti, LeBron James business partner Maverick Carter and Magic Johnson's son E.J. as well as Russian oligarchs and Saudi princes, per a recent Los Angeles magazine story on the complex. According to the magazine, rents start at $10,000 a month.

June 24, 7:55 a.m.: Updated that the manner of death was ruled suicide.

June 23, 11 a.m.: Updated with Medical Examiner/Coroner's report.

 

June 23, 8 a.m.: Updated with a statement from Elizabeth Hurley.