29 October 2019

R.I.P. Robert Evans 1930 - 2019

Chinatown's producer, the legendary, notorious and iconic Robert Evans, passed away on Saturday, October 26 at his Woodland home in Los Angeles, having suffered a series of strokes in recent months. He was 89.

Ali MacGraw, Evans' wife from 1969 to 1972, has said:
Our son Joshua and I will miss Bob tremendously and we are so very proud of his enormous contribution to the film industry. He will be remembered as a giant.
Paramount Pictures, the studio which Evans ran from 1967 to 1974, rescuing it from near-collapse with hits such as Love Story and The Godfather, released this statement on Monday:
Hollywood has lost one of its most influential and iconic figures in the inimitable Bob Evans. He was a valued and beloved partner to Paramount Pictures for over half a century, and his contributions to our organization and the entertainment industry are innumerable and far-reaching. As an actor, a producer and a leader, he has left an indelible mark on our studio and the world of film. His influence will be felt for generations to come. We extend our deepest condolences to his loved ones.
In July of this year, Paramount finally ended the formal deal it had had with Evans since 1974, when he stepped down as head of production to become a producer. In honour of the contributions he made to the studio, Paramount then announced the dedication of the Robert Evans Screening room in the Redstone Building on the studio lot.

Countless others have been sharing their admiration, reminiscences and condolences since Robert Evans' passing was officially announced on Monday, too many to list, so here it's probably most appropriate just to go with Robert Towne's statement, as quoted in Variety:
The thing that I remember very vividly, and I think it would make him happy. We were in his living room. He was on one sofa and I was on the other. We’d been on the stage working with Jerry Goldsmith and some of the musicians on Chinatown. We’d been at it all night long and by then it was around four in the morning and it was tough because we didn’t know how much time we’d have with it. I said something about it, expressing something about hoping it’d be all right. And all I remember is Evans sitting there, turning to me and saying, “Fuck it. I just want it to be good.”
And I thought, that’s really from the heart, that’s all he really wanted. When push came to shove, he didn’t care about the publicity or the deadline or anything. ‘Fuck it. I just want it to be good.’ It was said with such feeling. And it coincided with what I wanted too.
He was wonderful and infuriating and I loved him very much.
This site's biography of Robert Evans can be found here.

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