Sidney Sheinberg distinguished himself as a durable and powerful studio executive, long with MCA/Universal where he served as president and COO from 1973 until its 1995 sale to Edgar Bronfman Jr. Unde...
Spielberg reveals the threat of the sack hung over the set of the 1975 shark disaster movie, especially when costs escalated after the director chose to film at sea, rather than in a water tank, but the Universal Studios executive insisted his young visionary should be allowed to complete the movie, which is now a classic.
He tells Entertainment Weekly magazine, "(The producers) didn't warn me to threaten me or intimidate me - they just said, 'Is there anything you can do with the script, with the schedule, to avert a shutdown?' and I didn't have anything to do, because I couldn't cut the third act out of Jaws. I had to keep moving forward, and the schedule was dictated by the mechanical shark and by the weather conditions.
"Every time there was an intention to replace me, Sid stepped in quietly behind the scenes and stopped it."
Became corporate president and chief operating officer of MCA, Inc at age 38
Joined the legal department of Revue Productions
Named executive vice president of the parent company MCA
Became vice president of TV division, Revue Productions
Established independent production company, The Bubble Factory, in July; signed five-year deal with Universal
Served as corporate executive vice president
Became president of TV division
Bubble Factory agreement with Universal ended by mutual decision
Bubble Factory signed multiyear, nonexclusive production deal with Bette Midler's All Girls Productions
Became an associate in law at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law
First film released by Bubble Factory "Flipper"; also feature producing debut
Served as member of staff, MCA, Inc, Universal City, California
Admitted to California bar
Left MCA when it was sold to Edgar Bronfman Jr
Sidney Sheinberg distinguished himself as a durable and powerful studio executive, long with MCA/Universal where he served as president and COO from 1973 until its 1995 sale to Edgar Bronfman Jr. Under his stewardship, Universal released the highest grossing films of each of the last three decades: "Jaws" in 1975; "E.T. The Extra- Terrestrial" in 1982 and "Jurassic Park" in 1993, all helmed by his illustrious protege Steven Spielberg whom Sheinberg helped get started in the film industry.<p>Formerly a lawyer and an academic affiliated with UCLA's School of Law, Sheinberg joined the legal department of Revue Productions (the production arm of MCA/Universal before divorcement of agency operation) in 1959 and within a decade had secured an executive position within MCA's TV division. Soon thereafter as a protege of Lew Wasserman, Sheinberg, at the age of 38, assumed his several important roles within the parent company.<p>When MCA was sold to Edgar Bronfman Jr in 1995, Sheinberg left and established his own production company, The Bubble Factory, with his two sons Jon and Bill Sheinberg. The first feature under this banner was 1996's "Flipper", a remake of the popular children's film and TV series of the 60s. The film sank at the box office but the Bubble Factory remained devoted to family fare and remakes. Projects in development early in 1997 included remakes of "Francis, the Talking Mule", Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound" and the 1932 Universal horror classic "The Mummy". Completed for release were a feature-length remake of the 60s military sitcom, "McHale's Navy" and "The Pest" (both 1997), a broad comedy starring John Leguizamo--who also co-wrote the story and co-produced with David Bar Katz--as a con man with a mastery of disguise.<p>Sheinberg is married to character actress Lorraine Gary, probably best known as Roy Scheider's wife in several of the "Jaws" films. They have long been active in numerous humanitarian causes and organizations.
born August 16, 1937; married August 19, 1956; studied at Columbia; appeared in such films as "Jaws" (1975), "Jaws 2" (1978), "1941" and "Just You and Me Kid" (both 1979)
born c. 1958; mother Lorraine Gary; formerly head of creative affairs at 20th Century Fox; joined Orion in late 1970s; with father formed The Bubble Factory
mother Lorraine Gary; formerly with Spelling Television; formed The Bubble Factory with father and brother
Columbia University Law School
In 1981, Sheinberg was awarded Columbia Ccollege's John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement.
Received the American Jewish Committee's Human Relations Award in 1982.
In 1983, Sheinberg was honored with the National Conference of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award.
Received the Motion Pictures 1984 Pioneer of the Year Award.
Bestowed Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in in 1984.
Sheinberg received the DeWitt Carter Reddick Award at the University of Texas, Austin in 1987.
In 1989, Sheinberg was named a Lifetime Honorary Member of the Directors Guild of America in recognition of decades of service to the DGA, AMPTP Creative Rights Committee.
Sheinberg received the AIDS Project Los Angeles Commitment to Life Award in 1991.
Sheinberg received the first "Corporate Vision Award" given by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center in 1993.
Received the Medal of Honor from the American Academy of Achievement in 1994.
With his wife, Lorraine, Sheinberg received the 1995 Simon Weisenthal Center's Humanitarian Award.
Financial disclosure reports filed with Congress late in the summer of 1996, revealed that Sheinberg--one of a number of Democratic donors from the world of show business who has spent the night at the Clinton White House--had donated $267,150 to the Democrats since 1992.
Serves on the National Board of the National Conference of Christians and Jews