David Geffen

Executive, Producer, Agent
A notorious and high-powered media mogul, David Geffen rose from a working-class Brooklyn upbringing to become one of the most influential and successful entertainment magnates in history. An adroit businessman, Geffen ... Read more »
Born: 02/21/1943 in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (8)

Everything is Copy 2015 - 2016 (TV Show)

Himself

All Things Must Pass 2015 (Movie)

(Himself)

Inventing David Geffen 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Gay '90s: Sex, Power & Influence 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor
Producer (4)

Interview With the Vampire 1994 (Movie)

(Producer)

Beetlejuice 1989 - 1993 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Little Shop of Horrors 1986 (Movie)

(Producer)

Personal Best 1982 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Biography

A notorious and high-powered media mogul, David Geffen rose from a working-class Brooklyn upbringing to become one of the most influential and successful entertainment magnates in history. An adroit businessman, Geffen founded both Asylum Records and Geffen Records, and went on to be one of the co-founders of the film studio DreamWorks, SKG. As a record producer, he helped establish performers as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Eagles, and Guns N' Roses. Named one of <i>Forbes</i> magazine's richest Americans many times over, Geffen's net worth in 2006 was estimated at $4.4 billion. Also a well-known philanthropist, he provided funding and support to medical research, AIDS organizations, the Democratic National party, and the arts; after endowing UCLA's Medical Center with $200 million, the center was renamed The David Geffen School of Medicine. As famous in the tabloids as he was in the business world, Geffen's personal life made headlines many times over. He was linked romantically to both Cher and actress Marlo Thomas before publicly acknowledging that he was gay in 1992, and dealt with a four-year bout of cancer which later proved to be a misdiagnosis. With his overwhelming ambition and financial prowess, Geffen truly became the king of an entertainment empire.

Relationships

Cher Actor

Companion
Began relationship in 1972; announced plans to marry Cher ended relationship in 1974

Steven Antin Actor

Companion

Abraham Geffen

Father

Batya Geffen

Mother
died in 1988 took in sewing during the Depression then opened own corset shop, Chic Corsets by Geffen

Mitchell Geffen

Brother
older

Marlo Thomas Actor

Companion

EDUCATION

University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas
enrolled in 1961; brother Mitchell was also enrolled; dropped out

graduated in the bottom ten percent of his high school class

Milestones

1994

Announced, along with former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, the forming of DreamWorks SKG, a new studio that would produce movies at a more cost efficient level than the major studios

1992

Came out as gay at a "Commitment to Life" benefit for AIDS Project Los Angeles

1990

March 20 formed DGC (David Geffen Company) music

1990

Sold Geffen Records to MCA

1989

Produced first TV series, "Beetlejuice" (animated)

1982

Produced first Broadway play, "Master Harold...and the Boys"

1982

Produced first feature, "Personal Best"

1980

Formed Geffen Records (independent label) and Geffen Film Co.

1977

Named executive assistant to the chairman, Warner Communications

1976

Diagnosed with cancer; later discovered to be mis-diagnosis

1975

Named vice chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures

1973

President then chairman, Electra-Asylum Records; sold to Warner Communications (for a reported $7 million); also headed film production unit at Warner Communications

1969

Founded Asylum Records

1968

Co-founded (with Elliott Roberts) talent management company for musicians he discovered and developed; first hit performer was Laura Nyro (date approximate)

1968

Engineered sale of Nyro's publishing company, Tuna Fish Ltd., for $4 million; received half

1968

Moved to Ashley Famous Agency as a music agent

1963

Started career at CBS Television in L.A.; reportedly fired for striking an audience member who applauded the announcement of the assassination of President John F Kennedy

1963

Began career working in mailroom of William Morris talent agency (date approximate)

Became a junior agent at William Morris

Raised in Brooklyn

Became an agent at Creative Management

Bonus Trivia

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Geffen, who has been characterized as the man who went from "being in love with Cher to being in love with Marlo Thomas to being in love with a guy at Studio 54", has attracted controversy for both his promiscuity ("I began wanting to get laid a lot [after they removed the tumor]") and his bisexuality. On the latter topic he frankly admitted, "I date men and I date women. What Woody Allen said was true. Say what you will about bisexuality, you have a 50 percent better chance of finding a date on Saturday night." (quoted in VANITY FAIR, March 1991) About a year later Geffen publicly disclosed his homosexuality at a benefit fundraiser for AIDS.

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Member of the music faculty at Yale University (1978); he has also taught at UCLA.

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The Geffen-produced play, "Master Harold...and the Boys" was also nominated for a Best Play Tony award (1982).

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