Garth H Drabinsky

Executive, Producer
Garth Drabinsky became noted as a flamboyant, free-spending producer and those excesses ultimately led to his being dismissed from two major corporations which he founded. The Canadian-born son of an engineer, he spent ... Read more »
Born: 11/30/1947 in Toronto, Ontario, CA


Producer (7)

Barrymore 2012 (Movie)


Half Light 2006 (Movie)


The Gospel of John 2003 (Movie)


Losin' It 1983 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Amateur 1980 (Movie)


Tribute 1980 (Movie)


The Changeling 1978 (Movie)

Actor (3)

The Last Mogul 2005 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Creating Ragtime 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)



Garth Drabinsky became noted as a flamboyant, free-spending producer and those excesses ultimately led to his being dismissed from two major corporations which he founded. The Canadian-born son of an engineer, he spent much of his childhood suffering through various leg operations that were the result of a 1953 bout with polio. Perhaps to overcompensate, Drabinsky excelled in his life, nurturing an oversized ego and a theatrical style and flair. After completing law school, he worked for a time as an entertainment lawyer and even wrote a textbook on Canadian film production and the law by the time he was 25. Drabinsky apparently applied what he'd learned when he moved into feature filmmaking as executive producer of the above-average comedy "The Silent Partner" (1978, which marked the screenwriting debut of Curtis Hanson). The following year he co-founded the Cineplex Odeon Corporation, taking one 18-screen theater complex and eventually transforming it into over 1,800 screens across the USA and Canada. He did not win many fans, however, when Cineplex Odeon raised its ticket prices in NYC to the then-unheard of price of $7.50. Despite a seeming success, Drabinsky brought MCA in as a partner in the chain in 1986. Nevertheless, by the end of 1988 the enterprise was carrying long-term debt in excess of $700 million against $1.5 billion in assets, causing stock prices to decline. In the ensuing power struggle for control of Cineplex Odeon, Drabinsky was ousted, receiving a reported $4 million severance package.


Alicia Drabinsky

born c. 1976

Marc Drabinsky

born c, 1979

Pearl Kaplan

married in 1971


University of Toronto




Returned to producing as one of the backers for the Toronto production of Athol Fugard's "The Island"


In January, indicted on 16 counts of felony stemming from alleged financial misdealings in connection with Livent; refused to appear in court in NYC and was deemed a fugitive


Opened "Ragtime" on Broadway in newly built Ford Center for the Performing Arts; show received four Tony Awards


Forced out of the company by Ovitz and Roy Furman on the morning after the premiere of Livent's production "Fosse: A Celebration in Song and Dance" after accounting discrepancies were discovered (August)


Filed lawsuit in Canada to try to block investigation into Livenet's financial dealings


Stepped down as CEO and chair of Livent when Michael Ovitz joined the company (April)


Livent (US) Inc. produced Broadway revival of "Candide" directed by Prince; earned Tony Award nomination as Best Revival of a Musical; show closed after a brief run


Livent (US) Inc. served as presenter of Christopher Plummer in "Barrymore", a one-man show about John Barrymore; company also oversaw national tour


Acclaimed production of "Ragtime" with a book by Terrence McNally and score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens opened in Toronto; show overseen by Drabinsky and Livent


Hired Diahann Carroll to star in the Toronto production of Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard"


Produced a critically-acclaimed revival of "Show Boat" on Broadway; show directed by Harold Prince; won five Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical


Livent produced the musical version of "Kiss of the Spider Man" in London and on Broadway; show directed by Harold Prince won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical


Ousted from Cineplex Odeon in a struggle over ownership; received a reported $4 million severence


With Myron Gottlieb. co-founded Live Entertainment Corporation of Canada; also chairman; only asset is the Pantages Theatre in Toronto and the Canadian rights to the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "The Phantom of the Opera"


Entered into partnership with MCA in Cineplex Odeon; entity now owned over 1,800 screens in the USA and Canada


Last film (to date) as producer "Losin' It", directed by Curtis Hanson


Produced the film adaptation of Bernard Slade's Broadway play "Tribute", with Jack Lemmon recreating his stage role


Had modest film success with "The Changeling"


Co-founded Cineplex Odeon Corporation, a movie-theater chain; company originally had one 18-screen complex in Toronto


Debut as a NYC theatrical producer; co-produced the failed show "A Broadway Musical" (played one performance)


Feature debut as executive producer with "The Silent Partner"; film featured Christopher Plummer and was scripted by Curtis Hanson


Stricken with polio at age three

From ages five to 12, underwent numerous operations on his legs

Worked as an entertainment lawyer

Corporate name changed to Livent, Inc,

First attempt at producing, a musical variety show at his school when he was 18

Studied law and joined the Ontario bar in 1975

At age 14, attended first theatrical production

Launched tour of the Lloyd Webber musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", starring Donny Osmond