Ron Meyer

Executive, Agent, Messenger
As one of the most powerful behind-the-scenes figures in Hollywood during the latter quarter of the 20th Century, Universal Studios President Ron Meyer rose from a lowly messenger job to form the powerful Creative ... Read more »
Born: 09/25/1944 in Los Angeles, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (1)

Biography

As one of the most powerful behind-the-scenes figures in Hollywood during the latter quarter of the 20th Century, Universal Studios President Ron Meyer rose from a lowly messenger job to form the powerful Creative Artists Agency (CAA) with four other agents, including Michael Ovitz, in 1975. Starting with only a few chairs and a table inside an inexpensive rented office, Meyer helped grow CAA into a powerhouse agency in the 1980s that pioneered the practice of packaging material with its roster of A-list talent. After serving as president, Meyer was tapped by Seagram Co.'s to head MCA/Universal in 1995, where he made multi-million dollar deals while substantially growing the entertainment division. Universal enjoyed a number of successful film franchises like "Jurassic Park" and "American Pie," while seeing its amusement park empire expand the world over. Though Seagram's sold its interest in Universal to Vivendi, Meyer managed to not only survive, but he thrived in the transition - a testament to his standing as one of the good guys of the business. Vivendi gave way to General Electric and later Comcast, but through all the changes, Meyer remained not only one of the more well-liked executives in town but a constant presence as the longest tenured head of a major film studio in Hollywood history.

Relationships

Edith Meyer

Mother
German Jewish immigrant; fled the Nazis and arrived in the U.S. in 1939

Blair Brown Actor

Companion

Kelly Chapman

Wife

Gunilla Friden

Companion
Swedish

Cyndy Garvey Actor

Companion

Ali MacGraw Actor

Companion
Involved c. 1987

Carson Meyer

Daughter
Born Nov. 18, 1993; mother, Kelly Chapman

Jennifer Meyer

Daughter
Born in April 1977; mother, Ellen Meyer Married actor Tobey Maguire on Sept. 3, 2007

Eli Meyer

Son
Born July 17, 1997; mother, Kelly Chapman

Sarah Meyer Production Executive

Daughter
Born in July 1980; mother, Ellen Meyer

Ellen Meyer

Wife
Met when she was working at William Morris Agency Married in 1975 Divorced in 1987

Joanna Pacula Actor

Companion

Cybill Shepherd Actor

Companion
Briefly dated

EDUCATION

(dropped out of high school at age 15)

Milestones

2001

With Stacey Snider, Chairman of Universal Pictures, ranked # 1 on <i>Entertainment Weekly</i>'s annual list of the 101 most powerful people in entertainment

2000

When Vivendi acquired Seagram Co. in June (forming Vivendi Universal), invited to remain with company

1998

Apointed as head of entertainment division of Seagram's with responsibilities for films. theme parks and international TV; assumed control of Universal Pictures after resignation of Casey Silver in November 1998

1995

Left CAA to become president and COO of Universal Studios, then owned by Seagram's

1975

Left the William Morris along with Ovitz, Haber, Perkins and Rosenfeld and together the five founded Creative Artists Agency (CAA)

1974

Had dinner meeting with Ovitz and agents William Haber, Rowland Perkins, and Michael Rosenfeld at which they decided to strike out and form their own company

1969

Joined the William Morris Agency (WMA) as an agent in the TV department; met Michael Ovitz

1964

Began career working as a messenger at the Paul Kohner Agency (date approximate)

1962

At age 17, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps; served two-year tour

Served as president of CAA

Raised in Southern California

Bonus Trivia

.

Asked for a reason why CAA became so successful, Meyer told Bernard Weinraub of The New York Times (April 18, 1995): "Fear of failure made us very strong."

.

On his appointment as president and COO of MCA, Inc., Meyer was quoted as saying: "I'm Cinderella here. I was a poor boy. I'm sure – every day – that it's all going to be taken away from me." – from Vanity Fair, October 1995

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