Producer Jerry Weintraub Dies at 77

PHOTO: Executive Producer Jerry Weintraub on January 8, 2015 in Pasadena, Calif. Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images
Executive Producer Jerry Weintraub on January 8, 2015 in Pasadena, Calif.

Famed producer and manager Jerry Weintraub died Monday morning in Santa Barbara, his publicist confirmed to ABC News.

The producer behind such hits as the "Karate Kid" trilogy, "National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation" and the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise was 77.

The Brooklyn, New York native was known as the personal manager and promoter of the late John Denver and other music icons like Elvis, Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra before he turned to producing films in the late 1970's.

A new generation got to know Weintraub when he actually appeared alongside George Clooney onscreen in "Ocean's Eleven" as one of the cast. He appeared in the follow up film, "Ocean's Twelve," as well.

Clooney released a statement lauding Weintraub: "In the coming days there will be tributes, about our friend Jerry Weintraub. We'll laugh at his great stories, and applaud his accomplishments. And in the years to come the stories and accomplishments will get better with age, just as Jerry would have wanted it. But not today. Today our friend died. To his family and friends, Amal and I send our love. And to those who didn't know him we send our deepest sympathy. You would have loved him."

And Ralph Macchio, star of the "Karate Kid" series tweeted a tribute: "So sad at loss of Jerry Weintraub, you were 1 of a kind, my friend. Last of a breed. So glad I got to be 'that kid.'"

Weintraub also produced "Behind the Candelabra," a film that won numerous awards, including a couple for him as executive producer. Weintraub was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, according to IMDB.

"I think the secret to my success is the people that I associate myself with and work with," he told NPR in 2010. "I work with the greatest artists and I respect them and they're equals. And I dont treat actors as children. And I really admire directors. And I really admire people who can sit down and write something. So it's just surrounding yourself with the right people."

Weintraub is survived by his four children and his longtime partner Susan Ekins.

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