David V. Picker
David Victor Picker
May 14, 1931
New York City, U.S.
|Died||April 20, 2019 (aged 87)|
New York City, U.S.
|Occupation||Movie executive and producer|
|Known for||Served as President and CEO of United Artists, Paramount, Lorimar, and Columbia Pictures|
David Victor Picker (May 14, 1931 – April 20, 2019) was an American motion picture executive and producer, working in the film industry for more than forty years. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer for United Artists, Paramount, Lorimar, and Columbia Pictures before becoming an independent producer. Picker was a member of the Writers Guild of America East, a member the Producers Guild of America, and he was Chairman Emeritus of the Producers Guild of America East. Picker's memoir about his career in the film industry, Musts, Maybes and Nevers, was released in 2013.
Picker was born to a Jewish family on May 14, 1931 in New York City. He was the son of Sylvia (Moses) and Eugene Picker, a one-time president of Loew's Theatres and president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, executive of Trans-Lux and vice-president of United Artists. David attended Dartmouth College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1953.
Picker began his movie career at United Artists in 1956, working in advertising and publicity. By 1961 he was an assistant to Arthur Krim, the president. Picker helped bring Tom Jones to United Artists in 1963. The film received four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Tony Richardson. In 1964 Picker accepted the award on behalf of Tony Richardson, who was not in attendance. By the late 1960s, Picker was managing United Artists Records.
1969–1973: United Artists Corporation
Picker became chief operating officer and president of United Artists Corporation in 1969. Having earlier brought the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night and Help! to the company, Picker was also responsible for a deal with producers Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli for the James Bond series which launched the most successful franchise in cinema history. Other notable releases during his time as president of United Artists included Midnight Cowboy and Last Tango in Paris. Picker also established the company's lasting relationship with writer and director Woody Allen in addition to European filmmakers Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, François Truffaut, Louis Malle, and Sergio Leone. He became CEO and president of UA on January 1, 1973.
In 1973, Picker left United Artists to form his own production company, Two Roads Productions, and produced Juggernaut and Lenny in 1974 and Smile in 1975. Lenny became a critical success and was nominated for six Academy Awards. In 1976 Picker then became President of Motion Pictures at Paramount but served for only a few years, during which he helped develop or greenlight Saturday Night Fever, Grease, and the 1980 Academy Award winner, Ordinary People. Upon leaving Paramount in 1979, Picker partnered with comedian Steve Martin to produce that year's The Jerk, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid in 1982, and The Man With Two Brains in 1983. In the mid 1980s, Picker took over as President of Feature Films at Lorimar Productions, developing and supervising the films S.O.B., Being There, and Escape to Victory. Hired in 1985 by Columbia Pictures to serve as president of production, Picker greenlit Hope and Glory, School Daze, Vice Versa, Punchline, and True Believer. By the mid 1980s, Picker was independently producing again. He worked with Harry Belafonte to produce Beat Street and also produced a remake of Stella Dallas called Stella, starring Bette Midler.
1993 to 2000s
Picker produced The Saint of Fort Washington for Warner Bros. in 1993 and The Crucible for Twentieth Century Fox in 1996. In 1997, Picker became president of Hallmark Entertainment Productions Worldwide to oversee the company's objective of expanding into feature films.
From 2004 to 2008, Picker served as chairman of The Producers Guild of America for the East. Picker's memoir about his career in the film industry, Musts, Maybes and Nevers, was released in 2013.
|1964||A Hard Day’s Night||executive producer (uncredited)|
|1976||Won Ton Ton, The Dog Who Saved Hollywood||producer|
|1982||Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid||producer|
|1983||The Man with Two Brains||producer|
|1984||The Goodbye People||producer|
|1988||Leader of the Band||producer|
|1988||The Appointments of Dennis Jennings||executive producer|
|1992||Traces of Red||producer|
|1992||Leap of Faith||producer|
|1993||The Saint of Fort Washington||producer|
|1998||The Temptations||TV, executive producer|
|1998||Rear Window||TV, executive producer|
|1999||P.T. Barnum||TV, executive producer|
|1999||Journey to the Center of the Earth||Miniseries, executive producer|
|1999||Aftershock: Earthquake in New York||TV, executive producer|
|2000||In the Beginning||TV, executive producer|
|2000||David Copperfield||TV, executive producer|
|2001||Back to the Secret Garden||executive producer|
|2002||Fidel||TV, executive producer|
|2003||Hans Christian Andersen: My Life as a Fairy Tale||TV, executive producer|
Personal life and death
He was married to photographer Sandra Jetton and they had two daughters Caryn and Pam. They lived in New York City.
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- "David V. PickerFilmography". Fandango. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- "Man who brought Beatles to the big screen dies". 23 April 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- Feinberg, Scott (April 21, 2019). "David Picker, Studio Chief Who Brought Bond, The Beatles and Steve Martin to the Movies, Dies at 87". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 21, 2019.