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Arnold Kopelson


Arnold Kopelson (February 14, 1935 – October 8, 2018) was an American film producer.

Among his credits are Platoon, Seven, Outbreak, The Fugitive, and The Devil's Advocate.


Kopelson was born in Brooklyn, New York. After earning a Doctorate in Jurisprudence from New York Law School, Kopelson practiced entertainment and banking law, specializing in motion picture financing, and for many years acted as counsel to numerous banks and financial institutions serving the motion picture industry.


Kopelson later formed Inter-Ocean Film Sales, Ltd. with Anne Feinberg, who would become his wife, to represent independent motion picture producers in licensing their films throughout the world and also to finance motion picture production. The Kopelsons produced films together.


Kopelson produced 29 motion pictures. He was honored with an Academy Award for Best Picture, a Golden Globe Award, and an Independent Spirit Award, all for his production of Platoon


He received a Best Picture Academy Award nomination for his production of The Fugitive. Kopelson's films have been collectively responsible for 17 Academy Award nominations and over $3 billion in worldwide receipts.


Kopelson was named Producer of the Year by The National Association of Theatre Owners, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement in Filmmaking Award from Cinema Expo International, received the Motion Picture Showmanship Award from the Publicist Guild of America, and was inducted into Variety's Show Biz Expo Hall of Fame. 


He has also received other awards for his productions of Outbreak, Seven, and The Devil's Advocate and was further honored by the Deauville Film Festival with its highest award for his significant contribution to the entertainment industry.


 In 1987, he sued film producer Hemdale Film Corporation for handling takes on Platoon, claiming that he had received $25 million from grosses of $250 million that the film had generated to date.


With Paramount Pictures, Kopelson produced Twisted, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Andy García and Ashley Judd, which was directed by Philip Kaufman; and with 20th Century Fox, Don't Say a Word, starring Michael Douglas, and Joe Somebody, starring Tim Allen.


Kopelson also produced A Perfect Murder, also starring Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow, U.S. Marshals, starring Tommy Lee Jones, and the Costa Gavras-directed film, Mad City, starring Dustin Hoffman and John Travolta.


His other films included Eraser, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; Falling Down, starring Michael Douglas and Robert Duvall; Out for Justice, starring Steven Seagal; Triumph of the Spirit, starring Willem Dafoe; and Murder at 1600, starring Wesley Snipes and Diane Lane.


For many years, Kopelson served on the Executive Committee of the Producers Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was a member of the Board of Mentors of the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program at the University of Southern California. In 2001, Kopelson Entertainment has a first-look deal with Paramount Pictures


Kopelson married twice. In 1959 he married Joy (née Stern). They had a daughter, Stephanie Lisa Kopelson Goldman, and two sons, Peter Laurence Kopelson and Evan Jared Kopelson. His first wife died of cancer in 1975, and in 1976, he married his business partner and former secretary, Anne Feinberg.


Kopelson died at his home in Beverly Hills on October 8, 2018, at 83.

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