Arnon Milchan

Summary

Arnon Milchan
Born (1944-12-06) December 6, 1944 (age 77)
NationalityIsraeli
CitizenshipIsrael
U.S.
OccupationBusinessman, film producer
Known forFounder of Regency Enterprises
Spouse(s)Brigitte Genmaire (divorced)
Amanda Coetzer
Children4

Arnon Milchan (Hebrew: ארנון מילכן; December 6, 1944) is an Israeli businessman, film producer and spy. He has been involved in over 130 full-length motion pictures[2] and is the founder of production company Regency Enterprises. Regency's film credits include 12 Years a Slave, JFK, Heat, Fight Club, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Milchan has earned two nominations for the Academy Award for Best Picture, for L.A. Confidential and The Revenant. He is an Israeli and American citizen, and lives in Tel Aviv.

Milchan was an Israeli intelligence operative from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s.[3][4]

Biography

Milchan was born in Rehovot, British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel), to a Jewish family.[5][6] He has a sister named Dalia. His mother was descended from European Jewish disciples of the rabbi Vilna Gaon who came to Palestine in the early 19th century, and he is the eighth generation of his family in the country.

Milchan was first married to French model, Brigitte Genmaire, and later divorced. The couple had three children, Elinor, Alexandra, and Yariv. Elinor Milchan is a professional photographer.[7] He later married South African retired professional tennis player Amanda Coetzer.

Business career

His father owned a fertilizer company,[8] which Milchan inherited at the age of 21 upon his father's sudden death. Over the years, Milchan turned the company into a successful chemical business.[9] He also earned a degree from the London School of Economics, before he and his company (Milchan Brothers Ltd.) were recruited to Lekem, a secret Israeli intelligence organization responsible for obtaining technology and material for Israel's nuclear program, and other highly secretive programs.[10]

Film industry

Milchan became involved in the movie business in 1977, after an introduction to American producer Elliot Kastner. In 1981 he partnered with Sydney Pollack on the US miniseries Masada[11] Most notable among Milchan's film collaborations was his early work with Martin Scorsese. He developed close friendships with Robert De Niro, and directors Roman Polanski, Sergio Leone, Terry Gilliam and Oliver Stone. Milchan started his own production company in 1991 called New Regency Productions. Through his company Regency, in partnership with Warner Bros., and later with Rupert Murdoch at 20th Century Fox, and other business ventures, such as Puma AG, Milchan acquired a net worth estimated at about $5.1 billion as of 2015.

Milchan has produced over 130 films, such as Noah (2014), 12 Years a Slave (2013), Once Upon a Time in America (1984) (in which he also makes a cameo appearance as the chauffeur), Brazil (1985), Pretty Woman (1990), JFK (1991), Under Siege (1992), Natural Born Killers (1994), Boys on the Side (1995), Heat (1995), L.A. Confidential (1997), Fight Club (1999), Unfaithful (2002), Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005), and Knight and Day (2010), among others, to his credit.[2] He was a producer on two more recent Oscar-winners for Best Picture, 12 Years a Slave in 2014 and Birdman in 2015, but he was not listed as a producer in the nominees list.

Milchan is also the owner of the WTA broadcasting rights. He was married to model Brigitte Genmaire.[8] He is now married to former South African tennis professional Amanda Coetzer. He is owner of the network which transmits Israeli television programming to the United States and Canada. He is also a part owner of Israel's TV Channel 10, and a former owner of Puma, the international sportswear line.

Intelligence operative

Speculation about Milchan's involvement in arms dealing and intelligence activities was sparked after the indictment in 1985 of Dr. Richard Kelly Smyth, an aerospace executive and scientist who had made illegal shipments of Krytrons, which could be used as nuclear weapon triggers, through one of Milchan's companies. This remained largely in the category of rumor until biographers Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman wrote a controversial unauthorized biography of Milchan that was published in July 2011. The biography Confidential, which is largely sympathetic to Milchan, revealed in detail how he involved himself in espionage, big-ticket arms-dealing, and obtaining sensitive technology and materials for Israel's nuclear weapons program. The research in Confidential – The Life Of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon established that "at least through the mid-1980s [Milchan] was a full-fledged operative for Israel's top-secret intelligence agency, Lekem. His activities included "buying components to build and maintain Israel's nuclear arsenal" and supervising "government-backed accounts and front companies that financed the special needs of the entirety of Israel's intelligence operations outside the country".[3] Interviewed regarding Milchan's intelligence activities, Israeli President Shimon Peres stated:

"Arnon is a special man. It was I who recruited him.... When I was at the Ministry of Defense, Arnon was involved in numerous defense-related procurement activities and intelligence operations. His strength is in making connections at the highest levels.... His activities gave us a huge advantage, strategically, diplomatically and technologically." (interview dated February 8, 2010, documented in Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman's "Confidential: Secret Agent turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan" p. xi).

Two years later, on November 25, 2013, on Israel's channel 2 documentary program Uvda, Milchan confirmed on camera the central claims in the book Confidential that had been released earlier. The announcement caused international interest in the story and was covered widely.[12]

Peres, the architect of Israel's secret nuclear weapons program in the 1960s, stated that in the 1960s he recruited Milchan to work for the Israeli Bureau of Scientific Relations (LEKEM or LAKAM), a secret intelligence organization tasked with obtaining military technology and science espionage. Milchan acknowledged that he was a secret arms dealer for the Israeli government and claimed to have used his connections to promote the apartheid regime in South Africa in exchange for it helping Israel to acquire uranium for its nuclear program.[13]

Case 1000 and "Milchan's Law"

In February 2018, Israeli Police recommended that Arnon Milchan, alongside Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, be charged with bribery.[14] The recommendation in the case, nicknamed "Case 1000", relates to alleged bribes Milchan provided to Netanyahu in exchange for special tax exemption legislation believed to benefit Milchan in his homeland of Israel.[15] The proposed legislation, nicknamed "Milchan's Law", dates back to 2013 and was an alleged ploy to extend Milchan's status as a returning resident to allow him to take advantage of tax breaks. According to the police, the gifts from Milchan were worth more than 1 million shekels.[16] Milchan had held fundraisers for Netanyahu, which included a 2014 event at a residence on Carbon Beach in Malibu that controversially inconvenienced residents and commuters with hours of unexpected lane blockages on Pacific Coast Highway, despite being a private event.[17][18]

Art collection

Milchan is an art collector, and in April 2015, CNBC ranked him at No. 3 in their list of "Hollywood's top 10 art collectors" with a collection valued at $600 million, equal with George Lucas, ranked No. 2, but some way behind David Geffen at No. 1, with a collection valued at $2.3 billion.[19]

Personal life

Milchan is married, with four children, and lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.[1]

Production companies

Filmography

He was a producer in all films unless otherwise noted.

Film

20th Century Fox

Producer
Year Title Director Notes
1983 The King of Comedy Martin Scorsese
1985 Brazil Terry Gilliam With Universal Pictures
Legend Ridley Scott
1989 The War of the Roses Danny DeVito
1998 Dangerous Beauty Marshall Herskovitz With Warner Bros.
2000 Tigerland Joel Schumacher
2001 Don't Say a Word Gary Fleder
Black Knight Gil Junger
2002 High Crimes Carl Franklin
Life or Something Like It Stephen Herek
2003 Daredevil Mark Steven Johnson
Runaway Jury Gary Fleder
2004 Man on Fire Tony Scott
2005 Elektra Rob Bowman
Mr. & Mrs. Smith Doug Liman
Stay Marc Forster
Little Manhattan Mark Levin
2006 The Sentinel Clark Johnson
Just My Luck Donald Petrie
My Super Ex-Girlfriend Ivan Reitman
2006 Deck the Halls John Whitesell
2008 Jumper Doug Liman
2011 Monte Carlo Thomas Bezucha
2013 Broken City Allen Hughes
12 Years a Slave Steve McQueen Through Fox Searchlight Pictures
Runner Runner Brad Furman
2014 Birdman Alejandro González Iñárritu Through Fox Searchlight Pictures
Gone Girl David Fincher
2015 Unfinished Business Ken Scott
The Revenant Alejandro González Iñárritu
2016 Rules Don't Apply Warren Beatty
A Cure for Wellness Gore Verbinski
Assassin's Creed Justin Kurzel
2018 Widows Steve McQueen
2019 Ad Astra James Gray
Executive producer
Year Title Director Notes
1999 Simply Irresistible Mark Tarlov
Entrapment Jon Amiel
A Midsummer Night's Dream Michael Hoffman Through Fox Searchlight Pictures
Fight Club David Fincher
2000 Big Momma's House Raja Gosnell
2001 Freddy Got Fingered Tom Green
Joy Ride John Dahl
Joe Somebody John Pasquin
2002 Unfaithful Adrian Lyne
2003 Down with Love Peyton Reed
2004 The Girl Next Door Luke Greenfield
First Daughter Forest Whitaker
2005 Bee Season Scott McGehee
David Siegel
Through Fox Searchlight Pictures
2006 Big Momma's House 2 John Whitesell
Date Movie Jason Friedberg
Aaron Seltzer
2007 Epic Movie
Alvin and the Chipmunks Tim Hill
2008 Meet the Spartans Jason Friedberg
Aaron Seltzer
Shutter Masayuki Ochiai
Street Kings David Ayer Through Fox Searchlight Pictures
What Happens in Vegas Tom Vaughan
Meet Dave Brian Robbins
Mirrors Alexandre Aja
Marley & Me David Frankel
2009 Bride Wars Gary Winick
Aliens in the Attic John Schultz
Fantastic Mr. Fox Wes Anderson
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel Betty Thomas
2010 Marmaduke Tom Dey
Knight and Day James Mangold
Vampires Suck Jason Friedberg
Aaron Seltzer
Mirrors 2 Víctor García Direct-to-video
Love & Other Drugs Edward Zwick
2011 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son John Whitesell
Marley & Me: The Puppy Years Michael Damian Direct-to-video
What's Your Number? Mark Mylod
In Time Andrew Niccol
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked Mike Mitchell
The Darkest Hour Chris Gorak With Summit Entertainment
2013 The Internship Shawn Levy
2014 Joy Ride 3: Roadkill Declan O'Brien Direct-to-video
2015 True Story Rupert Goold Through Fox Searchlight Pictures
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip Walt Becker
2018 Unsane Steven Soderbergh With Bleecker Street and Fingerprint Releasing
Bohemian Rhapsody Bryan Singer

20th Century Studios

Year Title Director Notes
2022 Deep Water Adrian Lyne
Untitled David O. Russell project David O. Russell

Warner Bros.

Producer
Year Title Director Notes
1984 Once Upon a Time in America Sergio Leone
1991 Guilty by Suspicion Irwin Winkler
1992 The Mambo Kings Arne Glimcher
The Power of One John G. Avildsen
Under Siege Andrew Davis
That Night Craig Bolotin
1993 Sommersby Jon Amiel
Made in America Richard Benjamin
Six Degrees of Separation Fred Schepisi With Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Heaven & Earth Oliver Stone
1994 The Client Joel Schumacher
1995 Boys on the Side Herbert Ross
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory Geoff Murphy
Empire Records Allan Moyle
Copycat Jon Amiel
1996 Sunchaser Michael Cimino
A Time to Kill Joel Schumacher
Carpool Arthur Hiller
Bogus Norman Jewison
1997 Murder at 1600 Dwight H. Little
L.A. Confidential Curtis Hanson
The Devil's Advocate Taylor Hackford
The Man Who Knew Too Little Jon Amiel
1998 Dangerous Beauty Marshall Herskovitz With 20th Century Fox
The Negotiator F. Gary Gray
2006 The Fountain Darren Aronofsky
Executive producer
Year Title Director Notes
1991 Switch Blake Edwards
1991 JFK Oliver Stone
1992 Memoirs of an Invisible Man John Carpenter
1993 Falling Down Joel Schumacher
Free Willy Simon Wincer
The Nutcracker Emile Ardolino
1994 Natural Born Killers Oliver Stone
Second Best Chris Menges
The New Age Michael Tolkin
Cobb Ron Shelton
1995 Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home Dwight H. Little
Heat Michael Mann
1996 Tin Cup Ron Shelton
1997 Free Willy 3: The Rescue Sam Pillsbury
Breaking Up Robert Greenwald
1998 City of Angels Brad Silberling
Goodbye Lover Roland Joffé

TriStar Pictures

Year Title Director Notes
1987 Man on Fire Élie Chouraqui
1989 Who's Harry Crumb? Paul Flaherty
1990 Q&A Sidney Lumet
1996 The Mirror Has Two Faces Barbra Streisand Through Sony Pictures Releasing

Others

Year Title Director Distributor Notes
1977 Black Joy Anthony Simmons Hemdale Film Corporation Uncredited
The Accuser Jean-Louis Bertuccelli Co-producer
1978 The Medusa Touch Jack Gold ITC Entertainment Executive producer
1979 Dizengoff 99 Avi Nesher Shapira Films
1989 Big Man on Campus Jeremy Kagan Vestron Pictures
1990 Pretty Woman Garry Marshall Buena Vista Pictures
1993 Striking Distance Rowdy Herrington Columbia Pictures
2000 Up at the Villa Philip Haas USA Films
2014 Noah Darren Aronofsky Paramount Pictures
2015 The Big Short Adam McKay
2018 The Girl in the Spider's Web Fede Álvarez Sony Pictures Releasing Executive producer
2019 The Lighthouse Robert Eggers A24 / Focus Features / Universal Pictures
Little Women Greta Gerwig Sony Pictures Releasing
2020 His House Remi Weekes Netflix
2021 Everybody's Talking About Jamie Jonathan Butterell Amazon Studios Executive producer
2022 The Northman Robert Eggers Focus Features / Universal Pictures
Miscellaneous crew
Year Film Role
1977 Black Joy Presenter
1978 The Medusa Touch In association with
1985 Brazil Presenter
1987 Man on Fire
As an actor
Year Film Role
1983 Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? Customer at Café
1984 Once Upon a Time in America Chauffeur
Thanks
Year Film Role
2007 The Killing Floor Special thanks

Television

Executive producer

Producer

See also

Further reading

  • Doron, Meir; Gelman, Joseph (2011) Confidential The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon – Arnon Milchan Gefen Books, New York. ISBN 978-0-615-43381-3

References

  1. ^ a b "Forbes profile: Arnon Milchan". Forbes. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Arnon Milchan". IMDb.
  3. ^ a b Cieply, Michael (July 17, 2011). "New Book Tells Tale of Israeli Arms Dealer in Hollywood". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Hollywood Producer Was an Israeli Nuclear Agent". Haaretz.
  5. ^ "The world's 50 Richest Jews: 41–50". The Jerusalem Post - JPost.com.
  6. ^ Bloom, Nate (February 25, 2016). "The tribe at the Oscars, 2016". Times of Israel.
  7. ^ Azoulay, Ellie Armon (July 29, 2010). "Shooting in the Dark". Retrieved January 26, 2018 – via Haaretz.
  8. ^ a b "Arnon Milchan Biography (1944–)". filmreference.com.
  9. ^ "the last Tycoon". highbeam.com. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014.
  10. ^ "Revealed: Arnon Milchan – the Hollywood producer behind hits Pretty Woman, Fight Club and LA Confidential who became a real-life James Bond" by Tim Walker, The Independent, November 22, 2013
  11. ^ Carver, Benedict (August 30, 1996). "Holding Court". Screen International. p. 16.
  12. ^ Caspi, David (November 21, 2013). "Arnon Milchan Admits to Arms Dealing in the '70s". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  13. ^ Harriet Sherwood (November 26, 2013). "Arnon Milchan reveals past as Israeli spy". The Guardian.
  14. ^ David Caspi (February 13, 2018). "Israeli Police Recommend Charging Producer Arnon Milchan With Bribery". The Hollywood Reporter.
  15. ^ Hendrix, Steve; Eglash, Ruth (November 21, 2019). "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicted on charges of bribery, fraud, breach of trust". The Washington Post. Netanyahu also allegedly pressed the United States repeatedly to give Milchan a U.S. visa and, in Israel, pushed the finance minister to extend an income tax exemption that would benefit the producer.
  16. ^ Debra Kamin (February 13, 2018). "Israeli Police Recommend Arnon Milchan, Benjamin Netanyahu Be Charged With Bribery". Variety.
  17. ^ "Netanyahu Closures Infuriate Malibu Residents, Officials".
  18. ^ "Inside the Hollywood Scandal That Looms over Israel's Election". April 9, 2019.
  19. ^ Berk, Christina Cheddar (April 29, 2015). "Hollywood's top 10 art collectors". CNBC. Retrieved January 26, 2016.

External links

  • Forbes.com: Forbes World's Richest People
  • Arnon Milchan at IMDb