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FRED WEINTRAUB,
1928-2017

Fred Weintraub, a New York club owner and film producer who was behind the scenes at Woodstock, the birth of folk-rock and the career of Bruce Lee, died Sunday in Pacific Palisades. He was 88.

The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease, his wife, Jackie, told The New York Times.

As owner of The Bitter End, the Greenwich Village club he opened in 1961, Weintraub showcased Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, Nina Simone, Peter, Paul and Mary and countless comics early in their careers. Weintraub was the talent wrangler for the ABC TV show Hootenanny, which aired in 1963 and ’64 and featured The Chad Mitchell Trio, Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, Cass Elliott and other budding folk and country stars.

He sold the club in 1974 in the wake of helping launch the careers of Harry Chapin, Bette Midler and Carly Simon.

He left the nightclub for the film business when Warner Bros. offered him a job. His first venture was getting Warner Bros. to buy the rights to film the Woodstock music festival in August 1969; he would eventually become VP for creative services.

In 1972, he created his own production company within Warners. Its first film was the Bruce Lee-starring classic Enter the Dragon. Weintraub would produce more than 40 more movies in his career and was reportedly working on a Bitter End TV show at the time of his death.

 

 

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