Armand Deutsch

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Armand Deutsch
Born(1913-01-25)January 25, 1913
DiedAugust 13, 2005(2005-08-13) (aged 92)
Other namesArdie
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1950–1958
Harriet Deutsch (m. 1951–2005)
(his death) (4 children)
Benay Venutal (m. 1939–1950)
(2 children)

Armand Deutsch (January 25, 1913 – August 13, 2005) was an American film producer and grandson of philanthropist and Sears CEO Julius Rosenwald. He believed that he was the intended target of the thrill killers Leopold and Loeb, who went on to kidnap and murder his schoolmate Robert "Bobby" Franks in 1924.

Early life and education[edit]

Deutsch was born on January 25, 1913, in Chicago, Illinois, to Armand and Adele Deutsch Levy (née Rosenwald). His mother was Jewish.[1] Deutsch's parents married in 1911.[2] They divorced before 1927 whereupon his mother married Dr David M Levy, a child psychologist and moved to New York City to pursue a long and notable career in philanthropy. Adele was among the founders of The Citizen's Committee for Children and was a member of the executive committee of the United Jewish Appeal's fundraising for survivors of the Holocaust in 1947.

Deutsch's younger brother Richard E. Deutsch was born in 1917. Armand attended The University of Chicago.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Deutsch and actress Benay Venuta married in 1939. They had two children and divorced in 1950. Deutsch's second marriage to Harriet Berk Simon in 1951 ended with his death. They had four children together.

Known as "a friendly and unobtrusive fellow,"[4] Deutsch had many famous and influential friends, including William Goetz, Frank Sinatra, and United States President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan, both of whom he met before the two married. He remained their close friend throughout Reagan's time as governor and president. In 1981, Reagan appointed Deutsch to the Presidential Task Force on the Arts & Humanities, which was established to recommend ways that both private and federal support for the arts and humanities could be enhanced.

Deutsch died in Los Angeles of complications relating to pneumonia[5] at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was a board member and trustee for many years.[6]


Deutsch spent his youth in New York City, where he knew Truman Capote, and served in the US Navy during World War II. After service he moved to Los Angeles at the invitation of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer chief of production Dore Schary to become a film producer. His credits include The Magnificent Yankee, a biopic of Oliver Wendell Holmes, which was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Actor for Louis Calhern and Best Costume Design.

Leopold and Loeb[edit]

Deutsch claimed that, as an 11-year-old in 1924, he may have been the intended target of the thrill killers Leopold and Loeb, who went on to kidnap and murder his schoolmate, Robert "Bobby" Franks. Writing in The Chicago Tribune in 1996, he stated that he avoided his brush with death as rather than walking home from school, he was driven to a dentist appointment by his chauffeur:

It was no mystery why Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold had singled me out as a prime prospect for their heinous crime. My grandfather, Julius Rosenwald, was the chairman of the board of Sears, Roebuck and Co. His prominence made me an ideal choice. In addition, Loeb's father was a Sears vice president. Our families were friends...So I knew and trusted both older boys, a great plus as they formulated their plans for what would become the first "crime of the century."[3]

Producer credits[edit]


Deutsch's memoir Me and Bogie: And Other Friends and Acquaintances from a Life in Hollywood and Beyond was published in 1991.[7]


  1. ^ Stoll, Steven. "Adele Rosenwald Levy". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
  2. ^ Hyman, P.; Moore, D.D.; Weisbard, P.H.; American Jewish Historical Society (1998). Jewish Women in America: A-L. Routledge. p. 839. ISBN 9780415919340. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  3. ^ a b "Armand Deutsch - tribunedigital-chicagotribune". Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  4. ^ "The List in Memoriam - Armand Deutsch". Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  5. ^ "The New York Times". Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  6. ^ "Armand Deutsch, 92; Arts Patron, Film Producer, Friend of Reagan - latimes". Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  7. ^

External links[edit]