|Occupation(s)||Businessman, film producer|
|Known for||Founder of Regency Enterprises|
|Spouse(s)||Brigitte Genmaire (divorced)|
Arnon Milchan (Hebrew: ארנון מילצ'ן; December 6, 1944) is an Israeli businessman, film producer and former spy. He has been involved in over 130 full-length motion pictures 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. Milchan was also an Israeli intelligence operative from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s.
Milchan was born in Rehovot, Mandatory Palestine, to a Jewish family. 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 and Alexandra is a film producer. He later married South African retired professional tennis player Amanda Coetzer and had two children with her (Shimon and Olivia).
Allegedly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry three times in 2014 to arrange a long-term visa for Milchan to live in the United States, but the bribery charges against Netanyahu have since been called into question. Milchan does not live in Israel and has not been there since 2016.
His father owned a fertilizer company, 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. 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.
Film production career
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 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 $5.1 billion as of 2015[update].
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. 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. 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.
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". 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 the 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.
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.
In June 2023, Milchan provided some details about the friendship he developed with future Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his time as an intelligence officer, with the two having gone from being simple acquaintances to knowing each other "like brothers."
In February 2018, Israeli Police recommended that Arnon Milchan, alongside Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, be charged with bribery. 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. 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. 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.
On June 25, 2023, Milchan began his first day of testimony as a prosecution witness in Case 1000 and acknowledged that he gave the Netanyahu family numerous gifts and used code names for the gifts which were exchanged as well. However, Milchan also claimed he never thought the gifts would qualify as legal issues, as they were requests which were related to his friendship with the Netanyahus and not demands. Due to his health, Milchan did not appear in-person at the Jerusalem courthouse and gave video testimony from a courthouse in Brighton, United Kingdom.
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.
- Embassy International Pictures N.V. (1982–1989)
- Regency International Pictures (1989–1991)
- Alcor Films (1991–1995)
- Regency Enterprises (1991–)
- New Regency Productions (1991–)
|Amsterdam||David O. Russell|
|2023||The Creator||Gareth Edwards|
|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|
|1995||Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home||Dwight H. Little|
|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|
|1987||Man on Fire||Élie Chouraqui|
|1989||Who's Harry Crumb?||Paul Flaherty|
|1996||The Mirror Has Two Faces||Barbra Streisand||Through Sony Pictures Releasing|
|1977||Black Joy||Anthony Simmons||Hemdale Film Corporation||Uncredited|
|The Accuser||Jean-Louis Bertuccelli||Co-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|
|2020||His House||Remi Weekes||Netflix|
|2022||The Northman||Robert Eggers||Focus Features / Universal Pictures|
|Deep Water||Adrian Lyne||Hulu / Amazon Prime Video|
|2024||The Bikeriders||Jeff Nichols||Focus Features / Universal Pictures|
|TBA||Blitz||Steve McQueen||Apple TV+|
|1978||The Medusa Touch||Jack Gold||ITC Entertainment|
|2018||The Girl in the Spider's Web||Fede Álvarez||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|2019||The Lighthouse||Robert Eggers||A24 / Focus Features / Universal Pictures|
|Little Women||Greta Gerwig||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|2021||Everybody's Talking About Jamie||Jonathan Butterell||Amazon Studios|
|2023||Occupied City||Steve McQueen||A24 / mk2 Films|
|1978||The Medusa Touch||In association with|
|1987||Man on Fire|
|1983||Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?||Customer at Café|
|1984||Once Upon a Time in America||Chauffeur|
- The Killing Floor (2007)
- "Arnon Milchan". IMDb.
- Cieply, Michael (July 17, 2011). "New Book Tells Tale of Israeli Arms Dealer in Hollywood". The New York Times.
- "Hollywood Producer Was an Israeli Nuclear Agent". Haaretz.
- "The world's 50 Richest Jews: 41–50". The Jerusalem Post - JPost.com.
- Bloom, Nate (February 25, 2016). "The tribe at the Oscars, 2016". Times of Israel.
- Azoulay, Ellie Armon (July 29, 2010). "Shooting in the Dark". Haaretz. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- "Netanyahu asked Kerry 3 times to help his benefactor Arnon Milchan with US visa". The Times of Israel. Retrieved September 4, 2022.
- "Forbes profile: Arnon Milchan". Forbes. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
- "Judges in Netanyahu Trial Confirm Suggesting Prosecution Drop Bribery Charge". The Times of Israel. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
- "Morning journal 29 August 2022 (in Hebrew)". Eli Zipori. Retrieved September 4, 2022.
- "Arnon Milchan Biography (1944–)". filmreference.com.
- Ann Louise Bardach (April 1, 2000). "the last Tycoon". Los Angeles Magazine. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014 – via highbeam.com.
- "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
- Carver, Benedict (August 30, 1996). "Holding Court". Screen International. p. 16.
- Caspi, David (November 21, 2013). "Arnon Milchan Admits to Arms Dealing in the '70s". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
- Harriet Sherwood (November 26, 2013). "Arnon Milchan reveals past as Israeli spy". The Guardian.
- Starr, Michael (June 25, 2023). "Milchan: 'I gave Netanyahu cigars, champagne and jewelry'". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
- David Caspi (February 13, 2018). "Israeli Police Recommend Charging Producer Arnon Milchan With Bribery". The Hollywood Reporter.
- 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.
- Debra Kamin (February 13, 2018). "Israeli Police Recommend Arnon Milchan, Benjamin Netanyahu Be Charged With Bribery". Variety.
- "Netanyahu Closures Infuriate Malibu Residents, Officials".
- "Inside the Hollywood Scandal That Looms over Israel's Election". April 9, 2019.
- Berk, Christina Cheddar (April 29, 2015). "Hollywood's top 10 art collectors". CNBC. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- 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