Arnon Milchan

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Arnon Milchan
Born (1944-12-06) December 6, 1944 (age 74)
OccupationBusinessman, film producer
Known forFounder of Regency Enterprises
Net worthUS$3.6 billion (December 2018)[1]
Spouse(s)Brigitte Genmaire (divorced)
Amanda Coetzer

Arnon Milchan (Hebrew: ארנון מילצ'ן‎; December 6, 1944) is an Israeli billionaire businessman and film producer. 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 Oscar winners and nominees, as well as popular financial hits, including 12 Years a Slave, JFK, Heat, Fight Club, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and many more. Milchan personally 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 a resident of California.

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

Personal life[edit]

Milchan was born in 1944 in Rehovot, British Mandate of Palestine. His family is Jewish,[5] and he has a sister named Dalia. His mother was descended from European Jewish disciples of the 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.[6] He later married South African professional tennis player Amanda Coetzer.

Career and businesses[edit]

His father owned a fertilizer company,[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

Film industry[edit]

Milchan became involved in the American movie business in 1977, after an introduction to American producer Elliot Kastner. 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 Brothers, 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 Motion 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.[7] 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[edit]

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 (nuclear 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.[10]

Perez, 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 to have been a secret arms dealer for the Israeli government and Milchan claimed to have used connections to promote the apartheid regime in South Africa in exchange for it helping Israel acquire uranium for its nuclear program.[11]

Case 1000 & "Milchan's Law"[edit]

In February 2018, Israeli Police recommended that Arnon Milchan, alongside Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, be charged with bribery.[12] 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.[13]

Art collection[edit]

Milchan is a leading art collector, and in April 2015, CNBC ranked him at #3 in their list of "Hollywood's top 10 art collectors" with a collection valued at $600 million, equal with George Lucas, ranked #2, but some way behind David Geffen at #1, with a collection valued at $2.3 billion.[14]

Production companies[edit]


Year Title Notes
1977 Black Joy producer
The Accuser co-producer
1978 The Medusa Touch executive producer
1979 Dizengoff 99 producer
1982 The King of Comedy producer
1984 Once Upon a Time in America producer and actor (chauffeur)
1985 Brazil producer
Legend producer
Stripper executive producer
1987 Man on Fire producer
1989 Who's Harry Crumb? producer
Big Man on Campus producer
The War of the Roses producer
1990 Pretty Woman producer
Q&A producer
1991 Guilty by Suspicion producer
Switch executive producer
JFK executive producer
1992 The Mambo Kings producer
Memoirs of an Invisible Man executive producer
The Power of One producer
Under Siege producer
That Night producer
1993 Sommersby producer
Falling Down executive producer
Made in America producer
Free Willy executive producer
Striking Distance producer
The Nutcracker executive producer
Six Degrees of Separation producer
Heaven & Earth producer
1994 The Client producer
Natural Born Killers executive producer
Second Best executive producer
The New Age executive producer
Cobb executive producer
1995 Boys on the Side producer
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory producer
Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home executive producer
Empire Records producer
Copycat producer
Heat executive producer
1996 Sunchaser producer
A Time to Kill producer
Tin Cup executive producer
Carpool producer
Bogus producer
The Mirror Has Two Faces producer
1997 Murder at 1600 producer
L.A. Confidential producer
Free Willy 3: The Rescue executive producer
Breaking Up executive producer
The Devil's Advocate producer
The Man Who Knew Too Little producer
1998 Dangerous Beauty producer
City of Angels executive producer
Goodbye Lover executive producer
The Negotiator producer
1999 Simply Irresistible executive producer
Entrapment executive producer
A Midsummer Night's Dream executive producer
Fight Club executive producer
2000 Up at the Villa executive producer
Big Momma's House executive producer
Tigerland producer
2001 Freddy Got Fingered executive producer
Joy Ride executive producer
Don't Say a Word producer
Black Knight producer
Joe Somebody executive producer
2002 High Crimes producer
Life or Something Like It producer
Unfaithful executive producer
2003 Daredevil producer
Down with Love executive producer
Runaway Jury producer
2004 The Girl Next Door executive producer
Man on Fire producer
First Daughter executive producer
2005 Elektra producer
Mr. & Mrs. Smith producer
Bee Season executive producer
Stay producer
Little Manhattan producer
2006 Big Momma's House 2 executive producer
Date Movie executive producer
The Sentinel producer
Just My Luck producer
My Super Ex-Girlfriend producer
The Fountain producer
Deck the Halls producer
2007 Epic Movie executive producer
Alvin and the Chipmunks executive producer
2008 Meet the Spartans executive producer
Jumper producer
Shutter executive producer
Street Kings executive producer
What Happens in Vegas executive producer
Meet Dave executive producer
Mirrors executive producer
Marley & Me executive producer
2009 Bride Wars executive producer
Aliens in the Attic executive producer
Fantastic Mr. Fox executive producer
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel executive producer
2010 Marmaduke executive producer
Knight and Day executive producer
Vampires Suck executive producer
Mirrors 2 executive producer
Love & Other Drugs executive producer
2011 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son executive producer
Marley & Me: The Puppy Years executive producer
Monte Carlo producer
What's Your Number? executive producer
In Time executive producer
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked executive producer
The Darkest Hour executive producer
2013 Broken City producer
The Internship executive producer
12 Years a Slave producer
Runner Runner producer
2014 Noah producer
Joy Ride 3 executive producer
Birdman producer
Gone Girl producer
2015 True Story executive producer
Unfinished Business producer
The Big Short producer
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip executive producer
The Revenant producer
2016 Rules Don't Apply producer
A Cure for Wellness producer
Assassin's Creed producer
2018 Unsane executive producer
Widows producer
The Girl in the Spider's Web executive producer
Bohemian Rhapsody executive producer
2019 The Lighthouse executive producer
Ad Astra producer
Little Women executive producer
2020 Everybody's Talking About Jamie producer

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • 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


  1. ^ a b "Arnon Milchan". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  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'".
  5. ^ "The world's 50 Richest Jews: 41-50". The Jerusalem Post -
  6. ^ Azoulay, Ellie Armon (29 July 2010). "Shooting in the Dark". Retrieved 26 January 2018 – via Haaretz.
  7. ^ a b "Arnon Milchan Biography (1944-)".
  8. ^ "the last Tycoon". Archived from the original on 2014-06-10.
  9. ^ "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
  10. ^ Caspi, David (November 21, 2013). "Arnon Milchan Admits to Arms Dealing in the '70s". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
  11. ^ Harriet Sherwood. "Arnon Milchan reveals past as Israeli spy". The Guardian.
  12. ^ David Caspi. "Israeli Police Recommend Charging Producer Arnon Milchan With Bribery". The Hollywood Reporter.
  13. ^ Debra Kamin. "Israeli Police Recommend Arnon Milchan, Benjamin Netanyahu Be Charged With Bribery". Variety.
  14. ^ Berk, Christina Cheddar (April 29, 2015). "Hollywood's top 10 art collectors". CNBC. Retrieved January 26, 2016.

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