Eric Pleskow

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Eric Pleskow
Eric Pleskow Armin Thurnher Viennale 2015 e.jpg
Eric Pleskow at Viennale 2015
Born (1924-04-24) April 24, 1924 (age 95)
United States
OccupationFilm producer
Media executive
Known forPresident of United Artists and Orion Pictures

Eric Pleskow (born April 24, 1924) is an Austrian film producer and the former president of the movie studios United Artists and Orion Pictures.


Pleskow was the son of Jewish[1] merchants. After the Anschluss and the following Aryanization of their apartment, the family emigrated to the US in 1938. In 1943, he was conscripted into the army. After the Second World War Pleskow returned to Austria and guided five interrogations during denazifications. Due to his brief education in film editing, which he finished before joining the army, he became film officer (US War Department) in 1945 and was assigned to rebuild the Bavaria Film Studios.

From 1951 he was working for United Artists and was responsible for the movie rental in Europe and South Africa.[clarification needed] He also started to produce movies himself. In 1973 he became president of United Artists. Under his presidency United Artists won the Academy Award (Oscar) for the best picture three years in a row (1975: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1976: Rocky, 1977: Annie Hall).

In 1978, Pleskow left United Artists and built up Orion Pictures, which he directed until 1992. Their greatest successes under his management were Amadeus, Dances with Wolves and The Silence of the Lambs.

Since 1998, Pleskow has been president of the Film Festival Viennale in Vienna. In February 2007, he was awarded honorary citizenship of Vienna, following Billy Wilder and Teddy Kollek (2001).


  1. ^ Erens, Patricia (1998). The Jew in American Cinema. Indiana University Press. p. 392. ISBN 978-0-253-20493-6.