Fred Weintraub

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Fred Weintraub
Born(1928-04-27)April 27, 1928
DiedMarch 5, 2017(2017-03-05) (aged 88)
OccupationFilm producer, television producer
Known forOriginal owner of The Bitter End, martial arts and action films

Fred Robert Weintraub (April 27, 1928 – March 5, 2017)[1] was an American film and television producer.



Weintraub was the original owner and host of The Bitter End in New York City's Greenwich Village.[2] Weintraub discovered such acts as Peter, Paul and Mary, Lenny Bruce (with whom he was arrested for obscenity), Randy Newman and The Isley Brothers.[3] The club also featured early performances of Neil Diamond, Woody Allen, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Ricky Nelson, Nina Simone, Dustin Hoffman, Charles Aznavour, Lily Tomlin, Stevie Wonder, Kris Kristofferson, Joni Mitchell, George Carlin, Bob Dylan, Harry Chapin, Bill Cosby and Phil Ochs.[3] During the early 1960s The Bitter End hosted "Open Mike" Hootenannies every Tuesday night, showcasing young, old, known and unknown folksingers.[4]

Films and television[edit]

Moving west in the mid 1960s, Weintraub created, wrote, and produced several television shows including Hootenanny and Dukes of Hazzard.[5] Beginning with Rage then Enter the Dragon Weintraub produced dozens of movies, many with a martial arts theme, as well as directing a documentary on Bruce Lee, Bruce Lee: The Curse of the Dragon (1993).[5]

In 1970 Weintraub became an Executive Vice President of Warner Bros. One of the first films he oversaw for the studio was Woodstock. In 1972 he became an independent producer, and made a number of adventure films, including Enter the Dragon, starring Bruce Lee.

One of Weintraub's documentary films was It's Showtime (1976) which consisted of film clips profiling various animal actors, such as Rin Tin Tin, Flipper, Trigger, and Asta, with commentary from the actors who worked with them, and including footage of James Cagney, Jimmy Durante, Cary Grant, Maureen O'Sullivan, Dick Powell, Ronald Reagan, and Mickey Rooney working with animal stars.[6][7]

Other work[edit]

In 2011, Weintraub published his memoir, Bruce Lee, Woodstock and Me, along with collaborator David Fields,[8] recalling his fifty-year career in the entertainment industry.[9]


As producer
La Femme Musketeer (2004) (TV)
Dream Warrior (2003)
Warrior Angels (2002)
Endangered Species (2002)
Amazons and Gladiators (2001)
Perilous (2000)
The Devil's Arithmetic (1999) (TV) (producer)
Playboy's Really Naked Truth (1995–1997) (TV)
The Best of the Really Naked Truth (1997) (TV)
The New Adventures of Robin Hood (1997) (TV)
Undertow (1996) (TV)
Under the Gun (1995)
Triplecross (1995) (TV)
Backstreet Justice (1994)
Trouble Bound (1993)
Curse of the Dragon (1993)
The JFK Assassination: The Jim Garrison Tapes (1992)
Born to Ride (1991)
China O'Brien II (1991)
Chips, the War Dog (1990) (TV)
China O'Brien (1990)
The Best of the Martial Arts Films (1990)
The Women's Club (1987)
Gymkata (1985)
Out of Control (1985)
High Road to China (1983)
Force: Five (1981)
The Big Brawl (1980)
Tom Horn (1980)
Jaguar Lives! (1979)
The Promise (1979)
Checkered Flag or Crash (1977)
The Pack (1977)
Hot Potato (1976)
Trial by Combat (1976)
It's Showtime (1976)
The Ultimate Warrior (1975)
Golden Needles (1974)
Truck Turner (1974)
Black Belt Jones (1974)
Enter the Dragon (1973)
Rage (1972)
As story writer
The New Adventures of Robin Hood (1997) (TV)
The Women's Club (1987)
The Promise 1979)
Trial by Combat (1976)
Black Belt Jones (1974)
As documentary director
Curse of the Dragon (1993)
It's Showtime (1976)


Fred Weintraub died on March 5, 2017 in his Pacific Palisades home due to natural causes related to Parkinson's disease. He was 88.

He is survived by his beloved wife Jackie; children Sandra, Barbara, Max and Zachary; and four grandchildren.[10]


  1. ^ "Fred Weintraub, Who Showcased Future Greats at the Bitter End, Dies at 88". The New York Times. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  2. ^ Colby, Paul (2002). The Bitter End: Hanging Out at America's Nightclub. Cooper Square Press. ISBN 9781461660866. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Paul Colby's The Bitter End". The Bitter Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  4. ^ "The Bitter End". Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Fred Weintraub Biography". Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  6. ^ ""It's Showtime" cast and crew". Yahoo Movies. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  7. ^ ""It's Showtime" cast and crew". New York Times Movies. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Bruce Lee, Woodstock and Me
  10. ^ Roberts, Randall (March 7, 2017). "Fred Weintraub, who financed 'Woodstock' and helped discover Bruce Lee, dies at 88". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved March 8, 2017.

External links[edit]