Jon Peters

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Jon Peters
Born
John H. Peters

(1945-06-02) June 2, 1945 (age 77)
OccupationFilm producer, hairdresser
Years active1976–present
Spouses
  • Henrietta Zampitella
    (m. 1962; div. 1966)
  • (m. 1967; div. 1975)
  • Christine Forsyth
    (m. 1987; div. 1993)
  • Mindy Williamson
    (m. 2001; div. 2004)
  • (m. 2020; ann. 2020)
Partner(s)Barbra Streisand
(1973–1982)
Children4; including Caleigh

John Peters (born June 2, 1945) is an American film producer and former hairdresser.

Early life[edit]

Peters was born on June 2, 1945 in Van Nuys, California.[1] Peters is of Cherokee (father) and Italian (mother) descent.[2] While growing up in a rough neighborhood, Peters's father died when he was eight years old and his mother later remarried; Peters was later expelled from school and sent to reform school for a year when he was 12.[2]

Career[edit]

As a child, Peters was cast as an extra in Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 film The Ten Commandments.[3]

Prior to becoming a producer, Peters ran away from home at the age of 14 and moved to New York City, where he found work as a hairdresser[2] and took his first job of dyeing women's pubic hair.[3] Upon moving back to Los Angeles, he opened two salons and later took over his uncles' salon on Rodeo Drive, where he met Sue Mengers.[2] In the early 1970s, he learned about Jay Sebring's method of cutting hair from Sebring's protégé Jim Markham, whereupon he designed a short wig worn by Barbra Streisand in the 1974 comedy film For Pete's Sake;[4] Peters and Streisand then began a romantic relationship. He produced both Streisand's studio album ButterFly (1974) and her remake of A Star Is Born (1976), after being introduced through and working with Mengers.[5][verification needed][2] Of Peters, Mengers said, "He's like trying to withstand a hurricane. If it weren't for Jon, I'd be 20 years younger."[2]

Peters later worked alongside producer Peter Guber for the next ten years, with whom he headed Sony Pictures from 1989 until 1991. Peters eventually left Sony to start his own production company, Peters Entertainment, in 1991 initially with an exclusive three-year deal at Sony, but eventually going to non-exclusive and adding another non-exclusive deal at Warner Bros. in 1994.[6]

Superman[edit]

In the early 1990s, Peters bought the film rights to the Superman franchise from Warner Bros. In his Q&A/comedy DVD An Evening with Kevin Smith, filmmaker Kevin Smith talked about working for Peters when he was hired to write a script for a new Superman film, which was then called Superman Reborn and later Superman Lives.[7] According to Smith, Peters had expressed disdain for most of Superman's iconic characteristics by demanding that Superman never fly[8] nor appear in his trademark costume.[8] Smith said Peters also suggested Sean Penn for the role based on his performance as a death row inmate in Dead Man Walking, which he said that Penn had the eyes of a "caged animal, a fucking killer." Smith went on to say Peters also wanted the third act of the film include a fight between Superman and a giant spider,[9] to be unveiled in an homage to King Kong. Peters later produced the 1999 film Wild Wild West, the finale of which featured a giant mechanical spider.[9] The story is further touched upon by both Smith and Peters in the documentary The Death of 'Superman Lives'.

Smith met Peters after completing a script, and said Peters suggested he include a robot sidekick for Brainiac, a fight scene between Brainiac and polar bears and a marketable "space dog" pet similar to the Star Wars character Chewbacca.[7] In the documentary Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman, Peters admitted that the Superman franchise was problematic for him, stating: "The elements that I was focusing on were away from the heart, it was more leaning towards 'Star Wars' in a sense, you know. I didn't realize the human part of it, I didn't have that."[citation needed] Peters subsequently produced Superman Returns, the 2006 Superman film directed by Bryan Singer, and executive-produced Man of Steel, the 2013 Superman film directed by Zack Snyder.[10] Peters says that he was banned from the Man of Steel set by producer Christopher Nolan because "my reputation scares these guys".[3]

The Sandman[edit]

Peters was a producer for a planned adaptation of the Sandman comics for Warner Bros., which became stuck in development in 2001.[11] Sandman creator Neil Gaiman called the last screenplay for the film that Warner Bros. would send him "not only the worst Sandman script I've ever seen, but quite easily the worst script I've ever read."[12] In a 2005 interview regarding the film, Gaiman commented: "But Sandman movies, they just got increasingly appalling... They started out hiring some really good people... And then Jon Peters fired all of them and got in some people who take orders, and who wanted fistfights and all this stuff. It had no sensibility... they were horrible."[13] As with the production of Superman Lives and Wild Wild West, Peters attempted to include a "giant mechanical spider" in the script. Gaiman would go on to leak the maligned script in an attempt to sabotage its production.[14]

Proposed autobiography[edit]

Peters submitted a book proposal for his autobiography, which was self-written alongside Los Angeles writer William Stadiem. In the proposal, he described himself as someone who "came from the lower depths to become THE MAN in Hollywood, a master of seduction, production and psychology," and said he "has seen it all and knows it all, without ever being a know-it-all."[15] Peters also reportedly intended to write about his sexual activities with Barbra Streisand, Sharon Stone and many other actresses.[15] In 2009, he subsequently withdrew from the HarperCollins book deal after adverse publicity triggered by the leaking of the proposal and potential lawsuits.[citation needed]

Sexual harassment[edit]

In August 2011, Los Angeles jurors ordered Peters to pay a former assistant $3.3 million after finding she was subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment during production of Superman Returns.[16][17] The 44-year old single mother also claimed that she was unable to obtain work after the incident because of Peters' influence in the industry. The claimant was awarded compensatory as well as punitive damages in the case.[16] Peters was credited as one of the producers of the 2018 film A Star Is Born, but did not receive certification from the Producers Guild of America to use the "p.g.a." designation after his credit. Director Bradley Cooper said he did not know of the sexual harassment allegations against Peters and that Peters was not present on the set of his film, though he received a producer credit only because he controlled the rights to the 1976 film.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Family[edit]

Peters married four times, each ending in divorce, and the marriage certificate on his fifth marriage was never filed. [19] Several of his marriages and relationships overlapped each other. Peters has four children from his marriages, the three older of whom are in the entertainment industry.[20][21][22]

Peters' first marriage was to Henrietta Zampitella when he was almost 17. The couple were married from April 1962 to November 1966.[23][24]

In May 1967,[25] the year following his first divorce, Peters married actress Lesley Ann Warren, with whom he had his son Christopher. The couple divorced in 1975[26] after a two-year separation.[27]

Barbra Streisand and Peters had a high-profile personal and business relationship from 1973 to 1982.[27][28] Streisand went on to become godmother to his two daughters with Christine Forsyth.[29][better source needed][30]

Peters married his third wife, producer Christine Forsyth, in June 1987.[31] Sometime after the couple's separation two months later, Christine Forsyth adopted[31] daughters Skye and Caleigh Peters.[22][32][21] After this severance, Peters allowed Forsyth and the girls to continue living in his Bel-Air property. Peters did not file for divorce until 1993 and later filed a request for her to leave the Bel-Air estate in 2006.[31]

In 1994, Peters met Mindy Williamson, a breeder of Arabian horses,[33][34][35] who was to become his fourth wife in 2001. After their 2004 divorce, they reunited from 2006 to 2009.[36] Together, they have daughter Kendyl Peters.[3]

The marriage certificate on his fifth marriage, to actress and model Pamela Anderson on January 20, 2020, was not filed, with the couple separating after 12 days.[37][38][39] Anderson said she was "never legally married" to Peters.[40][19][41]

Jon Peters reportedly became engaged to actress Julia Bernheim in February 2020.[42] The announcement was made three weeks after his split from Pamela Anderson.[42]

Filmography[edit]

Producer unless otherwise noted.

Film[edit]

Executive

Producer

Other credited participation in films[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1956 The Ten Commandments Boy on Donkey Crossing Red Sea
Uncredited
1965 Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine Hair stylist: Susan Hart
1974 For Pete's Sake Hair stylist: Barbra Streisand
1981 The Pursuit of D. B. Cooper Executive producer: Soundtrack album
1988 High Spirits Special thanks
2002 The Guru Head chef
2006 Forgiveness Caterer

Television[edit]

Year Title Credit Notes
1961 Shirley Temple's Storybook Actor: The Ironmonger
1979 Getting in Shape for the Main Event Executive producer Documentary
1984 Television and the Presidency Executive producer Documentary
The Toughest Man in the World Executive producer Television film
Dreams
1985 Oceanquest Executive producer Documentary
1986 Brotherhood of Justice Executive producer Television film
1987 Bay Coven Executive producer Television film
1988 Nightmare at Bittercreek Executive producer Television film
Superman 50th Anniversary Executive producer Documentary
1989 Finish Line Executive producer Television film
1995 Fast Track Special thanks Television film

In popular culture[edit]

It has been said, partly by Peters himself, that he was the inspiration for Warren Beatty's character in the Hal Ashby film Shampoo.[43][44]

Peters is portrayed by Bradley Cooper in the 2021 Paul Thomas Anderson film, Licorice Pizza.[45]

Further reading[edit]

  • Griffin, Nancy; Masters, Kim (1996). Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-80931-1.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Day, Patrick Kevin (June 9, 2010). "Hollywood Star Walk: Jon Peters". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Shah, Diane K. (October 22, 1989). "The Producers". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 25, 2015. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Littky, Pamela (January 12, 2017). ""I am the Trump of Hollywood": The Reclusive and Outrageous Jon Peters Is Still Rich. Really Rich". The Hollywood Reporter (Interview). Archived from the original on November 7, 2021. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  4. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (July 30, 2019). "Manson Victim's Friend Posits Alternative Motive: 'I Never Bought Into the Race War Theory'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 31, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  5. ^ Barbra by Donald Zec and Anthony Fowles, chapter 17
  6. ^ Frook, John Evan (February 22, 1994). "Sony, Peters change nature of their deal". Variety. Archived from the original on October 24, 2021. Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Kevin Smith talks about Superman on YouTube
  8. ^ a b Rossen, Jake (2008). Superman Vs. Hollywood: How Fiendish Producers, Devious Directors, and Warring Writers Grounded an American Icon. Chicago Review Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-55652-731-9. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Cronin, Brian (2009). Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed. Penguin Group. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-452-29532-2. Archived from the original on February 22, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  10. ^ Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" teaser trailer with Jon Peters credited on YouTube
  11. ^ "Moriarty takes a look at what Jon Peters has done with Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN property!!!". Ain't It Cool News. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  12. ^ "Comics2Film: Sandman". Archived from the original on December 19, 2007.
  13. ^ ""Neil Gaiman and Joss Whedon"". Time (Interview). September 25, 2005. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  14. ^ ""Neil Gaiman Says He Sabotaged Jon Peters' 'Sandman' Movie by Leaking 'Really Stupid' Script"". Variety (Interview). August 25, 2022. Retrieved August 26, 2022.
  15. ^ a b Finke, Nikki (May 21, 2009). ""IT SHOULD BE CALLED 'DICKHEAD': Why Jon Peters' Book Proposal Sets New Low"". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 15, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Film producer ordered to pay $3 million in sex case". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
  17. ^ "Hollywood Docket: 'Superman' Producer Jon Peters Ordered To Pay $3.3 Mil in Sexual Harassment Trial". The Hollywood Reporter. August 29, 2011. Archived from the original on November 24, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  18. ^ Yang, Rachel (September 14, 2018). "Bradley Cooper Addresses 'A Star Is Born' Producer Jon Peters' Harassment Charges". Variety.com. Archived from the original on October 9, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Haas, Susan (February 2, 2020). "Newlyweds Pamela Anderson and Jon Peters call it quits after less than two weeks". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 5, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  20. ^ Black Belt. Active Interest Media, Inc. October 1995. pp. 56–58. Archived from the original on September 27, 2021. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  21. ^ a b "Skye Peters, Director, Producer, Los Angeles". Mandy.com. Archived from the original on October 10, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  22. ^ a b Abcarian, Robin (January 8, 2007). "The Junior Mint". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 30, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2019. Caleigh Peters, a gravelly voiced high school senior who is the daughter of producer Jon Peters. Caleigh, 18...
  23. ^ "Henrietta Zampitella". MyHeritage. Archived from the original on September 27, 2021. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  24. ^ Longeretta, Emily (February 20, 2020). "Jon Peters Is Engaged to Julia Bernheim 3 Weeks After Pamela Anderson Split". Us Weekly. Archived from the original on September 7, 2020. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  25. ^ "From Babs to Bernheim! All of Jon Peters' Wives and Fiancees Over the Years". Us Weekly. February 21, 2020. Archived from the original on March 1, 2021. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  26. ^ "The Real Victor in 'victor/ Victoria' Is a Newly Confident Lesley Ann Warren". PEOPLE.com. Archived from the original on October 30, 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  27. ^ a b Haber, Joyce (November 26, 1973) Jon, Barbra More Than Patron, Client Archived October 27, 2020, at the Wayback Machine Los Angeles Times
  28. ^ "Jon Peters Is Scared to Tell "Love of My Life" Barbra Streisand He Voted for Trump". Vanity Fair. January 12, 2017. Archived from the original on June 5, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  29. ^ Smith, Liz (September 22, 2004). "Time to say your Friared!". Newsday. New York City / Long Island. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  30. ^ Shnayerson, Michael (November 1994). "Barbra Streisand" The Way She Is". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on February 16, 2020. Retrieved September 30, 2019 – via Barbra-Archives.com. ...her six-year-old goddaughter, Caleigh
  31. ^ a b c "Producer Jon Peters Wants Ex-Wife Evicted". Fox News. July 19, 2006. Archived from the original on October 10, 2020. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  32. ^ "Producer Jon Peters' Family Shopping Reality Show (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 30, 2019. Retrieved September 30, 2019. ...daughters Skye Peters, 21, and Caleigh Peters, 23. ... ([T]heir mother is Christine Forsyth Peters, the ex-wife of Jon and a film producer in her own right, with credits like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days).
  33. ^ Jan 13, Celeste Phillips Wed; 2010 | 6:00am (January 13, 2010). "El Capitan Ranch Closing". The Santa Barbara Independent. Archived from the original on September 27, 2021. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  34. ^ "Mindy Peters Arabians". www.mindypeters.com. Archived from the original on July 26, 2021. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  35. ^ "Hollywood and Horses". Equestrian Living. June 8, 2013. Archived from the original on March 6, 2021. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  36. ^ Cullins, Ashley (April 11, 2016). "'Superman' Producer Jon Peters Sued by Ex-Wife Over Film Profits". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 16, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  37. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (January 21, 2020). "Pamela Anderson Marries Movie Mogul Jon Peters in Secret Malibu Ceremony". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 21, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  38. ^ D'Zurilla, Christie (January 21, 2020). "Pamela Anderson gets married to fellow five-timer Jon Peters". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 22, 2020. The couple were married Monday in a private ceremony in Malibu. 'They love each other very much. It's a great Hollywood romance,' her publicist said in confirming the news Tuesday.
  39. ^ Anderson in Morin, Alyssa (February 1, 2020). "Pamela Anderson and Jon Peters Split 12 Days After Getting Married". E! News. Archived from the original on May 19, 2020. Retrieved February 2, 2020. I have been moved by the warm reception to Jon and my union. We would be very grateful for your support as we take some time apart to re-evaluate what we want from life and from one another.
  40. ^ Slater, Georgia (September 5, 2020). "Pamela Anderson Was 'Never Legally Married' to Jon Peters, Likens Romance to 'Just a Bizarre Lunch'". People. Meredith Corporation. Archived from the original on February 1, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  41. ^ Anderson in Morin, Alyssa (February 1, 2020). "Pamela Anderson and Jon Peters Split 12 Days After Getting Married". E! News. Archived from the original on May 19, 2020. Retrieved February 2, 2020. I have been moved by the warm reception to Jon and my union. We would be very grateful for your support as we take some time apart to re-evaluate what we want from life and from one another.
  42. ^ a b Longeretta, Emily (February 20, 2020). "Jon Peters Is Engaged to Julia Bernheim 3 Weeks After Pam Anderson Split". Us Weekly. Archived from the original on September 7, 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  43. ^ ""I Am the Trump of Hollywood": The Reclusive and Outrageous Jon Peters is Still Rich. Really Rich". The Hollywood Reporter. January 12, 2017.
  44. ^ "Bradley Cooper's 'Licorice Pizza' character is based on a real-life Hollywood producer who started out as a hairdresser, was married to Pamela Anderson for 12 days, and fought Steven Seagal". Insider.com.
  45. ^ Jacobs, Matthew (November 23, 2021). "How Waterbeds, Teen Love and an Unhinged Bradley Cooper Led To Licorice Pizza". TIME. Archived from the original on November 29, 2021. Retrieved November 30, 2021.

External links[edit]