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Peter Bart

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Peter Bart
Peter Benton Bart

(1932-07-24) July 24, 1932 (age 91)[1]
New York City, New York, United States
Occupation(s)Author, managing editor, film producer, journalist, screenwriter, television host
Dorothy Callmann
(m. 1961; div. 1981)
Leslie Cox
(m. 1982; div. 2005)
Phyllis Fredette
(m. 2008)

Peter Benton Bart (born July 24, 1932)[1] is an American journalist and film producer, writing a column for Deadline Hollywood since 2015. He is best known for his lengthy tenure (1989–2009) as the editor in chief of Variety, an entertainment-trade magazine.

Bart was also a co-host, with film producer Peter Guber, of the weekly television series, Shootout (formerly Sunday Morning Shootout), carried on the AMC television channel from 2003 to 2008 and subsequently seen in syndication and in 53 countries around the world.

Early life and education[edit]

Bart was born in New York City, the son of Clara (née Ginsberg) and Max S. Bart and raised on Manhattan's Upper West Side.[2][1] His mother and likely his father were Austrian Jews who emigrated in the early twentieth century, and both worked as public school teachers.[2] His father was strictly irreligious and anti-communist.[2] Bart was educated at Friends Seminary in New York City;[3] Swarthmore College, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;[2] and The London School of Economics and Political Science in London, United Kingdom.


He served as a reporter and columnist for The New York Times and as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Sun-Times prior to entering the film business.

Starting in 1967, Bart worked as an executive at Paramount Pictures, rising to vice president in charge of production; his relationship with Robert Evans was documented in Evans' autobiography The Kid Stays in the Picture. He played a key role in such films as Rosemary's Baby (1968), True Grit (1969), Harold and Maude (1971), The Godfather (1972) and Paper Moon (1973). After eight years at Paramount he became senior vice president for production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and president of Lorimar Productions, where he was involved in such films as Being There (1979) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981). Bart also served as a co-producer on such films as Fun with Dick and Jane (1977) and Islands in the Stream (1977). He also wrote the screenplay for the 1971 film Making It.

He joined Variety as editor-in-chief in 1989. In 2007, Bart appointed Tim Gray to become his successor as editor with the understanding that he would stay on as columnist, blogger and consultant.[4] In April 2009, it was announced that Bart was moving to the position of "vice president and editorial director", characterized online as "Boffo No More: Bart Up and Out at Variety".[4]

In 2001, Los Angeles Magazine reported that Bart had sold the rights to an 86-page novella called Power Play, about "a power struggle between established casino owners and Indian tribes," to Paramount Pictures, where his friend and business associate Robert Evans was a producer. Bart explained he had "probably spent a weekend" adapting the novella from a 108-page script called Crossroaders. The title page of the script showed it had been authored "By Leslie Cox", Bart's wife at the time, "Based on the novel by Peter Bart. September 1996." When asked if he wrote the script himself as well, Bart said he could not remember. Variety policy prohibits staffers from selling scripts, as doing so could generate a conflict of interest given that publication's focus and influence on the Hollywood movie industry, though Bart said he has no problem with staff selling the movie rights to books they have written.[2]

He served as executive producer and screenwriter of the documentary film, Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters (2006) shown on the HBO television channel.

Through the years Bart has published eight books, including five non-fiction and three fiction.

He serves on the board of advisors for Penske Media Company.

Personal life[edit]

In 1961, he married Dorothy Callman; they had two daughters, Colby Bart Centrella (born 1962) and Dilys Bart Shelton (born 1966).[2] His second wife was Leslie Cox.[5] In 2008, Bart married for a third time, to the former Phyllis Fredette. His nephew is actor Roger Bart.[6]


He was a producer in all films unless otherwise noted.


Year Film Credit
1977 Fun with Dick and Jane
Islands in the Stream
1984 Revenge of the Nerds Executive producer
1986 Youngblood
1987 Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise
2005 Fun with Dick and Jane Executive producer
As writer
Year Film
1971 Making It
Miscellaneous crew
Year Film Role
1981 Reborn Creative consultant
Francis and the Godfather
As an actor
Year Film Role
1997 An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn Himself
Year Film Role
2019 The Planters Extra special thanks


Year Title Credit
2006 Square Off Executive producer
2009−11 In the House with Peter Bart & Peter Guber Executive producer
2012 Movie Talk with Peter Bart Executive producer

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Peter Bart Biography (1932-)". www.filmreference.com. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Wallace, Amy (September 1, 2001). "Is Peter Bart the Most Hated Man in Hollywood?". Los Angeles. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  3. ^ Bing |, Jonathan. "Peter Bart: Inside the Dream Factory". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
  4. ^ a b The New York Times. (April 6, 2009).
  5. ^ Washington Post: "Variety Editor Peter Bart Suspended" By Sharon Waxman August 18, 2001.
  6. ^ Horwitz, Simi (November 8, 2007). "First Banana – Roger Bart goes from sidekick to lead in bringing 'Young Frankenstein' to life". Backstage. Accessed April 4, 2009.


(This list may be incomplete.)

  • Destinies, a novel co-written with Denne Bart Petitclerc (Simon & Schuster, 1979)
  • Thy Kingdom Come, a novel (Linden, 1981)
  • Fade Out: The Calamitous Final Days of MGM, nonfiction (Morrow, 1990). Refers to the final days of MGM as a historic film studio in Culver City, California. (MGM still exists as a company.)
  • The Gross: the Hits, the Flops – the Summer that Ate Hollywood, nonfiction (St. Martin's Press, 1999) (paperback: St. Martin's Griffin, 2000) ISBN 978-0-312-25391-2
  • Who Killed Hollywood? and Put the Tarnish on Tinseltown, nonfiction (Renaissance, 2000)
  • Shoot Out: Surviving the Fame and (Mis)fortune of Hollywood, nonfiction coauthored with Peter Guber (Putnam, 2002)
  • Dangerous Company: Dark Tales from Tinseltown, a collection of short stories (Miramax, 2003)
  • Boffo! Hollywood in the Trenches: How I Learned to Love the Blockbuster and Fear the Bomb, nonfiction (Miramax, 2006)
  • Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies, the Mob (and Sex), nonfiction (Weinstein Books, 2011)

External links[edit]