The Paramount executive producer of iconic films 'Chinatown' and 'Urban Cowboy' Robert Evans, passed away at the age of 89 on Saturday night.
Evans was given starring roles in a few movies and then, with no studio experience, was handed the production reins at Paramount in the 1960s. Eventually, his distinctive look and speaking style turned him into a cult figure, and he had the distinction of being the only film executive who starred in his own animated TV series, reported Variety.
His life was a continuous roller-coaster. Amid the successes, Ali MacGraw left him for Steve McQueen, her co-star in the 1972 'The Getaway,' a love triangle that stole the limelight and received huge attention in the newspaper. (MacGraw was the third of Evans' seven wives). In 1980, Evans was arrested for cocaine possession and a few years later, was involved in an even bigger scandal: the murder of would-be Hollywood player Roy Radin during the production of 'The Cotton Club.'
When he resurfaced at Paramount in the '90s, his track record in production was mostly undistinguished. But by then his larger-than-life persona was already the stuff of Hollywood legend. Evans parodied himself in the film 'Burn, Hollywood, Burn' (1998).
Born in New York, before the age of 18, Evans had worked on more than 300 radio shows and the occasional TV show and play. A collapsed lung forced him to recuperate for a year, and when he returned, he realized he'd lost his momentum.