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Jerry Bruckheimer and friend Tom and Johnny / Getty
/ By Alan Gallindoss /
Hollywood celebrity magazines report that Jerry Bruckheimer, a legendary television and film producer, finally got his star on Hollywood’s Walk to Fame this week on June 24th.
The Hollywood heavyweight producer was joined by mega stars Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise. Bruckheimer worked with Depp on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, really launching his career as a money-earning actor, as well as his latest film The Lone Ranger which is just about to come out. He also produced the smash hit Top Gun which starred Tom Cruise. However, he is probably best known outside of Hollywood for producing the television Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) series and The Amazing Race reality show.
“Without Jerry, there would be no Pirates, there would be no Captain Jack, ” Depp said at the ceremony. “Without Jerry, there would be no Lone Ranger, there would be no reinvigorated Tonto. So I have a lot to thank him for. The man is a legend to me, a legend to us all, hence this congregation to celebrate him for his long-deserved star on the Walk of Fame.”
Other Hollywood stars in attendance included Isla Fisher, Jon Voight, Martin Lawrence, and Jerry O’Connell.
Jerome Leon “Jerry” Bruckheimer, now aged 69, is an American film and television producer. He has achieved great success in the genres of action, drama and science fiction. At one point even, three of his TV series ranked among the top 10 in the ratings simultaneously – a unique feat in television. And on the movie side, in July 2003 Bruckheimer was honored by Variety Magazine as the first producer in Hollywood history to produce the top two highest-grossing films of a single weekend: Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl, and Bad Boys II.
These kinds of numbers exercised consistently over decades add up to long-term very profitable film-making in an industry known for wild swings in terms of success or failure.
According to the celebrity magazine Variety “The Bruckheimer Touch” doesn’t just describe the films he has produced himself. His style of filmmaking has come to define the modern Hollywood blockbuster, which has influenced commercial filmmaking all over the world and which derives from the glossy world of Madison Avenue and the advertising industry.
As Bruckheimer told Dale Pollock in a 1984 Los Angeles Times interview, “We (he and then producing partner Don Simpson) put together all the elements. We decide what aesthetic is right for a picture. We are as much a part of the process as the director. The fingerprints of Bruckheimer are all over such films as American Gigolo, Flashdance, Prince of Persia, Bad Boys and Con Air .
Variety describes Bruckheimer’s path to Hollywood as having begun, even as child, with a liking for photography which led to his making a short-short film when Bruckheimer was fresh out of college, produced as creative producer for a Detroit ad agency back in 1968. It was a one-minute riff on the pop culture obsession of that moment, Bonnie and Clyde. The commercial focuses not on the real-life outlaws, but on the duo’s more glamorous Faye Dunaway/Warren Beatty film incarnations of the time, and it helped Pontiac in their quest to sell thousands of their new GTO cars.
This quickly helped launch Bruckheimer into Madison Avenue and the top ranks of New York City’s advertising industry. He would win awards for Pepsi commercials he produced and art directed that look like blueprints for Flashdance and the other glossy, sexy, youth-focused films that Bruckheimer later went on to produce in the ’80s and ’90s. Employing commercials directors to control studio feature films was not at all a common practice in the early ’70s, when Bruckheimer first arrived in Hollywood as a producer but is today now commonplace.
About Jerry Bruckheimer
The son of German Jewish immigrants, Bruckheimer was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1943. He graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Arizona. A film buff at an early age with an interest in photography, Bruckheimer naturally gravitated towards the advertising industry, in Detroit initially, after graduating.
One of the most successful producers of all time, Bruckheimer has been nicknamed “Mr. Blockbuster”, due to his track record of commercially successful, high-grossing films. Overall, his films have grossed over $13 billion in Hollywood, and have launched the careers of many actors and directors.
In 2012, he was ranked #39 on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list falling to #58 in 2013, with reported annual earnings of $80 million.
Bruckheimer has been married twice. His first wife was Bonnie Bruckheimer. He currently lives in Los Angeles, with his second wife, novelist Linda Sue (Cobb) Balahoutis Bruckheimer. He has one stepdaughter, Alexandra.