Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Iconic Film Producer, Dead at 88

Son of movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn, the producer was nominated for Best Picture Oscar for Russell Crowe-starrer “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”; he died in Los Angeles Friday

Producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. died Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles. He was 88.

Born Sept. 7, 1926, Goldwyn was the son of actress Frances Howard and the Hollywood Golden Age movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn, a founder of Paramount Pictures. Goldwyn Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps and founded the independent film companies The Samuel Goldwyn Company and Samuel Goldwyn Films.

Goldwyn was known for fostering young moviemaking talent, including Ang Lee (“The Wedding Banquet”), Anthony Minghella (“Truly Madly Deeply”) and Kenneth Branagh (“Henry V”), and is even credited with giving Julia Roberts her big break in “Mystic Pizza.”

As a producer, he backed “The Preacher’s Wife” (1996), “Tortilla Soup” (2001) and the 2013 Ben Stiller-starring remake of his father’s 1947 hit “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

He is the father of actor Tony Goldwyn, who stars as the U.S. president in ABC’s “Scandal,” and former Paramount studio executive and producer John Goldwyn. His other children include sons Francis and Peter and daughters Catherine and Elizabeth.

“Producers — real producers — never retire, and he was discussing casting for his next picture with us over dinner very recently,” A. Scott Berg, author of “Goldwyn: A Biography,” told The New York Times.