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Larry Brezner, 'Ride Along' Producer and Manager, Dead at 73

Producer of "Throw Momma From the Train," "Good Morning Vietnam" and "Arthur" also managed clients like Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and Martin Short

Manager and movie producer Larry Brezner, a principal at Morra Brezner Steinberg & Tenebaum Entertainment and a man who loved to laugh, died Monday night after complications from leukemia.

Brezner was diagnosed with the disease months ago and was undergoing treatment when he passed, according to his colleagues. He was 73.

Brezner had a keen business sense and knew the movie business inside and out, but comedy and the entertainers who delivered the laughs were his real specialty.

Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Martin Short, and Bette Midler were among his clients and he especially helped their early careers, particularly in film. Crystal, Williams and Whoopi Goldberg hosted and helped launch the televised fundraiser Comic Relief USA to benefit the homeless in 1986.

Breznan was a notable comedy film producer, most recently on "Ride Along," the hit 2014 Universal comedy starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart.

His resume also included the Dudley Moore breakthrough hit "Arthur" and the Danny DeVito comedy "Throw Momma From the Train," which co-starred Crystal. He also produced "Good Morning, Vietnam," a major career booster for Williams, as well as the black comedy "The Burbs," which starred a young Tom Hanks.

Brezner also produced Bill Paxton's directing debut "The Greatest Game Ever Played," a drama starring Shia LeBeouf as golfer Francis Ouimet. And he was behind the 1994 comedy "Clifford,' which starred Short, Mary Steenburgen and Charles Grodin.

Brezner started out as a manager in the music industry and was married to singer Melissa Manchester before shifting into comedy, where he eventually melded his film aspirations with his management work with partners including David Steinberg.

"We spent nearly every day together for 40 years together," Steinberg told TheWrap, "and every day he'd get me laughing."

Brezner's film comedies has little in common, except for delivering the laughs.

"His approach to comedy was very experimental," Steinberg said. "He never wanted to do anything that had already been done, especially by himself, and his comedy as a result was very leading edge."

Before beginning his entertainment career, Brezner taught at an elementary school in Spanish Harlem. He had a masters degree in psychology from John Hopkins University, which he attended after graduating from Bridgeport University and St. Johns University.

He is survived by his wife, Dominque Cohen-Brezner, and two daughters, Lauren Azbill and China Brezner. A private service is scheduled.