Arnold Kopelson

Arnold Kopelson (February 14, 1935 – October 8, 2018) was an American film producer.

Arnold Kopelson
Born(1935-02-14)February 14, 1935
DiedOctober 8, 2018(2018-10-08) (aged 83)
OccupationFilm producer
Anne Feinberg
(m. 1976, his death)
AwardsBest Picture
1986, Platoon

Among his credits are Platoon, Seven, Outbreak, The Fugitive and The Devil's Advocate.

Life and careerEdit

Kopelson was born in Brooklyn, New York. After earning a Doctorate in Jurisprudence from New York Law School, Kopelson practiced entertainment and banking law, specializing in motion picture financing, and for many years acted as counsel to numerous banks and financial institutions serving the motion picture industry.

Kopelson later formed Inter-Ocean Film Sales, Ltd. with Anne Feinberg, who would become his wife, to represent independent motion picture producers in licensing their films throughout the world and also to finance motion picture production. The Kopelsons produced films together.

Kopelson produced 29 motion pictures. He was honored with an Academy Award for Best Picture, a Golden Globe Award, and an Independent Spirit Award, all for his production of Platoon. He received a Best Picture Academy Award nomination for his production of The Fugitive. Kopelson's films have been collectively responsible for 17 Academy Award nominations and over $3 billion in worldwide receipts.

Kopelson was named Producer of the Year by The National Association of Theatre Owners, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement in Filmmaking Award from Cinema Expo International, received the Motion Picture Showmanship Award from the Publicist Guild of America, and was inducted into Variety's Show Biz Expo Hall of Fame. He has also received other awards for his productions of Outbreak, Seven, and The Devil's Advocate and was further honored by the Deauville Film Festival with its highest award for his significant contribution to the entertainment industry. In 1987, he sued film producer Hemdale Film Corporation for handling of takes on Platoon, claiming that he had received $25 million from grosses of $250 million that the film had generated to date.[1]

With Paramount Pictures, Kopelson produced Twisted, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Andy García and Ashley Judd, which was directed by Philip Kaufman; and with 20th Century Fox, Don't Say a Word, starring Michael Douglas, and Joe Somebody, starring Tim Allen.

Kopelson also produced A Perfect Murder, also starring Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow, U.S. Marshals, starring Tommy Lee Jones, and the Costa Gavras-directed film, Mad City, starring Dustin Hoffman and John Travolta.

His other films included Eraser, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; Falling Down, starring Michael Douglas and Robert Duvall; Out for Justice, starring Steven Seagal; Triumph of the Spirit, starring Willem Dafoe; and Murder at 1600, starring Wesley Snipes and Diane Lane.

For many years, Kopelson served on the Executive Committee of the Producers Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was a member of the Board of Mentors of the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program at the University of Southern California. In 2001, Kopelson Entertainment has a first look deal with Paramount Pictures.[2]

Kopelson lectured on filmmaking at Harvard Business School, American Film Institute, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, New York Law School, the Writers Guild of America, the Independent Feature Project West, The Kagan Seminar, University of Southern California, and University of California at Los Angeles, among other places, and also wrote several articles about motion picture financing. In 1998, Kopelson received the New York Law School Distinguished Alumnus Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Kopelson was a member of the Board of Directors of CBS Corporation from March 2007 until September 9, 2018.[3] NASDAQ reported that Kopelson was removed as a director in an out of court legal settlement between CBS, National Amusements and the Redstone Family, who were in litigation in the Delaware Chancery Court over control of CBS.[4] His removal was reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 9, 2018.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Kopelson married twice. In 1959 he married Joy (née Stern). They had a daughter, Stephanie Lisa Kopelson Goldman, and two sons, Peter Laurence Kopelson and Evan Jared Kopelson.[6] His first wife died of cancer in 1975,[7] and in 1976, he married his business partner and former secretary, Anne Feinberg.[7]

Kopelson died at his home in Beverly Hills on October 8, 2018, at 83.[8][9]


He was a producer in all films unless otherwise noted.


Year Film Credit Notes
1978 The Legacy Executive producer
1979 Lost and Found Executive producer
1980 Night of the Juggler Executive producer
Foolin' Around
Final Assignment Executive producer
1981 Dirty Tricks Executive producer
Porky's Executive producer
1984 Gimme an 'F' Executive producer
1986 Platoon
1989 Warlock Executive producer
Triumph of the Spirit
1990 Fire Birds Executive producer
1991 Out for Justice
1993 Falling Down
The Fugitive
1995 Outbreak
1996 Eraser
1997 Murder at 1600
Mad City
The Devil's Advocate
1998 A Perfect Murder
U.S. Marshals
2001 Don't Say a Word
Joe Somebody
2004 Twisted Final film as a producer
Miscellaneous crew
Year Film Role
1977 The Ransom Executive in charge of production: Inter-Ocean Films
1979 Lost and Found Presenter
Year Film Role
2014 Alien Abduction The producers would like to thank
2016 Rising Fear The producers wish to thank


Year Title Credit Notes
1994 Past Tense Executive producer Television film
Frogmen Executive producer Television film
2000−01 The Fugitive Executive producer
2001 Thieves Executive producer
2012 Pure Evil Executive producer
As an actor
Year Title Role
1992 2000 Malibu Road None


  1. ^ Galbraith, Jane (1987-09-16). "Producer Kopelson Sues Hemdale For Handling Of 'Platoon' Take". Variety. pp. 4, 30.
  2. ^ Dunkley, Cathy; Harris, Dana (2001-01-05). "Kopelson distrib deal moving to Paramount". Variety. Retrieved 2021-06-12.
  3. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (9 September 2018). "CBS Shakeup: Moonves Out, Lawsuit Settled, New Board Members Named". Variety. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  4. ^ "CBS, National Amusements, Redstone Family Settle Litigation". 11 September 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  5. ^ "SEC Form 8-K Report of unscheduled material events or corporate event". Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  6. ^ "WEDDINGS; Ms. Kopelson And Mr. Goldman". The New York Times. July 19, 1998. p. 9009006. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  7. ^ a b Dutka, Elaine (July 8, 1993). "Producer Captures a Classic 'Fugitive' : Movies: A remake of the legendary '60s TV series is the latest in Arnold Kopelson's post-'Platoon' slate, which reflects a mix of social statement and entertainment". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 15 October 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  8. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (8 October 2018). "Arnold Kopelson, Oscar Winning Producer of 'Platoon' and 'The Fugitive,' Dies at 83". Variety. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  9. ^ Evans, Greg (October 8, 2018). "Arnold Kopelson Dies: 'Platoon', 'The Fugitive' Producer Was 83". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 5 May 2019.

External linksEdit