Arnon Milchan (Hebrew: ארנון מילצ'ן; December 6, 1944) is an Israeli billionaire businessman who has produced over 130 full-length motion pictures. Milchan, the owner of New Regency Films, was an Israeli intelligence operative from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s.
December 6, 1944 |
|Occupation||Businessman, film producer|
|Known for||Founder of Regency Enterprises|
|Net worth||US$5.6 billion (July 2015)|
|Spouse(s)||Brigitte Genmaire (divorced)
Milchan produced numerous critical and financial successes. He is the founder of Regency Enterprises. Regency's film credits include Oscar winners and nominees, as well as popular financial hits, including 12 Years a Slave, L.A. Confidential, JFK, Heat, Fight Club, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and many more. He is an Israeli citizen and a resident of Israel.
Milchan was born in 1944 in Rehovot, British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel). His family is Jewish, and he has a sister named Dalia. His mother was descended from European Jewish disciples of the Vilna Gaon who came to Palestine in the early 19th century, and he is the eighth generation of his family in the country. His father owned a fertilizer company, which Milchan inherited at the age of 21 upon his father's sudden death. Over the years, Milchan turned the company into a successful chemical business. He also earned a degree from the London School of Economics, before he and his company (Milchan Brothers Ltd.) were recruited to LAKAM, a secret Israeli intelligence organization responsible for obtaining technology and material for Israel's nuclear program, and other highly secretive programs.
Milchan was first married to French model, Brigitte Genmaire, and later divorced. The couple had three children, Elinor, Alexandra, and Yariv. Elinor Milchan is a professional photographer. He later married South African professional tennis player Amanda Coetzer.
Film industry, and other businessesEdit
Milchan became involved in the American movie business in 1977, after an introduction to American producer Elliot Kastner. Most notable among Milchan's film collaborations was his early work with Martin Scorsese. He developed close friendships with Robert De Niro, and directors Roman Polanski, Sergio Leone, Terry Gilliam and Oliver Stone. Milchan started his own production company in 1991 called New Regency Productions. Through his company Regency, in partnership with Warner Brothers, and later with Rupert Murdoch at 20th Century Fox, and other business ventures, such as Puma AG, Milchan acquired a net worth estimated at about $5.1 billion as of 2015.
Milchan has produced over 130 films, such as Noah (2014), 12 Years a Slave (2013), Once Upon a Time in America (1984) (in which he also makes a cameo appearance as the chauffeur), Brazil (1985), Pretty Woman (1990), JFK (1991), Under Siege (1992), Natural Born Killers (1994), Boys on the Side (1995), Heat (1995), L.A. Confidential (1997), Fight Club (1999), Unfaithful (2002), Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005), and Knight and Day (2010), among others, to his credit. He was a producer on two more recent Oscar-winners for Best Motion Picture, 12 Years a Slave in 2014 and Birdman in 2015.
Milchan is also the owner of the WTA broadcasting rights. He was married to model Brigitte Genmaire. He is now married to former South African tennis professional Amanda Coetzer. He is owner of the network which transmits Israeli television programming to the United States and Canada. He is also a part owner of Israel's TV Channel 10, and a former owner of Puma, the international sportswear line.
Speculation about Milchan's involvement in arms dealing and intelligence activities was sparked after the indictment in 1985 of Dr. Richard Kelly Smyth, an aerospace executive and scientist who had made illegal shipments of Krytrons (nuclear triggers) through one of Milchan's companies. This remained largely in the category of rumor until biographers Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman wrote a controversial unauthorized biography of Milchan that was published in July 2011. The biography Confidential, which is largely sympathetic to Milchan, revealed in detail how he involved himself in espionage, big-ticket arms-dealing, and obtaining sensitive technology and materials for Israel's nuclear weapons program. The research in Confidential - The Life Of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon established that "at least through the mid-1980s [Milchan] was a full-fledged operative for Israel’s top-secret intelligence agency, Lekem. His activities included "buying components to build and maintain Israel’s nuclear arsenal" and supervising "government-backed accounts and front companies that financed the special needs of the entirety of Israel’s intelligence operations outside the country". Interviewed regarding Milchan's intelligence activities, Israeli President Shimon Peres stated:
"Arnon is a special man. It was I who recruited him.... When I was at the Ministry of Defense, Arnon was involved in numerous defense-related procurement activities and intelligence operations. His strength is in making connections at the highest levels.... His activities gave us a huge advantage, strategically, diplomatically and technologically." (interview dated February 8, 2010, documented in Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman's "Confidential: Secret Agent turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan" p. xi).
Two years later, on November 25, 2013, on Israel's channel 2 documentary program Uvda, Milchan confirmed on camera the central claims in the book Confidential that had been released earlier. The announcement caused international interest in the story and was covered widely.
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Milchan is a leading art collector, and in April 2015, CNBC ranked him at #3 in their list of "Hollywood's top 10 art collectors" with a collection valued at $600 million, equal with George Lucas, ranked #2, but some way behind David Geffen at #1, with a collection valued at $2.3 billion.
|1978||The Medusa Touch||executive producer|
|1982||The King of Comedy||producer|
|1984||Once Upon a Time in America||producer and actor (chauffeur)|
|1987||Man on Fire||producer|
|1989||Who's Harry Crumb?||producer|
|Big Man on Campus||producer|
|The War of the Roses||producer|
|1991||Guilty by Suspicion||producer|
|1992||The Mambo Kings||producer|
|Memoirs of an Invisible Man||executive producer|
|The Power of One||producer|
|Falling Down||executive producer|
|Made in America||producer|
|Free Willy||executive producer|
|The Nutcracker||executive producer|
|Six Degrees of Separation||producer|
|Heaven & Earth||producer|
|Natural Born Killers||executive producer|
|The New Age||executive producer|
|Second Best||executive producer|
|1995||Boys on the Side||producer|
|Under Siege 2: Dark Territory||producer|
|Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home||executive producer|
|1996||A Time to Kill||producer|
|Tin Cup||executive producer|
|The Mirror Has Two Faces||producer|
|1997||Murder at 1600||producer|
|Free Willy 3: The Rescue||executive producer|
|Breaking Up||executive producer|
|The Devil's Advocate||producer|
|The Man Who Knew Too Little||producer|
|City of Angels||executive producer|
|Goodbye Lover||executive producer|
|1999||Simply Irresistible||executive producer|
|A Midsummer Night's Dream||executive producer|
|Fight Club||executive producer|
|2000||Up at the Villa||executive producer|
|Big Momma's House||executive producer|
|2001||Freddy Got Fingered||executive producer|
|Don't Say a Word||producer|
|Joy Ride||executive producer|
|Joe Somebody||executive producer|
|Life or Something Like It||producer|
|Down with Love||executive producer|
|2004||The Girl Next Door||executive producer|
|Man on Fire||producer|
|Mr. & Mrs. Smith||producer|
|Bee Season||executive producer|
|2006||Big Momma's House 2||executive producer|
|Date Movie||executive producer|
|Just My Luck||producer|
|My Super Ex-Girlfriend||producer|
|Deck the Halls||producer|
|2007||Epic Movie||executive producer|
|Alvin and the Chipmunks||executive producer|
|2008||Meet the Spartans||executive producer|
|Street Kings||executive producer|
|What Happens in Vegas||executive producer|
|Meet Dave||executive producer|
|Marley & Me||executive producer|
|2009||Bride Wars||executive producer|
|Aliens in the Attic||executive producer|
|Fantastic Mr. Fox||executive producer|
|Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel||executive producer|
|Knight and Day||executive producer|
|Vampires Suck||executive producer|
|Mirrors 2||executive producer|
|Love & Other Drugs||executive producer|
|2011||Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son||executive producer|
|Marley & Me: The Puppy Years||executive producer|
|What's Your Number?||executive producer|
|In Time||executive producer|
|Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked||executive producer|
|The Darkest Hour||executive producer|
|The Internship||executive producer|
|12 Years a Slave||producer|
|Joy Ride 3||executive producer|
|2015||True Story||executive producer|
|The Big Short||producer|
|Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip||executive producer|
|2016||Rules Don't Apply||producer|
|A Cure for Wellness||producer|
|Bohemian Rhapsody||executive producer|
- "Arnon Milchan". Forbes. Retrieved 25 July 2015
- "Arnon Milchan". IMDb.
- Cieply, Michael (July 17, 2011). "New Book Tells Tale of Israeli Arms Dealer in Hollywood". The New York Times.
- "'Hollywood Producer Was an Israeli Nuclear Agent'". Haaretz.com.
- "The world's 50 Richest Jews: 41-50". The Jerusalem Post - JPost.com.
- "Arnon Milchan Biography (1944-)". filmreference.com.
- "the last Tycoon". highbeam.com.
- "Revealed: Arnon Milchan - the Hollywood producer behind hits Pretty Woman, Fight Club and LA Confidential who became a real-life James Bond" by Tim Walker, The Independent, November 22, 2013
- Caspi, David (November 21, 2013). "Arnon Milchan Admits to Arms Dealing in the '70s". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- Harriet Sherwood. "Arnon Milchan reveals past as Israeli spy". the Guardian.
- Berk, Christina Cheddar (April 29, 2015). "Hollywood's top 10 art collectors". CNBC. Retrieved January 26, 2016.