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Frank Yablans (August 27, 1935 – November 27, 2014) was an American studio executive, film producer and screenwriter.

Frank Yablans
Born(1935-08-27)August 27, 1935
DiedNovember 27, 2014(2014-11-27) (aged 79)
NationalityUnited States
OccupationFilm producer
Studio head
Known forPresident of Paramount Pictures
Partner(s)Nadia Pandolfo
ChildrenRobert Yablans
Sharon Abrams
Edward Yablans
Parent(s)Annette and Morris Yablans

Early lifeEdit

Yablans was born to a Jewish family[1][2] in Brooklyn, New York to Annette and Morris Yablans. His father was a Brooklyn cab driver. His older brother is film producer Irwin Yablans of Halloween (1978) fame.[3] Yablans' first employers in the film business included Warner Bros., The Walt Disney Company and Filmways.


He became Executive Vice President of Sales for Paramount Pictures in the late 1960s. In that position, his expert marketing of the film Love Story (1970) led to his appointment as Paramount Studios' President in 1971.

As head of Paramount, he oversaw the release of such classic movies as The Godfather (1972), The Godfather Part II (1974), and Chinatown (1974).[4]

Following the end of his presidency at Paramount in 1975, he became an independent producer, working primarily through Paramount and 20th Century Fox. He was executive producer of such films as Silver Streak (1976), The Other Side of Midnight (1977), Congo (1995), and the popular HBO series "Rome." He also wrote and produced "North Dallas Forty" (1979) and Mommie Dearest (1981), the latter winning the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay.

Yablans was then recruited by Kirk Kerkorian to head his troubled and debt-laden film company, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).[5] While Yablans' reorganization of MGM and United Artists (UA) into a single entity as MGM/UA served to reduce costs and overhead, the company continued to lose value and in 1986 was purchased by Ted Turner Productions for a reported $1.25 billion.[6]

In 2003, Yablans founded Promenade Pictures, a production company committed to the production of "family-friendly" entertainment, with their most ambitious project the "Epic Stories of the Bible" series of CGI-animated features, inaugurated with The Ten Commandments (2007) and Noah's Ark: The New Beginning.(release date unknown)


Yablans died on Thanksgiving, November 27, 2014, from natural causes at the age of 79.[7][8] He had three children – Robert Yablans (deceased), Sharon Abrams, and Edward Yablans – and a long-time companion, Nadia Pandolfo.[8]


  1. ^ Washington Post: "Frank Yablans - 'Someone Has To Play the Heavy'" by Gary Arnold March 19, 1978
  2. ^ Erens, Patricia (August 22, 1988). The Jew in American Cinema. Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253204936.
  3. ^ "Show Business: The Promoter: Frank Yablans". Time. 18 March 1974. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  4. ^ Cieply, Michael (28 November 2014). "Frank Yablans, Paramount Executive in Fertile '70s, Dies at 79". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher (20 June 1990). "Books of The Times; What Went Wrong at M-G-M, by a Participant - New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  6. ^ Friendly, David T. (13 November 1986). "LEO ROARS HIS LAST AT THE OLD MGM STAND : Culver City Sound Stages Lose Some Old Trademarks and Take On a New Identity With New Owners ". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ Barnes, Mike. "Former Paramount President Frank Yablans Dies at 79". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  8. ^ a b Saperstein, Pat (27 November 2014). "Frank Yablans, Former Paramount President, Dies at 79". Variety. Retrieved 28 November 2014.

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