August 27, 1935|
Brooklyn, New York, US
|Died||November 27, 2014
Los Angeles, California, US
|Parent(s)||Annette and Morris Yablans|
Yablans was born to a Jewish family 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. 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). Following 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). Yablans was then recruited by Kirk Kerkorian to head his troubled and debt-laden film company, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). 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. 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. He had three children – Robert Yablans (deceased), Sharon Abrams, and Edward Yablans – and a long-time companion, Nadia Pandolfo.
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