Born in 1926, Goldwyn Jr. was born out of Goldwyn Sr.’s second marriage, which was to the actress Frances Howard. Similar to his father, Goldwyn Jr. spent his entire career producing and distributing films independent of the major studios; first through The Samuel Goldwyn Company, an entity that was founded during the ’70s and lasted well into the ’90s, bringing films such as David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart,” Jim Jarmusch’s “Stranger than Paradise” and the beloved “Mystic Pizza” to audiences around the country that were specifically hungry for indie film fare.
Following a failed merger, Goldwyn Jr. relaunched The Samuel Goldwyn Company during the early 2000s as Samuel Goldwyn Films. Although the current Goldwyn distribution entity does not release groundbreaking films at the same rate as its previous incarnation, Goldwyn’s persistent approach to distribution paved the way for other independent distribution companies such as Sony Pictures Classics and The Weinstein Company, which have found massive success by leverage Goldwyn Jr.’s independent spirit in the contemporary digital space.
The final onscreen credit that Goldwyn Jr. received was on “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” a remake of a film that had been produced by his father.
Goldwyn Jr. is survived by his four sons, two daughters and 10 grandchildren. Three out of four of his sons work in entertainment: John is a producer; Tony, an actor; and Peter serves as senior vice president Samuel Goldwyn Films. His son Francis works in consulting. Goldwyn Jr.’s oldest daughter Catherine founded a non-profit which teaches music to children around Los Angeles while his youngest daughter Liz is a filmmaker.