Andy Gruenberg, a longtime film-distribution executive who most recently oversaw theatrical distribution for Netflix, died suddenly on January 18. He was 68.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota on March 10, 1950, Gruenberg spent his childhood in Milwaukee and his working life in the film industry; his tenure included stints at Warner Bros., Columbia, MGM, and Miramax, where he helped bring everything from “Ghostbusters” and “The Karate Kid” to “Leaving Las Vegas” and “Life Is Beautiful” to theaters. Gruenberg was Miramax’s President of Distribution when “Shakespeare in Love” won Best Picture and Executive Vice President of Distribution at MGM when “Leaving Las Vegas” won Nicolas Cage the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Other titles whose theatrical releases he oversaw include “Get Shorty,” “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “The Proposition,” and “Bernie.”
“I loved working with Andy and enjoyed our friendship over many years,” said Ted Mundorff, who co-founded the Film Arcade with him in 2011. “Andy was one of the smartest and most loyal guys in the business.” Gruenberg also co-founded MAC Releasing and lent his expertise to such distributors as Broad Green Pictures and Gravitas as a consultant.
”Andy’s whole family was in the business. He learned from his father and along with his brothers, they all contributed greatly to our industry. This is a huge shock and loss to everyone who knew him.” said distribution executive Larry Gleason.
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No cause of death has been given. Gruenberg is survived by his wife Linda, three brothers, and his sons Billy, Jacob and Max.