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Robert Evans: 9 Filmmakers and Stars Who Owe Their Careers to the ‘Chinatown’ Producer

As one of the leading producers of the New Hollywood, Evans often took chances on emerging artists who defied the status quo as much as he did.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/Shutterstock (1605619a)Robert Evans (Pro)Film and Television

Robert Evans


Robert Evans lived a lot of life. From producing some of the most influential Hollywood films of the 1960s and ’70s, to the many criminal entanglements he detailed in his 1994 autobiography “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” Evans’ 89 years on Earth were as epic as his storied movie career.

Evans passed away on October 26, leaving behind a mountain of glorious production credits from “Chinatown” (which earned him a Best Picture Academy Award nomination) to “Rosemary’s Baby” (as a Paramount executive), and he was undoubtedly instrumental in shaping Francis Ford Coppola’s “Godfather” trilogy.

As Peter Biskind wrote in “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls,” “Evans was one of the great crash-and-burn stories of the ’70s.” But that’s hardly the case for the many Hollywood luminaries whose careers he helped launch and shape, cultivating relationships with talent (such as his onetime wife Ali MacGraw and Roman Polanski) that he nurtured over the years across multiple projects.

Below, read about nine filmmakers and stars whose filmographies went on to flourish — or bloom again — after working with Evans who, in many cases, took a chance on fledgling artists and advocated for their singular visions that defied the status quo as much as Evans himself did.

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