Bruckheimer at a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in June 2013
Jerome Leon Bruckheimer
September 21, 1943
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
Bloomfield, Kentucky, U.S.
Ojai, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Arizona|
Director at ZeniMax Media
Co-founder/co-majority owner of the Seattle NHL team
|Beverly Hills Cop, CSI (franchise), Flashdance, Top Gun, The Rock, Con Air, Coyote Ugly, Crimson Tide, Armageddon, Enemy of the State, Gone in 60 Seconds, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys, Pirates of the Caribbean, King Arthur, Prince of Persia, National Treasure, Remember the Titans, Lucifer|
|Home town||Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|Bonnie Fishman (divorced)|
Some of his best-known films include Flashdance, Top Gun, The Rock, Con Air, Armageddon, Enemy of the State, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor, and the Beverly Hills Cop, Bad Boys, Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure franchises. He also serves as a Director at ZeniMax Media. Many of his films have been produced by Disney and Paramount, while many of his television series have been co-produced by Warner Bros. and CBS Television Studios. In July 2003, Bruckheimer was honored by Variety magazine as the first producer in Hollywood history to produce the top two highest-grossing films of a single weekend, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Bad Boys II.
His best known television series are CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Without a Trace, Cold Case, and the U.S. version of The Amazing Race. At one point, three of his TV series ranked among the top 10 in the U.S. ratings--a unique feat in television.
Bruckheimer was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of German Jewish immigrants. He graduated from Mumford High School in 1961 in Detroit, at age 17, before moving to Arizona for college. Bruckheimer was also an active member of the Stamp Collecting Club. He graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Arizona. He was a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. A film buff at an early age with an interest in photography, Bruckheimer would take snapshots when he had the opportunity. After college Bruckheimer worked in advertising in Detroit (creative producer) and New York City. At the Detroit agency, he worked on a 1-minute ad spot for the new Pontiac GTO.
Early in his career, Bruckheimer produced television commercials, including one for Pepsi.
Bruckheimer started producing films in the 1970s, after leaving his job in advertising, with director Dick Richards. They had worked together on the films The Culpepper Cattle Company, Farewell, My Lovely, and March or Die. Bruckheimer then worked with Paul Schrader on two films, American Gigolo and Cat People, which began to give him notice in Hollywood.
During the 1980s and 1990s, he was a co-producer with Don Simpson of a string of highly successful Hollywood films for Paramount Pictures. He originally met Don at a screening of 1973's The Harder They Come at Warner Brothers. The two worked together and created Bruckheimer's first big hit, 1983's Flashdance, which brought in US$95 million. He had a number of other hits during that time period, including the Beverly Hills Cop films, Top Gun and Days of Thunder. Top Gun marked his first collaboration with English director Tony Scott, who directed six films for Bruckheimer. The first Beverly Hills Cop movie, which was supposed to star Sylvester Stallone, launched Eddie Murphy's career and became Paramount's highest grossing winter release in the company's history in just five days.
While working with Simpson, Bruckheimer became known as "Mr. Outside" because of his experience with film-making, while Simpson became known as "Mr. Inside" because of his film industry contacts. The Rock was the last film in which Bruckheimer collaborated with Simpson. After Simpson's death in 1996, Bruckheimer stipulated that The Rock be dedicated to the memory of Simpson.
In 1988, Bruckenheimer and Simpson striked a $500-million deal with Paramount to produce 5 movies of their entire choice. However, his 1990 production Days of Thunder starring Tom Cruise did not perform well, a step backwards in the Bruckheimer-Simpson's success story. The duo made a come-back in 1994 with the low-budget film ($12 million) The Ref.
Despite Simpson's untimely death, Bruckheimer has continued to produce a large number of action films often working with director Michael Bay for several hits including Armageddon. His other hit films produced include Remember the Titans, Black Hawk Down and the Pirates of the Caribbean series. He has also acquired the rights to produce a film based on the popular role playing game by Palladium Books, Rifts.
Since 1996 he has branched out into television, creating a number of police dramas of which CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has been the most successful. He has also produced the reality game show The Amazing Race. In May 2008 CBS announced it had picked up Bruckheimer's newest series, Eleventh Hour, for the 2008-2009 broadcast television season. The science fiction drama follows a government agent and a professor as they investigate strange scientific and medical activity.
From 2004 (beginning of CSI: NY) to 2009 (end of Without a Trace), Bruckheimer had six hit television shows on the air: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Cold Case, Without a Trace and The Amazing Race. At one point, three of his TV series ranked among the top 10 in the ratings.
In December 2007 Bruckheimer announced plans to partner with MTV to create a new game studio. The same year Bruckheimer joined the ZeniMax Media board of directors and has since showed up at several launch parties for Bethesda Softworks titles including Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. In 2009, Bruckheimer unveiled Jerry Bruckheimer Games headed by former Microsoft Studios Publishing Executive Producer Jim Veevaert as president of production and Jay Cohen, previously Ubisoft's vice president of U.S. publishing, as president of development.
It was announced on September 10, 2009 that NBC had picked up an action procedural from Jerry Bruckheimer. The show, titled Chase, "tells the stories of a team charged with making sure fugitive criminals don't evade justice," reports The Hollywood Reporter. It was canceled in May 2011. Bruckheimer's most notable flop was Skin, which was cancelled after three episodes in 2003.
In 2011 it was rumored that Jerry Bruckheimer Games was working on three titles, but nothing came out of it ever since. In March 2013 Jerry Bruckheimer Games was closed. Although Jerry Bruckheimer Games is closed, Bruckheimer still remains a ZeniMax board member to this day, mostly due to being a close associate of ZeniMax President Ernest Del.
In 2014, after the disappointment of The Sorcerer's Apprentice and The Lone Ranger, Jerry Bruckheimer and the Disney Studios split up by not renewing their first-look deal that expired that year. He signed a new first-look deal with the Paramount that same year, and mentioned a new Beverly Hills Cop and a Top Gun 2 as potential production ventures with his new partner.
In June 2016, Jerry Bruckheimer Television became an Independent outfit, ending a 15-year run exclusive pact with Warner Bros Television.
Bruckheimer was named as one of the investors of a proposed sports arena in Las Vegas, and had been rumored to be the leading choice by the National Hockey League (NHL) to own an expansion hockey team that would play in the arena. Bruckheimer was also named as one of the investors of a proposed Seattle-based NHL expansion team whose application was submitted in early 2018. The NHL Board of Governors voted to approve the Seattle NHL team on December 4, 2018, which will start play in the 2021-22 season. Jerry Bruckheimer was part of an investment group that also included Tim Leiweike (Oak View Group) and David Bonderman (minority owner Boston Celtics).
The movie Top Gun was produced in collaboration with the Pentagon to rebrand the US Army's image post-Vietnam war, and attract new Army recruits. Top Gun was the first full-blown collaboration between Hollywood and the US Army. The model developed by Jerry Bruckenheimer around the production of Top Gun launched a new trend of war movies in the nineties and onward.
In July 2003, Bruckheimer was honored by Variety magazine as the first producer in Hollywood history to produce the top two highest-grossing films of a single weekend, the buddy-cop Bad Boys II and the Disney theme-park spin-off, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. According to Variety, the "Bruckheimer touch" is characterized by a "consistently edgy, high-octane visual dynamic and equally distinctive storytelling driven by the triumphalism so popular with Madison Avenue".
The Pirates of the Caribbean film series, produced through Walt Disney Pictures, was enormously profitable, and demonstrated Bruckheimer's ability to create lucrative projects. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the first film in the franchise, was released on July 9, 2003. A popular box office hit, it was well received by critics and filmgoers alike. After the unexpected success of the first film, Walt Disney Pictures revealed that a trilogy was in the works. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was released on July 7, 2006. The sequel proved to be very successful, breaking records worldwide the day of its premiere. In the end it acquired a total of $1,066,179,725 at the worldwide box office, becoming the third and fastest film to reach this amount. The third film in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, was released worldwide on May 25, 2007. Altogether, the film franchise has grossed over $2.79 billion worldwide. Two more films, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, were released, in 2011 and 2017, respectively.
When asked about his favorite films, Bruckheimer named The Godfather (1972), The French Connection (1971), Good Will Hunting (1997), and The 400 Blows (1959). When asked on what the film industry's obligation to an audience was, he responded, "We are in the transportation business. We transport audiences from one place to another." When asked why he makes films, he stated, "If I made films for the critics, or for someone else, I'd probably be living in some small Hollywood studio apartment."
In a 1984 interview with the Los Angeles Times, he said "We (he and Don Simpson) put together all the elements. We decide what aesthetic is right for a picture. We are as much a part of the process as the director."
Bruckheimer's philanthropic activities have included publicly supporting the fight against multiple sclerosis via his work with The Nancy Davis Foundation for MS. He has additionally pledged to help various causes by establishing the Jerry Bruckheimer Foundation. However, according to The Smoking Gun, the last time the Jerry Bruckheimer Foundation made a contribution was in 1995, when it gave $9,350 to Van Nuys prep school.
Bruckheimer has aided in the repair and restoration of the historic clipper ship Cutty Sark. A collection of photos taken by Bruckheimer went on display in London in November 2007 to help raise money for the Cutty Sark Conservation Project. The exhibition featured more than thirty pictures taken on set during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
Bruckheimer has donated more than $50,000 to Republican campaigns and committees. Bruckheimer donated funds to John McCain's 2008 presidential election campaign. He gave $5,000 to a joint fundraising committee on John McCain's behalf. Bruckheimer donated $25,000 to the 2012 Mitt Romney Victory Fund.
|1972||The Culpepper Cattle Co.||Gary Grimes, Billy Green Bush, Royal Dano||associate producer, with 20th Century Fox|
|1975||Farewell, My Lovely||Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling, John Ireland||with AVCO Embassy Pictures|
|Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins||Sally Kellerman, Mackenzie Phillips, Alan Arkin||associate producer, with Warner Bros.|
|1977||March or Die||Gene Hackman, Catherine Deneuve, Terence Hill||with Columbia Pictures and ITC Entertainment|
|1980||Defiance||Jan-Michael Vincent, Art Carney, Theresa Saldana||with American International Pictures|
|American Gigolo||Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, Hector Elizondo||with Paramount Pictures|
|1981||Thief||James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Robert Prosky||with United Artists|
|1982||Young Doctors in Love||Sean Young, Michael McKean, Crystal Bernard||with 20th Century Fox|
|Cat People||Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard||with Universal Pictures and RKO Pictures|
|1983||Flashdance||Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri, Kyle T. Heffner||with Paramount Pictures|
|1984||Beverly Hills Cop||Eddie Murphy, Lisa Eilbacher, John Ashton||with Paramount Pictures|
|Thief of Hearts||Steven Bauer, David Caruso, John Getz||with Paramount Pictures|
|1986||Top Gun||Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer||with Paramount Pictures|
|1987||Beverly Hills Cop II||Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Jürgen Prochnow||with Paramount Pictures|
|1990||Days of Thunder||Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall||with Paramount Pictures|
|1994||The Ref||Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey||with Touchstone Pictures|
|1995||Dangerous Minds||Michelle Pfeiffer, Courtney B. Vance, Robin Bartlett||with Hollywood Pictures|
|Crimson Tide||Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman||with Hollywood Pictures|
|Bad Boys||Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Téa Leoni||with Columbia Pictures|
|1996||The Rock||Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris||with Hollywood Pictures|
|1997||Con Air||Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich||with Touchstone Pictures|
|1998||Enemy of the State||Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight||with Touchstone Pictures|
|Armageddon||Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton||with Touchstone Pictures|
|2000||Remember the Titans||Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris||with Walt Disney Pictures|
|Coyote Ugly||Piper Perabo, Adam Garcia, Maria Bello||with Touchstone Pictures|
|Gone in Sixty Seconds||Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi||with Touchstone Pictures|
|2001||Pearl Harbor||Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale||with Touchstone Pictures|
|Black Hawk Down||Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Eric Bana||with Columbia Pictures and Revolution Studios|
|2002||Bad Company||Anthony Hopkins, Chris Rock, Kerry Washington||with Touchstone Pictures|
|2003||Bad Boys II||Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Jordi Mollà||with Columbia Pictures|
|Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl||Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley||with Walt Disney Pictures|
|Veronica Guerin||Cate Blanchett, Gerard McSorley, Ciarán Hinds||with Touchstone Pictures|
|Kangaroo Jack||Jerry O'Connell, Anthony Anderson, Christopher Walken||with Warner Bros. and Castle Rock Entertainment|
|2004||National Treasure||Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha||with Walt Disney Pictures|
|King Arthur||Clive Owen, Keira Knightley, Ioan Gruffudd||with Touchstone Pictures|
|2006||Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest||Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley||with Walt Disney Pictures|
|Déjà Vu||Denzel Washington, Val Kilmer, Paula Patton||with Touchstone Pictures|
|Glory Road||Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Jon Voight||with Walt Disney Pictures|
|2007||National Treasure: Book of Secrets||Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha||with Walt Disney Pictures|
|Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End||Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley||with Walt Disney Pictures|
|2009||G-Force||Zach Galifianakis, Faizon Love, Bill Nighy||with Walt Disney Pictures|
|Confessions of a Shopaholic||Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Krysten Ritter||with Touchstone Pictures|
|2010||Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time||Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton||with Walt Disney Pictures|
|The Sorcerer's Apprentice||Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina||with Walt Disney Pictures|
|2011||Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides||Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush||with Walt Disney Pictures|
|2013||The Lone Ranger||Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner||with Walt Disney Pictures|
|2014||Deliver Us from Evil||Eric Bana, Édgar Ramírez, Olivia Munn||with Screen Gems|
|2017||Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales||Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush||with Walt Disney Pictures|
|2018||12 Strong||Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña, Austin Stowell||with Warner Bros.|
|2019||Gemini Man||Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen||with Paramount Pictures|
|2020||Bad Boys for Life||Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Joe Pantoliano||with Columbia Pictures|
|Top Gun: Maverick||Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly||with Paramount Pictures|
|TV films||1998||Max Q||executive producer|
|1999||Swing Vote||executive producer|
|2004||Fearless||executive producer, co-producer|
|Reality TV||2001-present||The Amazing Race||executive producer|
|2011||Take the Money and Run||executive producer, co-producer|
|Comedy||2006||Modern Men||executive producer|
|Drama||1996-1997||Dangerous Minds||executive producer|
|1997-1999||Soldier of Fortune, Inc.||executive producer|
|2000-2015||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||executive producer|
|2002-2009||Without a Trace||executive producer|
|2002-2012||CSI: Miami||executive producer|
|2003||Profiles from the Front Line||executive producer|
|2003-2010||Cold Case||executive producer|
|2004-2013||CSI: NY||executive producer|
|2005-2006||Just Legal||executive producer|
|2005-2007||Close to Home||executive producer|
|2008-2009||Eleventh Hour||executive producer|
|2009-2010||The Forgotten||executive producer|
|2009-2010||Dark Blue||executive producer|
|2010||Miami Medical||executive producer|
|2010||The Whole Truth||executive producer|
|2015-2016||CSI: Cyber||executive producer|
|2017||Training Day||executive producer|
|TBA||Council of Dads||executive producer|
|Pilots||2002-2003||The Legacy||For UPN, written by Simon Kinberg and directed by Jim Gillespie.|
|2011||Cocaine Cowboys||For HBO. Inspired by the 2006 Cocaine Cowboys documentary. In 2014, TNT took the project. In 2015, TNT ordered the pilot to be redeveloped.|
|Family Crimes||Created by David Ayer, passed over by Starz.|
|2011||about the '80s pro wrestling boom||For NBC. Project co-led by Dwayne Johnson . Norman Lear had failed to produce a similar show a few years before.|
His productions collected the following:
Bruckheimer has been married twice. His first wife was Bonnie Fishman Bruckheimer. He currently lives in Los Angeles, with his second wife, novelist Linda Cobb Bruckheimer. He also has one stepdaughter, Alexandra. The couple owns a farm in Bloomfield, Kentucky, about 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Louisville, as well as another in Ojai, east of Santa Barbara. As a teenager, Linda moved from Kentucky to Los Angeles, where she has been a writer, producer and West Coast editor for Mirabella, and where she married Bruckheimer. She regularly spends time as a preservation activist, restoring and preserving historic buildings in small rural U.S. towns.
Jerry Bruckheimer's 70th birthday is tomorrow (Saturday, September 21).