Fred Weintraub

Fred Robert Weintraub (April 27, 1928 – March 5, 2017)[1] was an American film and television producer and writer.

Fred Weintraub
Born(1928-04-27)April 27, 1928
DiedMarch 5, 2017(2017-03-05) (aged 88)
OccupationFilm producer, television producer
Known forOriginal owner of The Bitter End, martial arts and action films



Weintraub was the original owner and host of The Bitter End in New York City's Greenwich Village.[2] Weintraub discovered such acts as Peter, Paul and Mary, Lenny Bruce (with whom he was arrested for obscenity), Randy Newman and The Isley Brothers.[3] The club also featured early performances of Neil Diamond, Woody Allen, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Ricky Nelson, Nina Simone, Dustin Hoffman, Charles Aznavour, Lily Tomlin, Stevie Wonder, Kris Kristofferson, Joni Mitchell, George Carlin, Bob Dylan, Harry Chapin, Bill Cosby and Phil Ochs.[3] During the early 1960s The Bitter End hosted "Open Mike" Hootenannies every Tuesday night, showcasing young, old, known and unknown folksingers.[4]

Films and television

Moving west in the mid 1960s, Weintraub created, wrote, and produced several television shows including Hootenanny and Dukes of Hazzard.[5] Beginning with Rage then Enter the Dragon Weintraub produced dozens of movies, many with a martial arts theme, as well as directing a documentary on Bruce Lee, Bruce Lee: The Curse of the Dragon (1993).[5]

In 1970 Weintraub became an Executive Vice President of Warner Bros. One of the first films he oversaw for the studio was Woodstock. In 1972 he became an independent producer, and made a number of adventure films, including Enter the Dragon, starring Bruce Lee.

One of Weintraub's documentary films was It's Showtime (1976) which consisted of film clips profiling various animal actors, such as Rin Tin Tin, Flipper, Trigger, and Asta, with commentary from the actors who worked with them, and including footage of James Cagney, Jimmy Durante, Cary Grant, Maureen O'Sullivan, Dick Powell, Ronald Reagan, and Mickey Rooney working with animal stars.[6][7]

Other work

In 2011, Weintraub published his memoir, Bruce Lee, Woodstock and Me, along with collaborator David Fields,[8] recalling his fifty-year career in the entertainment industry.[9]


Narration films

Title Year Producer Writer Notes
Rage 1972 Yes
Invasion of the Bee Girls 1973 Executive
Enter the Dragon 1973 Yes
Black Belt Jones 1974 Yes Story
Truck Turner 1974 Yes Cameo as "Judge"
Golden Needles 1974 Yes
The Ultimate Warrior 1975 Yes
Trial by Combat 1976 Yes Story
Hot Potato 1976 Yes Characters
Checkered Flag or Crash 1977 Yes
Outlaw Blues 1977 Executive
The Pack 1977 Yes
The Promise 1979 Yes Story
Jaguar Lives! 1979 Yes
Tom Horn 1980 Yes
The Big Brawl 1980 Yes Story
Force: Five 1981 Yes
High Road to China 1983 Yes
Gymkata 1985 Yes
Out of Control 1985 Yes
The Women's Club 1987 Yes Story
China O'Brien 1990 Yes
A Show of Force 1990 Co-Producer
China O'Brien II 1990 Yes Direct-to-video
Born to Ride 1991 Yes
Gypsy Eyes 1992 Yes
Trouble Bound 1993 Yes
Backstreet Justice 1994 Yes
Under the Gun 1995 Executive
Amazons and Gladiators 2001 Yes
Warrior Angels 2002 Yes
Endangered Species 2003 Yes
Dream Warrior 2003 Yes

Documentaries films

Title Year Producer Director Notes
It's Showtime 1976 Yes Yes
The Best of the Martial Arts Films 1990 Yes
The JFK Assassination: The Jim Garrison Tapes 1992 Yes
The Curse of the Dragon 1993 Yes Yes
Patton's Ghost Corps 2006 Executive For DVD


Title Year Producer Writer Notes
Hootenanny 1963-1964 Talent coordinator (2 episodes)
Christmas at F.A.O. Schwarz 1968 Yes Television film
The Dukes of Hazzard 1979 Consultant (5 episodes)
My Father, My Son 1988 Yes Television film
Chips, the War Dog 1990 Executive Television film
Triplecross 1995 Yes Television film
Undertow 1996 Yes Television film
Playboy's Really Naked Truth 1995-1997 Executive 21 episodes
The New Adventures of Robin Hood 1997-1998 Executive Creator 53 episodes
The Devil's Arithmetic 1999 Yes Television film
Perilous 2000 Yes Television film
La Femme Musketeer 2004 Yes Mini-series (2 episodes)


Fred Weintraub died on March 5, 2017 in his Pacific Palisades home due to natural causes related to Parkinson's disease. He was 88.

He is survived by his beloved wife Jackie; children Sandra, Barbara, Max and Zachary; and four grandchildren.[10]


  1. "Fred Weintraub, Who Showcased Future Greats at the Bitter End, Dies at 88". The New York Times. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  2. Colby, Paul (2002). The Bitter End: Hanging Out at America's Nightclub. Cooper Square Press. ISBN 9781461660866. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  3. "Paul Colby's The Bitter End". The Bitter Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  4. "The Bitter End". Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  5. "Fred Weintraub Biography". Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  6. ""It's Showtime" cast and crew". Yahoo Movies. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  7. ""It's Showtime" cast and crew". New York Times Movies. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  9. Bruce Lee, Woodstock and Me
  10. Roberts, Randall (March 7, 2017). "Fred Weintraub, who financed 'Woodstock' and helped discover Bruce Lee, dies at 88". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
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