Peters made his Hollywood debut in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956) as the boy on the donkey crossing the Red Sea. He went on to be a hard-case kid who spent his formative years in and out of reform school. Peters entered the family business of hairdressing at age 14. Armed with an instinctive genius for self-promotion, he amassed a huge celebrity clientele at his trendy Jon Peters Salon on Rodeo Drive, raking in millions by merchandising the salon’s ancillary cosmetic products. Privy to confidences that the rich and famous only reveal to their hairdressers, Peters became hip to the ways and means of Hollywood. In 1973, he fell in love with his client Barbra Streisand and proceeded to manage her early music and film career. He produced her 1976 remake of A Star Is Born (1976) which yielded over $100 million at the box office and four Oscar nominations including the Oscar-winning song, “Evergreen”. Peters went on to produce a string of best-selling Streisand albums, “The Main Event”, The Eyes of Laura Mars” and “Caddyshack”. Peters blossomed into an A-list producer, a status he’s maintained over 30 years.
In 1980, Peters teamed with former Casablanca Records and Filmworks exec Peter Guber; together with Neil Bogart, Peters and Guber formed the Polygram Productions, later renamed the Boardwalk Company. A series of mergers and sell-offs later, Guber-Peters was born in 1983. The team’s willingness to take enormous chances with huge amounts of money transformed Guber and Peters into the wunderkind of Hollywood, especially after such critical and financial successes as Missing (1982), Flashdance (1983), The Color Purple (1985), Witches of Eastwick (1987), Gorillas in the Mist (1988), and Rain Man (1989). Guber-Peters acquired Chuck Barris Productions (The Gong Show, The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game), cementing their role in television as Guber-Peters-Barris. The partnership took its biggest risk and scored its biggest hit with Batman (1989) which won Peters and his partner a multimillion-dollar seven-year WB contract. Within months, they were wooed away by Sony Corporation, which offered Guber and Peters one billion dollars to assume chief executive posts.
Peters left to start Peters Entertainment which has produced such blockbusters as Batman Returns, Wild Wild West, Ali, and Superman Returns. Peters has received over 254 nominations, and won multiple Oscars, Golden Globes, and Grammys. The producer’s combined grosses exceed $6 Billion worldwide and will continue to soar with two Superman sequels and a Star is Born remake in development. Peters is the proud father of five children: Christopher, Caleigh, Jordan, Skye, and Kendyl. Through the Peters Family Foundation he supports the Christopher Reeve Foundation, Life Rolls On, Homeboy Industries, My Friend’s Place, Cambodian Children’s Fund, Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation, Heartfelt Foundation, The Laurence School, the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation, and countless other youth charities.
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