The Oscar-winning producer Robert Chartoff was the man behind hit boxing based movies "Rocky" and "Raging Bull"
Robert Chartoff, who was best known for producing blockbuster film series Rocky, dies at the age of 81.
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The longtime friend and fellow producer Irwin Winkler confirmed the news, saying that Chartoff was battling pancreatic cancer for the past two years. His condition has gotten considerably worse last month or so and eventually passed away on Wednesday at his home in Santa Monica, California.
Robert Chartoff began his career as a producer in 1967 with crime film “Point Blank”, starring Marvin Lee and Angie Dikinson. He went to make several films after that but his real success came in 1979 with Rocky, a boxing-based film featuring Sylvester Stallone in the lead role. The film tells the story of Rocky Balboa, a working class Italian American boxer who starts out as a club fighter but continues to work hard and went on to become world heavyweight champion. The film was made with a mare $1 million budget but earned more than $200 million worldwide, becoming the highest grossing film of the year 1976. The film garnered ten Oscar nominations and won three of them including the award for the Best Picture, which he shared with co-producer Irwin Winkler.
"What i liked most was the ending," Chartoff said in 2004 book of Steven Prigge. "In the end, Rocky Balboa lost the fight to Apollo Creed. However, something more important happened. He won by achieving his personal goal. That was very rare in American cinema."
The duo of Robert Chartoff and Winkler went on to produce the rest of films in the series while Chartoff served as an executive producer for Rocky Balboa, released in 2006.
The veteran producer was nominated for another Oscar in 1981 for yet another hit boxing film “Raging Bull”, starring Robert De Niro as real life American middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta. His other credits include The Right Stuff (1983), In My Country (2004) and Shakespearean film The Tempest (2010).
Robert Chartoff’s last film is titled “Creed” which is a spinoff of Rocky and the seventh installment in the Rocky Series. The film, which again features Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, is set to release in November 25 of this year.
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Chartoff is survived by his wife Jenny and children William, Miranda, Julie, Jennifer and Charley.