Hollywood producer dies after plunge

Top News | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 24 Jun 2020

Hollywood producer Steve Bing, who financed Tom Hanks's movie The Polar Express and fathered a child with actress Liz Hurley, has died. He was 55.

News website TMZ said Bing died after falling from the 27th story of a luxury apartment building in Los Angeles' Century City, citing anonymous law enforcement sources.

A Los Angeles police spokesman said a male in his 50s had been pronounced dead at the same scene, without disclosing his identity. Both the victim's age and the location matched TMZ reports.

As well as producing and financing movies such as Sylvester Stallone's action flick Get Carter and Martin Scorsese's music documentary Shine a Light, Bing co-wrote the 2003 comedy Kangaroo Jack.

He famously invested over US$80 million (HK$624 million) in The Polar Express - around half the Christmas animation's budget.

The 2004 movie, starring Hanks as a lead voice actor, would gross more than US$300 million worldwide.

Bing was also a prominent real estate developer, philanthropist and political donor.

He was a long-time friend and supporter to Bill Clinton, lending the former US president his private jet for a 2009 mission to North Korea to free two American journalists.

At the age of 18, Bing had inherited around US$600 million from his grandfather, property tycoon Leo Bing, after whom the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Bing Theatre is named.

Bing had two children - Damian, whose mother is Hurley, and Kira, born to professional tennis player Lisa Bonder.

Reports in TMZ and The Wrap said Bing had been suffering from depression and had died by suicide.

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