Sidney Sheinberg, Universal Studios Executive, Dies at 84

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Sidney Sheinberg, former Universal Studios executive, just passed away at the age of 84. His son, Jon Sheinberg, made the news public over an Instagram post. As of this writing, no cause death has been revealed.

“Sadly my dad (Sid Sheinberg) died today,” Jon Sheinberg wrote. “He was an amazing man and will be missed very much. We loved him tremendously and will forever miss him.”

While Sheinberg was known as the president and chief operating officer of MCA and Universal Studios, he is also known for discovering a young Steven Spielberg. In other words, there may not have been a “Jaws,” “Jurassic Park,” or “Schindler’s List” without Sheinberg.

As a result of viewing Spielberg’s short film, “Ambiln’,” in 1968, Sheinberg offered Spielberg a job directing a television episode of Rod Serling’s “Night Gallery.” After that, this led to more projects and eventually a 7-year contract.

During Sheinberg’s presidency at Universal Studios, they released Spielberg’s first film, “The Sugarland Express” in 1974. In addition, Spielberg would release some of his best-known films such as “Jaws,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” and “Schindler’s List.”

“My heart is broken at this news [of Sid Sheinberg’s passing]. For now let me just say that Sid had a big personality and a tender heart. He was the tallest most stand up guy I ever knew. He gave birth to my career and made Universal my home,” said Spielberg in a statement through Amblin Entertainment.

Spielberg further stated, “He gave me ‘Jaws,’ I gave him ‘E.T.,’ and he gave me ‘Schindler’s List.’ We were a team for 25 years and he was my dear friend for 50. I have no concept about how to accept that Sid is gone. For the rest of my life I will owe him more than I can express.”

Sheinberg is survived by Lorraine Gray, his wife of 63 years, as well as his sons.

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