Film producerMartin Bregman

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Thanks to introductions from a well-connected friend, Bregman, who grew up in New York City, became a personal manager for a number of actors, such as Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand, Faye Dunaway, Alan Alda, and Bette Midler. He “discovered” an actor performing in an Off-Broadway play: Al Pacino. He helped Pacino get his first leading film role (Panic in Needle Park, 1971, beating out Robert De Niro). Bregman then essentially changed careers, to film producer, largely to help Pacino’s career. That led to Pacino films like Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Scarface (1983), and Carlito’s Way (1993).

Pacino and Bregman in 2003 (Photo: Universal Studios)

Meanwhile, Bregman also produced films for another client, Alan Alda, including The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979), The Four Seasons (1981), Sweet Liberty (1986), and Betsy’s Wedding (1990). He also produced films for Denzel Washington and Eddie Murphy — in all, 29 films. “He discovered me and became my manager,” Pacino has said. “And that’s why I’m here. I owe it to Marty, I really do.” Others agree that Bregman was unusual for his care for actors. Bregman was on the set “all of the time,” said Michael Caine, and was “very efficient without all the noise and bluster that you get from so many producers.” Bregman died June 16, from a stroke. He was 92.

From This is True for 17 June 2018