Personal Info - Awards - Film Credits - Biography
Born: 29 October 1943, Seattle, Washington, USA
Died: 19 January 1996 (aged 52)
Birth Name: Donald Clarence Simpson
Don Simpson, one of the most highly regarded creative forces in the entertainment industry and one of the most successful producers of all time, was a filmmaker who loved movies. In the 1980s, he was responsible for some of entertainment's most popular and enduring motion pictures. In the 1990s, this exceptional and unique producer continued that tradition, bringing audiences worldwide films that thrill, excite and delight. His tremendous contributions to the entertainment industry are dearly missed and there will always be an empty seat at the theatre.
The Rock - Producer, In Memory Of 1996
Dangerous Minds - Producer 1995
Crimson Tide - Producer 1995
Bad Boys - Producer 1995
Jungleground - Executive Producer 1995
The Ref - Executive Producer 1994
Days of Thunder - Producer, Aldo Bennedetti 1990
Beverly Hills Cop II - Producer 1987
Top Gun - Producer 1986
Beverly Hills Cop - Producer 1984
Thief of Hearts - Producer 1984
Flashdance - Producer 1983
Cannonball! - Assistant District Attorney, Writer 1976
Aloha, Bobby and Rose - Writer (uncredited) 1975
Let's take a look back at the films that begin with the dual lightning bolt. With worldwide revenues of over $10 billion in box office, video and recording receipts, Simpson earned not only the acclaim and respect of the entertainment industry but the devotion of moviegoers worldwide.
Simpson was a native of Anchorage, Alaska, and spent several years as a senior executive at Paramount Pictures before becoming President of Worldwide Production at Paramount. As president, Simpson was instrumental in the making of such films as American Gigolo, Urban Cowboy, Little Darlings, An Officer and a Gentleman, and 48 HRS. The years at Paramount fueled Simpson's creativity, provided him with invaluable experience and inspired him to take on his own projects. The first was the 1983 smash hit "Flashdance", which grossed $100 million in the U.S. alone and made an instant star of Jennifer Beals. It also paired Simpson with an old acquaintance Jerry Bruckheimer, who would be his partner for the next 14 years.
One of the most prolific partnerships in motion picture history, Simpson and Bruckheimer produced films that were honored with 15 Academy Award nominations, two Oscars for Best Song, four Grammies, three Golden Globes, two People's Choice Awards for Best Picture, and the MTV award for Best Picture of the Decade. Equally important to Simpson creatively was the fact that the films were turning the stars into box office giants. "Beverly Hills Cop" launched Eddie Murphy's career and "Top Gun" made Tom Cruise an international superstar.
Industry acclaim followed the box office success. In both 1985 and 1988, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) named Simpson Producer of the Year. And in 1988, along with his partner, Simpson was chosen as the Motion Picture Showman of the Year by the Publicists Guild of America.
Simpson and Bruckheimer were one of the most distinguished producing teams in motion picture history. Throughout the Eighties, they connected with such smash hits as Flashdance (1983) with Jennifer Beals, Beverly Hills Cop (1984)starring Eddie Murphy, Top Gun (1986) with Tom Cruise, Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) and "Days of Thunder" with Tom Cruise as Cole Trickle.
By 1995 the team was producing one hit after another. In that year alone, Simpson was responsible for Bad Boys (1995), the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence film that was Columbia Pictures' highest grossing movie of the year; Michelle Pfeiffer's acclaimed Dangerous Minds (1995); and Crimson Tide (1995), the Denzel Washington/Gene Hackman adventure thriller.
In 1996 Simpson produced Rock, The (1996) starring Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage. The film brought in nearly $350 million worldwide at the box office, and set the video rental market record as the most-ordered film in history. 'The Rock', named Favorite Movie of the Year by the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) was Simpson's last movie. Don Simpson died in 1996.