Bert Schneider Dies – Bert Schneider dies of natural causes. The 78-year-old movie producer had been in failing health and died of natural causes Monday at Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was the son of onetime Columbia Pictures president Abraham Schneider.
However, Schneider is best known for his major success producing, Easy Rider (1969), Five Easy Pieces (1970), Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show (1971) and Rafelson’s The King of Marvin Gardens (1972).
“This was a beginning of the independent movies and, more than that, a kind of celebration of anti-establishment movie subjects,” producer-director Bob Rafelson, who was one of Bert’s partners in the company that produced “Easy Rider” and six other films, said in an interview Tuesday.
“Bert broke with everybody’s rules,” Rafelson said.
He died a committed leftist, who vigorously opposed the American presence in Vietnam. In addition, he was close to the 1960s political activists Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther party, and Abbie Hoffman of the Youth International party (“Yippies”).
In fact, he helped Newton escape to Cuba to avoid prosecution on murder charges in 1974, and lent support to Hoffman when he went underground after being charged with conspiracy and inciting to riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Beset by personal problems, including long-standing substance abuse and a 2007 fire that destroyed his home in Beverly Hills, Schneider was estranged from his children and many of his friends and colleagues in his later years, his family said.
Schneider is survived by his younger brother Harold, his two children Audrey and Jeffery and four grandchildren.