Movie mogul/Paramount Pictures Studio chief auction heads to Julien’s Auctions
BEVERLY HILLS, CA.- Julien’s Auctions has announced Property from the Estate of Robert Evans, a celebration of the dazzling life and singular career of the legendary American film producer and studio executive, Robert Evans, who produced some of American cinema’s finest achievements and championed a new generation of commercial and artistic filmmaking from the likes of Francis Ford Coppola, Sidney Lumet, Roman Polanski, John Schlesinger and more in Hollywood. This exclusive auction event will take place Saturday, October 24, 2020 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills and live online at juliensauctions.com.
On offer is a spectacular collection of the Hollywood titan’s fine/decorative art, classic car, household items, film scripts, memorabilia and awards from Evans’ most iconic film productions, Chinatown, The Godfather, The Godfather II, Love Story, Rosemary’s Baby, Serpico, True Grit, and more. Many of the over 600 items owned and used by the award-winning movie mogul who was known for his larger than life celebrity persona as much as his cinematic legacy come from his Woodland estate in Beverly Hills and are depicted in the documentary film The Kid Stays in the Picture, based on his famous autobiography of the same name.
Born in New York City, New York, as Robert J. Shapera on June 29, 1930, Robert Evans’ auspicious start in Hollywood arrived while on a business trip for his brother’s sportswear company, Evan-Picone, when he was discovered by actress Norma Shearer, who cast him to play the role of her late husband, the film mogul Irving Thalberg, in Man of a Thousand Faces. The businessman embarked on a brief acting career with the role of bullfighter Pedro Romero cast by Darryl F. Zanuck in 1957’s The Sun Also Rises, a film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s classic novel opposite Ava Gardner, and in 1959’s The Best of Everything opposite Joan Crawford until he discovered his true passion to work as a film producer.
In 1968, his first film The Detective, based on the 1966 novel by Roderick Thorp and starring Frank Sinatra, Lee Remick and Robert Duvall, caught the eye of Charles Bluhdorn, the head of Gulf-Western conglomerate who hired Evans as a production Vice-President of Paramount Pictures. Evans rose to the ranks as Head of Production for Paramount and turned the floundering studio into the most successful studio in Hollywood and one of Gulf-Western’s most profitable enterprises, due to the box office and critical success of his film productions, most notably Roman Polanski’s horror classic Rosemary’s Baby (1968) starring Mia Farrow, Love Story (1970) starring his future wife actress Ali MacGraw and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, the Academy Award winning film for Best Picture in 1972 considered by many in the media, industry organizations and the general public as the greatest American film of all time. During his tenure at Paramount, the studio produced the classic films Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, The Italian Job, True Grit, Harold and Maude, Serpico, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Save the Tiger, The Conversation, The Great Gatsby and many more. From 1976 to 1980, after stepping down as Production Chief, Evans continued his streak of successful films as an independent producer with Marathon Man, Popeye and Urban Cowboy. In the next two decades, he produced The Cotton Club, The Two Jakes, Sliver, Jade, The Phantom, The Saint and his last film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
In 1994, Evans’s autobiography titled “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” was published and struck a chord in Hollywood for its vivid storytelling of his notorious life in show business and personal life. An award-winning documentary film of the same name adapted from the book (whose title is attributed to Darryl F. Zanuck’s quote defending Evans’ casting which was objected by the film’s stars in The Sun Also Rises), was screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and released that year. In 2003, Evans produced and provided the voice as himself in the animated series Kid Notorious and in 2004 hosted the Sirius Satellite Radio show, In Bed with Robert Evans.
Evans’ distinguished awards and honors include a Golden Globe for “Best Motion Picture/Drama” for Chinatown in 1974; the David di Donatello for Best Foreign Film for Marathon Man in 1977; a Producers Guild of America (PGA) Hall of Fame – Motion Pictures award for Chinatown in 2000; the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures presented by the Producers Guild of America (PGA) in 2003; the Mary Pickford Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to the Entertainment Industry given by the International Press Academy, the most prestigious honor at the Satellite Awards presentation in 2003 and more. Evans died on October 26, 2019 at the age of 89 in Beverly Hills, California.
Auction highlights, many of which were in Evans’ Woodland estate and appeared in the 2002 film The Kid Stays in the Picture are:
Evans’ collection of fine art photography and paintings including Pierre-August Renoir’s oil on canvas of a “Female Nude with Raised Arm”, circa 1910 signed “Renoir” which hung on Evans’ living room wall (estimate: $100,000 – $250,000); Pierre-Paul Prud’hon’s Nude Study drawing which was in Evans’ master bedroom of Woodland (estimate: $15,000-$20,000); Helmut Newton’s photographic print “In Robert’s Garden,” 1991, inscribed, “For my friend Robert Evans–Helmut Newton, Beverly Hills 1991, which hung opposite Evan’s bed and “Saddle II” Hotel Lancaster, Paris, 1974 and inscribed “For my Bobbie as ever, Helmut/ The Last Tycoon!” (estimate: $80,000-$100,000), both of which Evans claimed were some of his favorite pieces of art with the latter pictured in a 2013 Wall Street Journal Magazine article about Robert Evans’ favorite possessions; “Study for the Burial and Assumption of St. Petronilla,” pen and ink drawing by Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) (estimate: $20,000-$30,000); “Portrait of a Woman,” (1949), pen and ink drawing signed by Bernard Buffet which hung in Evans’ living room of Woodland (estimate: $30,000- $50,000); “Man Playing Cards,” oil on canvas signed by Duilio Barnabe which hung in the foyer of Woodland (estimate: $6,000-$8,000); as well as a pencil and colored drawing of Homer Simpson signed by animation artist Rick Farmiloe (estimate: $600-$800) and more.
Evans’ 1995 Jaguar XJS 2+2 convertible (estimate: $8,000 -$10,000) equipped with the AJ16 4.0 liter, 3980cc inline 6-cylinder engine with 245 horsepower and 282 foot-pounds of torque, ZF4HP24E 4-speed automatic transmission, electronic fuel injection and real wheel drive with 69,595 miles. This beautiful Jade XJS with a 4.0 liter engine produced by Ford for Jaguar is considered the most reliable Jaguar engine ever produced, making this one of the most desirable and collectible models available.
Evans’ fine furniture and decorative items including a pair of sterling mounted mahogany veneered serpentine-front Georgian cutlery boxes, circa 1750, each with 35 pieces of flatware with carbon steel implements and sterling hollow pistol handles (estimate: $5,000-$7,000); a pair of Gothic Revival carved oak seated lions that were in the foyer of Woodland (estimate: $4,000- $6,000); a king size carved oak headboard with three velvet upholstered panels from the master bedroom that appeared in the July 2003 issue of Architectural Digest (estimate: $1,000-$2,000); an antique Spanish cannon dated 1517, given as a gift from John Wayne to Evans after the filming of True Grit (estimate: $8,000-$10,000); a late 19th century Elkington Co. silver plate and copper shield gifted from Alain Delon (estimate: $1,500- $2,500); a pair of late 18th/early 19th century Venetian rococo fruitwood armchairs (estimate: $800-$1,000); a sterling Cartier cocktail set including a round tray, three double old fashioned cups, and two martini glasses, each piece monogrammed “R.E” (estimate: $800-$1,000); a Burns & Sawyer vintage viewfinder on a chain (estimate: $1,000-$2,000) and more.
Items from Evans’ legendary career in film including a Hollywood Walk of Fame Plaque presented to Evans on May 23, 2003 to commemorate the placement of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (estimate: $3,000-$5,000); his 1974 Golden Globe for Chinatown which won for “Best Motion Picture/Drama” (estimate: $3,000-$5,000); Evans’ early draft annotated script of The Godfather that includes some interesting notes on casting such as Gene Hackman, Pat Hingle or Robert Ryan who were early considerations for the role of Tom Hagen which ultimately went to Robert Duvall and changed and deleted scenes (estimate: $3,000-$5,000); Evans’ third draft Chinatown script signed by the Academy Award winning film’s screenplay writer Robert Towne with the note written on the front page dated 12/23/77, “For my Favorite Producer, Hope to give you many, many more and two in the New Year” (estimate: $8,000 – $10,000); Evans’ brass “name” that hung on his Paramount Studios’ office door (estimate: $300-$500); a group of 100 never before seen black and white photographic contact sheets of behind-the-scenes images on the set of Chinatown depicting the cast including Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston and director Roman Polanski who also appeared in the film (estimate: $3,000-$5,000); Evans’ script from 1974’s The Godfather II marked “Second Draft” (estimate: $1,000-$2,000); a key to New York City presented to Evans by Mayor Abraham Beame on October 19, 1975 (estimate: $1,000-$2,000); Evan’s three large Rolodexes from the 1980s-1990s containing dozens of the producer’s Hollywood friends and business contacts including: Wes Anderson, Army Archerd, Warren Beatty, Candice Bergen, Jacqueline Bissett, Peter Bogdanovich, Francis Ford Coppola, Tony Danza, Barry Diller, Faye Dunaway Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Heidi Fleiss, Andy Garcia, Hugh Hefner, Dennis Hopper, Angelica Huston, Louis Malle, Shirley MacLaine, Liza Minnelli, Helmut Newton, Jack Nicholson, Roman Polanski, Mario Puzo, Rob Reiner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Liz Smith, Aaron Spelling and Elizabeth Taylor to name just a few (estimate: $400-$600); Evan’s 1980 U.S. passport containing multiple entry stamps and visas to Malta, Antigua, Barbados, France, Japan, Tahiti, Mexico, and others (estimate: $2,000-$4,000); Evans’ personal pair of Oliver Peoples brand “Robert Evans” black framed and gradient blue lens prescription eyeglasses with the ends chewed by Evans, as was his habit (estimate: $2,000-$3,000); plus, his scripts of Marathon Man, Love Story, photographs from the film The Sun Also Rises, archival and professional portrait photos, film industry membership cards and more.
“Robert Evans was a Hollywood visionary with a charismatic and towering persona who gave the world some of the best films ever made from The Godfather, The Godfather II and Chinatown, just to name a few,” said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions. “Julien’s Auctions is thrilled to offer this historic and glamourous collection of Evans’ most intriguing pieces from a storied life and career that was truly the stuff of Hollywood legend.”
- Andy Garcia
- Angelica Huston
- Army Archerd
- Barry Diller
- Bernard Buffet
- Candice Bergen
- Carrie Fisher
- Darryl F. Zanuck\
- Dennis Hopper
- Faye Dunaway Mia Farrow
- Francis Ford Coppola
- Heidi Fleiss
- Hugh Hefner
- Jacqueline Bissett
- Joan Crawford
- Louis Malle
- Martin Nolan
- Peter Bogdanovich
- Robert Evans
- Tony Danza
- Warren Beatty
- Wes Anderson
- Drawings & Watercolors
- Fine Art
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