Producer-director-screenwriter Bernd Eichinger died of a heart attack yesterday while having dinner with family and friends at his home in Los Angeles. Eichinger was 61.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, rumors had floated around that Eichinger was in poor health after he failed to show up at the Bavarian Film Awards earlier this year.
Eichinger’s credits as a producer include the critically lambasted but popular Resident Evil movies starring Milla Jovovich; Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominees Downfall, Nowhere in Africa, and The Baader Meinhof Complex; and The Name of the Rose, an adaptation of Umberto Eco’s novel about a series of murders in a medieval monastery that starred Sean Connery and F. Murray Abraham. Although The Name of the Rose was a box office flop in the United States, it became a major hit in Europe.
Eichinger (born on April 11, 1949, in Neuburg, Germany) produced, co-produced, or executive-produced nearly 100 features and television movies in the last 35 years, alternating between highly commercial fare and more ambitious efforts.
Among his other credits are The Fantastic Four; the lowbrow gay-themed comedy Der bewegte Mann / Maybe…Maybe Not, a major box office hit in Germany; and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, an adaptation of Patrick Süskind’s bestseller featuring Ben Whishaw in the role of the scent-sensitive psychopath.