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Steve Bing, Hollywood producer and financier, is dead at 55
In this file photo Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and Hollywood mogul Steve Bing look on during the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) September 21, 2010 in New York City. Hollywood producer Steve Bing, who financed Tom Hanks movie "The Polar Express" and fathered a child with actress Liz Hurley, has died aged 55, US media reported June 22. MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP.

by Austin Ramzy and Rachel Abrams

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Steve Bing, a real estate heir who became a Hollywood producer and film financier, died Monday in Los Angeles after jumping from the balcony of his 27th-floor apartment. He was 55.

The Los Angeles County coroner confirmed his death.

The Los Angeles police said officers arrived at the scene, on Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City, at 1 p.m. and pronounced a man in his 50s there dead. It did not release his name or details of the death. But a police official who was not authorized to comment publicly said a man who had jumped from the condominium building balcony was identified as Bing.

An heir to a New York real estate fortune, Bing started a production company and was involved in producing and financing a number of popular films, including “Get Carter,” a 2000 action thriller with Sylvester Stallone.

Bing was a donor to progressive and Democratic political causes and a friend of former President Bill Clinton’s. He had given at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation.

“I loved Steve Bing very much,” Clinton wrote on Twitter after the death. “He had a big heart, and he was willing to do anything he could for the people and causes he believed in.”

Bing’s romantic relationship with British actress Elizabeth Hurley became tabloid fodder in 2001 after he had questioned whether he was the father of a child she had given birth to; a DNA test confirmed that he was.

Writing on Instagram early Tuesday, Hurley said she was “saddened beyond belief” by his death. She wrote that she and Bing had become close again over the last year.

Stephen Leo Bing was born on March 31, 1965, in New York City to Helen Bing, a nurse, and Peter Bing, a medical doctor. When Stephen turned 18, he inherited a fortune from his grandfather Leo S. Bing, a New York real estate developer for whom a theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is named.

Bing attended Harvard Westlake, a private school in Los Angeles, and reportedly co-wrote his first screenplay, “Missing in Action,” before graduating from high school. The script eventually turned into a film starring Chuck Norris.

Bing enrolled at Stanford University but dropped out before graduating to pursue a career in entertainment, starting his production company, Shangri-La Entertainment, and co-writing the screenplay to the 2003 comedy “Kangaroo Jack,” produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Bing also helped finance “The Polar Express,” a motion-capture animated film that starred Tom Hanks, and produced “Shine a Light,” Martin Scorsese’s 2008 documentary about the Rolling Stones.

More recently, he partnered with several other Hollywood financiers — including Ron Burkle, Arnon Milchan and Brett Ratner — to finance “Rules Don’t Apply,” a 2016 film written, produced and directed by Warren Beatty, who also starred in it as Howard Hughes.

In 2009, Bing helped in the return of two American journalists from North Korea. He owned the plane that flew the journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, back to the United States with Clinton, who had traveled to Pyongyang to win their release.

Bing is survived by his son with Hurley, Damian, and a daughter, Kira, from a previous relationship.

© 2020 The New York Times Company

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