Fountain Valley School of Colorado is saddened to report the passing of motion picture producer Samuel Goldwyn ’43 at the age of 88. Goldwyn, a former trustee and 2012 inductee into the FVS Arts Guild, is a longtime supporter of the School. He passed away in Los Angeles on Jan. 9.
He was the son of Samuel Goldwyn, who helped create Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. Goldwyn Jr. joined his father in the movie business and founded motion picture production companies The Samuel Goldwyn Company and Samuel Goldwyn Films. He was involved in some of the entertainment industry’s most acclaimed films, and his mark has left an indelible impression on several generations of film audiences.
Some of his more notable films include Academy Award winner “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” and “Mystic Pizza.” He has produced and/or distributed films such as “The Madness of King George,” “Sid and Nancy” and “Mississippi Masala.” His last credit as producer was “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” with Ben Stiller.
He was a champion of independent filmmakers, and Goldwyn took chances on films that no other studio would. Some of these gems include “Henry V” and “Much Ado About Nothing,” along with the AIDS drama “Longtime Companion” at a time when the subject of AIDS was being avoided. He had a reputation as a discoverer of talent in his films, including Julia Roberts in “Mystic Pizza” and Jim Carrey in “Once Bitten.” He also produced two Academy Award telecasts.
Goldwyn attended Fountain Valley School for his junior and senior years. He tried his hand at many activities, including swimming, basketball, football and bridge. As a senior, he was the business editor of the yearbook and directed the male chorus of jurymen for the winter production of “Trial by Jury.”
The final drama production for Goldwyn’s senior year was a first for FVS—a school variety show called “We the Students Meet.” Goldwyn was one of two student directors for the show. Not surprisingly, the 1943 yearbook states that Goldwyn was responsible for the senior class contributing to every dramatic performance that year.
Following FVS, Goldwyn attended the University of Virginia and was in the U.S. Army before settling into the movie business.
He continued to be actively involved with Fountain Valley School as a member of the board of trustees from 1972-84. He was the board president from 1979-83. Most recently, he was on the advisory board for the FVS Dominique Dunne High School Film Competition.
Goldwyn is survived by his wife, Patricia Strawn-Goldwyn; sons Francis '71, John '76, Tony '78 and Peter; daughters Catherine and Elizabeth; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.