Bert Schneider Dies

December 15, 2011 by staff 

Bert Schneider Dies, Bert Schneider, a producer of “Easy Rider” and other films that reflected and helped define the social unrest of the late 1960s and early ’70s, died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 78.
His death was confirmed by his daughter, Audrey Simon.

Mr. Schneider was a major behind-the-scenes force in the movement to make Hollywood more responsive to a youthful audience. But he may be best remembered for one of the rare moments when he was in the spotlight.

“Hearts and Minds” (1974), which Mr. Schneider produced with Peter Davis, was a documentary that focused on opposition to the Vietnam War. It won the Academy Award as best documentary in 1975. On Oscar night, as the two men accepted their award, Mr. Schneider chose not to give an acceptance speech but to read a telegram from the Vietcong delegation to the Paris peace talks, which were then under way, expressing thanks for American peace efforts.

Older and more conservative voices of the Academy responded by having Frank Sinatra read a statement, written by Bob Hope, expressing regret that Mr. Schneider’s political statements had been part of the evening.

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