Bruce Paltrow
Bruce Weigert Paltrow

(1943-11-26)November 26, 1943
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedOctober 3, 2002(2002-10-03) (aged 58)
Rome, Italy
Occupation(s)Film director, producer
(m. 1969)
RelativesGabby Giffords (first cousin once removed)[1]

Bruce Weigert Paltrow (November 26, 1943 – October 3, 2002) was an American television and film director and producer.[2] He was the husband of actress Blythe Danner, and the father of actress Gwyneth Paltrow and screenwriter/director Jake Paltrow.

Life and career

Paltrow was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Dorothy (née Weigert) and Arnold Paltrow ( Paltrowitz).[3] He had a brother, Robert. He was a first cousin of Spencer J. Giffords, father of Gabby Giffords, who became an American politician and member of the United States House of Representatives. His family was of Eastern European Jewish descent[4] with roots in Minsk. His paternal great-grandfather, whose surname was Paltrowicz, was a Rabbi in Nowogródok, Belarus.[5] His father and mother owned Paltrow Steel Company and a home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Paltrow studied painting at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. In the late 1960s, he began directing stage productions in New York City, where he met actress Blythe Danner. They were married from December 14, 1969, until his death.

He was the producer of the television series The White Shadow and St. Elsewhere. His last production was the film Duets, which starred his daughter, Gwyneth.[6]

He also owned a restaurant in Aspen called Gordon's.[citation needed]

Paltrow was a Democrat. He reportedly refused to cast Dwight Schultz for a role on St. Elsewhere because the actor, a political conservative, supported Ronald Reagan.[7]

Work in film and television

2003 – Fargo (first TV pilot spin-off, never aired)

2001-2002 – The Mind of the Married Man (TV series)

2000 – Duets

1995 – Ed McBain's 87th Precinct: Lightning (TV movie)

1994 – The Road Home (TV series)

1993 – Homicide: Life on the Street (TV series)

1992 – Home Fires (TV series)

1988 – Tattinger's (TV series)

1983-1987 – St. Elsewhere (TV series)

1982 – A Little Sex

1978-1980 The White Shadow (TV series)

1980 – Paris (TV series)

Death and legacy

Paltrow died on October 3, 2002, aged 58, while vacationing in Rome, Italy, to celebrate his daughter's 30th birthday. He had been diagnosed with oral cancer in 1999;[8] his death was due to complications from oral cancer and pneumonia.

In 2007, his widow Blythe Danner, in co-operation with The Oral Cancer Foundation, set up a fund in his name to address oral cancer issues in the United States.[9] The foundation works primarily in the areas of public awareness, early detection, patient support functions and research.

In 2002, three weeks after Paltrow's death, his daughter Gwyneth met Coldplay singer Chris Martin, whom she married in 2003. The 2005 Coldplay album X&Y carried a dedication to Bruce Paltrow, and the song "Fix You" was written to help Gwyneth through her grief.[10]


  1. ^ "Congresswoman Gifford's Hollywood Connection to Paltrows". January 9, 2011. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2013. Gabrielle Giffords' [paternal] grandmother and Gwyneth Paltrow's late [paternal] grandfather were brother and sister.
  2. ^ Fredeen, Charles (December 13, 1987). "St. Name Change". Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  3. ^ "Birth Notice 2—No Title". The New York Times. October 12, 1947. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  4. ^ Baylen, Ashley (January 4, 2011). "Gwyneth Paltrow's long lineage of rabbis". Ynetnews. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
    - Brown, Jonathan (April 10, 2006). "Second child for Chris and Gwyneth is the baby Moses". The Independent. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
    - Stated on Who Do You Think You Are?, April 1, 2011
  5. ^ Davis, Ivor (December 30, 1999). "Gwyneth Paltrow, Movies, Stardom and Judaism". Jewish Journal. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  6. ^ Wood, Gaby (November 19, 2000). "Bruce Paltrow: Gwyneth is good for you". The Guardian.
  7. ^ Paul Bond (June 1, 2011). "TV Executives Admit in Taped Interviews That Hollywood Pushes a Liberal Agenda". The Hollywood Reporter.
  8. ^ "Bruce Paltrow – The Oral Cancer Foundation". Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  9. ^ "About The Foundation". The Oral Cancer Foundation. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  10. ^ Corinne Heller (April 15, 2016). "Gwyneth Paltrow Says Chris Martin's Music Helped Her Cope With Her Dad's Death". eonline.