Jonathan D. Krane with Sally Kellerman (1979)

Jonathan D. Krane (May 1, 1952 – August 1, 2016)[1] was an American screenwriter,[2] film producer, talent manager, and studio head.[3] He's most known in Hollywood for his decade and a half partnership with John Travolta, whom he managed from 1987 until 2002. Together, they made some of Travolta's biggest films including Look Who's Talking (1989), Phenomenon (1996), Michael (1996), Face/Off (1997), Primary Colors (1998), General's Daughter (1999), Domestic Disturbance (2001), Swordfish (2001) and Basic (2003).[4]

Early life

Krane was born in Hollywood, CA, on May 1, 1952. He graduated from Hollywood Hills High School at the age of 15,[3] and received his bachelor's degree in liberal arts at St. John's College.[5][6] After finishing his undergraduate work, he lived for one year in England, France, and Greece, independently studying civil liberties in European criminal justice systems before returning to the states to study law at Yale Law School. He was awarded his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1976.

He began his legal career as an associate at Los Angeles law firm of Irell & Manella, specializing in international motion picture taxation and entertainment law. This specialty would expose him to the world of entertainment and set him up for his future career as a talent manager and film producer.

He married actress Sally Kellerman[7] on May 11, 1980, in a private ceremony at Jennifer Jones' Malibu home.[8] In 1989, they adopted newborn twins, Jack and Hannah.[9] The family resided part-time in Jupiter, Florida from 1991 to 2008.[10][11]

Management Company Entertainment Group

A chance meeting with Blake Edwards at an industry party would change the course of his career. Edwards was reportedly tired of working with the studio system and Krane pitched him his idea for a "new type of film studio." After further discussions, they partnered together to form Blake Edwards Entertainment, where Krane would serve as CEO. Krane would develop and produce the projects so Edwards could focus on writing and directing.

Their first project was the hit film Trail of the Pink Panther, which they followed up with Curse of the Pink Panther the next year. All told, they made seven films together before Jonathan left to expand his own company called Management Company Entertainment (MCE), which he had formed in 1983.[5] The separation was not amicable, with Blake later saying he "was furious with Krane and no longer spoke to him because Krane had made all his contacts through Edwards and then left."[12]

Krane took MCEG public in 1987 as "Management Company Entertainment Group", which made him the youngest CEO of a publicly traded company at the time.

In July 1989, MCEG acquired UK-based home video distributor Virgin Vision (including subsidiary Virgin Films) from the Virgin Group, and renamed it MCEG Virgin Vision. MCEG's existing home video divisions, including MCEG Home Video and Forum Home Video, were merged with the US division of Virgin Vision to form MCEG Virgin Home Entertainment. MCEG's acquisition of Virgin Vision was proved to be unsuccessful, and in 1990, MCEG filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company sold 85% of Virgin Vision to GE Capital, and the Virgin Group reacquired 15%. The US and Australian operations of MCEG Virgin Home Entertainment were shut down, while the UK branch remained in operation, and when Virgin's stake was sold to GE Capital in 1991, was renamed Vision Video Ltd. (VVL).

In 1992, John Kluge acquired MCEG and renamed it MCEG/Sterling Entertainment.

In 1995, MCEG/Sterling and two other companies owned by Kluge were merged into Orion Pictures to form the Metromedia International Group, which was acquired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1997.


Krane died on August 1, 2016 in his home in Hollywood Hills.


Year Title Role
1982 Trail of the Pink Panther executive producer
1983 Curse of the Pink Panther executive producer
The Man Who Loved Women executive producer
1984 Micki & Maude executive producer
1986 A Fine Mess executive producer
That's Life! producer
1987 Blind Date executive producer
1988 You Can't Hurry Love producer
The Chocolate War producer
Slipping into Darkness producer
1989 The Experts executive producer
Getting It Right producer
Catch Me If You Can producer
C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. producer
Look Who's Talking producer
Limit Up producer
1990 Without You I'm Nothing producer
Fatal Charm executive producer
Look Who's Talking Too producer
1991 Chains of Gold producer
Cold Heaven producer
Convicts producer
1992 Boris and Natasha: The Movie producer
Breaking the Rules producer
1993 Look Who's Talking Now producer
1994 Love Is a Gun producer
1995 The Point of Betrayal producer
1996 Phenomenon executive producer
Michael producer
1997 Face/Off executive producer
Movies Kill executive producer
The Lay of the Land producer
Mad City executive producer
1998 Primary Colors executive producer
1999 The General's Daughter executive producer
2000 Battlefield Earth producer
Lucky Numbers producer
Bar Hopping producer
2001 Swordfish producer
Domestic Disturbance producer
2003 Basic producer
2007 The Prince and the Pauper: The Movie executive producer
2010 Father of Invention producer


  1. ^ "Jonathan D. Krane Biography (1952-)". Film Reference. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  2. ^ Father of Invention, retrieved 2019-11-27
  3. ^ a b "The 'Talking' at MCEG Is Now About What's Next". Los Angeles Times. 1990-02-07. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  4. ^ "The Krane Company previous releases". Archived from the original on August 2, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Jonathan Krane CV" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Alumni Memoriam 2016".
  7. ^ "Jonathan D. Krane, Producer of the 'Look Who's Talking' Films, Dies at 65". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  8. ^ "The Free Lance-Star - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  9. ^ Kellerman, Sally (2013). Read My Lips: Stories of a Hollywood Life. Weinstein Books. ISBN 978-1-60286-167-1.
  10. ^ "Sally Kellerman, hubby move to Jupiter". The Palm Beach Post. July 3, 1991.
  11. ^ "It's a wrap for Jupiter film buff's plans". The Palm Beach Post. February 22, 2008.
  12. ^ Friedman, Roger (2015-03-25). "Travolta and Longtime Manager Part Ways". Fox News. Retrieved 2019-11-27.