Lawrence Bender
Bender at a premiere for
Inglourious Basterds in August 2009
Born (1957-10-17) October 17, 1957 (age 66)
EducationUniversity of Maine
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1987–present

Lawrence Bender (born October 17, 1957) is an American film producer. Throughout his career, Bender-produced films have received 36 Academy Award nominations, resulting in eight wins.[1][2]

Bender rose to fame by producing Reservoir Dogs in 1992 and has since produced several of Quentin Tarantino's films including Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill: Volume 1 & 2 and Inglourious Basterds. Bender has also produced three documentary films, most notably An Inconvenient Truth (2006) which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.[3] He has received three Best Picture nominations for producing Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting and Inglourious Basterds.[4]

Early life

Bender was born to a Jewish family in The Bronx, New York, and grew up in New Jersey, where his father was a college history professor and his mother was a kindergarten teacher.[5] He described his hometown of Cherry Hill at the time as "all-white and anti-Semitic".[6] He attended Cherry Hill High School East,[7] where he decided to pursue a career as a civil engineer. His grandfather had been a civil engineer and he heard there were good jobs available in the field.[8] He is a graduate of The University of Maine, Class of 1979, majoring in Civil Engineering.[8][9][4]

While in college, Bender acquired a passion for dance. After graduating, Bender pursued dancing and was awarded a scholarship to the Louis Falco dance troupe.[10] He worked as a dancer for some time before a series of injuries ended his dance career.[4]



In the 1980s, he worked as a grip on the syndicated anthology series Tales from the Darkside. In 1989 he produced, along with Sam Raimi, the film Intruder, for which he also co-wrote the story. After meeting Tarantino in 1990 and being given the script for Reservoir Dogs, he agreed to produce the film, which went on to achieve commercial success.[11] Throughout the 1990s, Bender also produced Pulp Fiction (1994), Killing Zoe (1994), Fresh, White Man's Burden (1995), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Jackie Brown (1997), Good Will Hunting (1997), A Price Above Rubies (1998), and Anna and the King (1999). He had deals with Miramax and Fox 2000 Pictures.[12]

In the early 2000s, Bender produced the films, The Mexican (2001), Knockaround Guys (2001), Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004), Innocent Voices (2004), and Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. Since May 2005, Bender has been a contributing blogger at HuffPost.

On February 8, 2018, multiple news outlets broke the story that Bender was responsible for covering up a car crash on the set of the film Kill Bill that Uma Thurman claims “nearly killed” her.[13]

In 2009, Bender produced the Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. It would be the last time Bender and Tarantino would ever work together. He also produced the 2012 film Safe, which starred Jason Statham.[14] In 2016, he was executive producer for The Forest, Martin Scorsese's Silence and Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge.[15] In 2017, it was announced that Bender would serve as a producer for the film The Widow.[16]

Bender makes a cameo appearance in many of the films he produces: he was a police officer chasing Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs, a restaurant patron billed as a "Long Hair Yuppie-Scum" in Fresh, Pulp Fiction and Four Rooms, a hotel clerk in Kill Bill: Volume 2, and as a bartender in Safe.[14]


He produced the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which raised unprecedented awareness about climate change, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.[17]

In 2008, Bender was a founding member of the World Security Institute campaign, Global Zero.[18] His 2010 documentary, Countdown to Zero, features Tony Blair, Presidents, Musharef, Gorbachev, De Klerk and Carter among others, details the urgent risk posed by proliferation, terrorism, and accidental use of nuclear weapons.[19] Bender was an executive producer for the 2017 sequel to An Inconvenient Truth, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.[20]


In the early 2000s, Bender formed a partnership with Kevin Kelly Brown and created the production company Bender Brown Productions. The company produced the CBS Drama Dr. Vegas and the Syfy channel mini-series Earthsea.[21]

In 2008, it was reported that Bender was working with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor to create a television series based on the 2007 album Year Zero.[22]

Bender produced the 2015 Starz miniseries Flesh and Bone.[23] In 2017, it was announced that Bender and Brown would executive produce a reboot pilot of the television series Roswell for The CW.[24] The CW ordered Roswell, New Mexico to series in May 2018.[25] Bender also executive produced the 2018 Netflix series Seven Seconds.[26]

Personal life

Bender is also a passionate social and political activist and supports many causes.[27] Bender serves on the board of The Creative Coalition. He is a member of Council on Foreign Relations the Pacific Council. Bender is also on the Advisory Board for the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and a member of the Global Zero campaign.[28][29]

In 2004, Bender was a top fundraiser for John Kerry's presidential campaign.[30] He was also an early supporter of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.[31] Being of Jewish descent, in August 2015 he signed – as one of 98 members of the Los Angeles' Jewish community – an open letter supporting the proposed nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers led by the United States "as being in the best interest of the United States and Israel."[32]

On May 11, 2013, he returned to The University of Maine to receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree and share remarks during the 2013 Commencement ceremonies.[4]

Awards and recognition

In 1994, Pulp Fiction won the Palme d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival.[33] Bender received a producer of the year award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001, becoming the third person ever to win the award and the first American to do so.[34] In 2005, Bender was presented with the Torch of Liberty award from the ACLU.[35] He was named a Wildlife Hero by the National Wildlife Federation in 2011.[36] Throughout his career, films Bender has produced or executive produced have won a total of eight Academy Awards.[2]




Executive producer


Executive producer



  1. ^ "Lawrence Bender, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability". Retrieved 2016-04-25.
  2. ^ a b "Honoree Lawrence Bender" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Steve Golin and Lawrence Bender Talk About How Film Can Drive Cultural Change". 20 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d "UMaine alum, Hollywood producer Bender to give commencement address". 23 April 2013.
  5. ^ L.A. Confidential: "Lawrence Bender Loves Israel" By Lawrence Bender retrieved May 25, 2015
  6. ^ Koehler, Robert. "Hey, Chili, Meet a Real Producer", Los Angeles Times, January 6, 1996. Accessed August 8, 2019. "The poverty was somewhat self-imposed. The Bronx-born Bender grew up in Cherry Hill, N.J., 'which was all-white and anti-Semitic, so I’d hear comments about me like, "He’s a good kid for a Jew." I have some idea of what it means to be discriminated against, though not as a distinct minority of color.'"
  7. ^ Greenblatt, Sarah. "Oscar might be clutched by Cherry Hill grad tonight", Courier-Post, February 25, 2007. Accessed November 19, 2023, via "If Cherry Hill High School East alumnus Lawrence Bender hadn't injured his knees, his father said, he might still be a professional dancer."
  8. ^ a b "Hollywood film producer credits UMaine". 5 May 2013.
  9. ^ "The University of Maine - Commencement 2013 - Honorary Degree Recipient and Speaker". Archived from the original on 2013-05-10. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  10. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (22 September 1994). "A Film Maker and the Art of the Deal". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (1994). "A Film Maker and the Art of the Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  12. ^ Petrikin, Chris (1998-11-12). "Fox 2000 takes second look at Bender". Variety. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  13. ^ "Kill Bill producer apologises to Uma Thurman over car crash claims". 8 February 2018.
  14. ^ a b Taylor, Drew (April 26, 2012). "'Safe' Producer Lawrence Bender Talks Jason Stathan's Appeal & Why He Didn't Produce 'Django Unchained'". IndieWire. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  15. ^ "Lawrence Bender". 22 September 2016.
  16. ^ Ford, Rebecca (May 5, 2017). "Cannes: Isabell Huppert, Chloe Grace Moretz to Star in Thriller 'The Widow'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  17. ^ Skoll, Jeff (April 27, 2016). "Participant's Jeff Skoll: How the Power of Film Spread 'An Inconvenient Truth'". Variety. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  18. ^ Lim, Dennis (16 July 2010). "It's Time to Start Worrying Again". The New York Times.
  19. ^ Schroeder Mullins, Anne (April 6, 2010). "Thumbs Up For Bender Nuclear Doc". Politico. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  20. ^ Pedersen, Erik (June 1, 2017). "'An Inconvenient Sequel' Getting Limited Summer Release From Paramount - Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 1, 2012). "Lawrence Bender & Kevin Brown's Company Signs Pod Deal With Universal Cable Prods". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  22. ^ Pareles, Jon (June 8, 2008). "Frustration and Fury: Take It. It's Free". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 31, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2008.
  23. ^ Charaipotra, Sona (November 4, 2015). "'Pulp Fiction' Producer Lawrence Bender On Trading Bullets For Ballet With 'Flesh and Bone'". Thrillist. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 12, 2017). "'Roswell' Reboot With Immigration Twist In Works At the CW From Amblin TV". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  25. ^ Petski, Denise (May 11, 2018). "The CW Picks Up 'Charmed' & 'Roswell' Reboots, 'TVD'/'Originals Offshoot, 'In The Dark' & Greg Berlanti Pilot To Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  26. ^ Ryan, Maureen (February 22, 2018). "TV Review: 'Seven Seconds' On Netflix". Variety. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  27. ^ "The Other Avenger: Tarantino's Producer Lawrence Bender". 18 August 2009.
  28. ^ UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
  29. ^ Lawrence Bender on His Involvement with the UCLA IoES on YouTube
  30. ^ "A Chat With Inconvenient Truth Co-Producer and Hollywood Bigwig Lawrence Bender". 7 March 2007.
  31. ^ "Barack Obama to Hollywood: Without You, No Obama White House". 27 May 2009.
  32. ^ Abramovitch, Seth (August 12, 2015). "98 Prominent Hollywood Jews Back Iran Nuclear Deal in Open Letter (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  33. ^ "Pulp Fiction Brought Guns, Gimps and Glory to the Cannes Film Festival". 21 August 2014.
  34. ^ "Bender Feted as Producer of the Year". 14 May 2001.
  35. ^ "2013 Commencement Honorary Degree Recipient and Speaker Lawrence Bender". 4 April 2013.
  36. ^ "Jack Hannah Honored By the National Wildlife Federation".