LOS ANGELES - Guy McElwaine, who as a Hollywood agent and studio chief was involved in blockbusters ranging from "All the President's Men" to "The Karate Kid," died Wednesday. He was 71.
Mr. McElwaine died at his Bel-Air home after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer, said his daughter, Alexandra McElwaine-Grane.
"He had a great eye for talent," Jeff Berg, chairman of International Creative Management, told Variety. "He was able to successfully traverse being an agent and being a studio executive. He was a wonderful colleague."
In the 1960s, Mr. McElwaine owned a management and public relations company whose clients included Frank Sinatra, Warren Beatty, and The Mamas and The Papas.
He later joined Creative Management Associates, an agency that was the forerunner to the powerful International Creative Management. There, he was the first agent to sign Steven Spielberg, according to a biography in the statement announcing his death.
In the 1970s Mr. McElwaine was briefly at Warner Bros. as senior executive vice president in charge of worldwide motion picture production, helping supervise movies such as "All the President's Men," "Dog Day Afternoon," and "Oh God!"
When Creative Management Associates became International Creative Management, Mr. McElwaine returned to the agency as a founding partner.
In 1981 he left to become president of Columbia Pictures, later becoming the studio's chairman and chief executive officer.
During his tenure, the studio produced or distributed such hits as "Ghostbusters," "The Karate Kid," and "Gandhi."
He resigned in 1986 and two years later was back with ICM as an agent.
He later was president and chief operating officer of Trilogy Entertainment Group and at the time of his death was president of Morgan Creek Productions, where he was an executive producer for the 2006 Matt Damon drama "The Good Shepherd."
"I wouldn't say he was old school," James G. Robinson, chief executive of Morgan Creek Productions, told the Los Angeles Times, "but I will say he brought all the good stuff from the '50s, '60s, and '70s forward with him, meaning he was a very honorable guy and his word truly was his bond and whatever deal that he made, he kept."