Denis O’Brien, George Harrison’s former manager, died at age 80


Denis O’Brien, who was George Harrison’s commercial director and produced several feature films with the former Beatle, has died at the age of 80.

O’Brien’s death was confirmed by his daughter, Kristen, who told the Associated press that her father died on December 3 in a hospital in Swindon, UK, after being admitted with severe abdominal pain. Deadline reports that his death was attributed to “intra-abdominal sepsis”.

Born in 1941, O’Brien grew up in St. Louis and then attended Northwestern University and Washington University (St. Louis). In the early 1970s he worked with Peter Sellers, helping the Pink Panther star manage his finances. It was Sellers who introduced O’Brien to Harrison when the former Beatle needed help sorting out his complicated tax situation. In 1973, O’Brien became Harrison’s business manager, a position he held for most of the rocker’s solo career.

In 1978, Harrison and O’Brien founded HandMade Films. Their first business was The Life of Brian of Monty Python. The biblical comedy – which tells the story of a man mistakenly mistaken for Jesus – became a worldwide hit, making HandMade a viable business. Other exits from the company included the 1980 crime drama Long good friday, with Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren; 1981 fantasy-adventure Time bandits, directed by Monty Python member Terry Gilliam and starring Sean Connery, and the 1987 black comedy Withnail and me.

HandMade Films ceased operations in 1991 and were sold three years later. Harrison then sued O’Brien for mismanagement of funds, for which the musicians were awarded more than $ 11 million. The rise and fall of the HandMade films were then recounted in the book Very naughty boys.

Deadline notes that O’Brien moved to England in 2008, where he lived until his death.

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