RIP, Bear!


Michael Butler (11/26/1926 – 11/7/2022)

I lost my mentor and dear friend this past week. He produced Hair on Broadway, numerous road shows, and the film. (As well as other plays and films) Though he was 30 years my senior, one would never have guessed his age when in my company. We shared many escapades in the entertainment business from 1985 through 2019. He would call me on my birthdays. His life was extraordinary... Born in Chicago, his family owned Oak Brook Farms which would later become the town of Oak Brook, IL. Their family business was Butler Paper and Butler Aviation. His father Paul made polo part of the equestrian landscape in America, winning six U.S. Open Polo Championships and four Butler Handicap titles. Michael would embrace the very expensive and posh sport, as well, collecting and befriending champions and celebrities along the way. His personal friendships with politicians (The Kennedys) and princes/kings (King Charles) and celebrities (too many to list), afforded him endless stories and memoirs. I would host dinner parties just have him share his escapades with my friends. He introduced me to Gore Vidal, someone I would interview for two podcasts. (Together, we would later option one of Gore's novels, nearly selling our excellent script to Hollyweird.). Without going too in-depth, I suggest listening to this extraordinary podcast I conducted with Michael in 2005. It is all true. Blessings to your soul, Brother Bear, you taught me how to live life to the fullest.


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