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Biography

Robert Evans was born in New York City, to Florence (Krasne) and Archie Shapera, a dentist with a thriving practice in Harlem. His family was of Russian Jewish descent. He was raised on Manhattan's Upper West Side. He began his show-business career as a teenage radio actor. After flopping in his first attempt at movie acting, he took a job promoting sales of ladies' slacks for Evan-Picone, the clothing company founded and run by his brother. Some years later, Norma Shearer spotted him hanging around the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel; she successfully touted him for the role of Irving Thalberg in Man of a Thousand Faces (1957). In a New York nightclub, Evans also caught the eye of Darryl F. Zanuck, who cast him as a bullfighter in The Sun Also Rises (1957). By the end of the fifties, Evans writes, "I was sure of one thing: I was a half-assed actor." He determined to recast himself as a producer.Before launching his first picture, though, he was hired by Charlie Bluhdorn, head of the G

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Filmography