- Category : 1943-births
- Type : GP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Unexpected 3
American film producer who, with his partner Jerry Bruckheimer, was responsible for blockbusters like "Flashdance," 1983 and "Top Gun," 1986.
Born in Seattle, Washington, Simpson grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. After moving to San Francisco, he worked at the Jack Woodell Agency as an account executive, and in 1971, he became a marketing executive for Warner Brothers. His career really took off, however, when he met Jerry Bruckheimer who quickly became a close friend. They began their successful partnership with "American Gigolo," 1979, and went on to produce films that were instrumental in defining the pop culture of the 1980s. In 1985 and 1988, the National Association of Theater Owners named the duo "producers of the year." Simpson was the recipient of ten Academy Award nominations, three Golden Globe Awards and two People’s Choice Best Picture Awards. In 1991, Simpson left Paramount and joined Walt Disney Studios.
Always recognized as having a keen eye for talent, he was equally as well known for being one of Hollywood’s poster boys for bad behavior. While Bruckheimer would wield an olive branch during business meetings, Simpson was more apt to bully his way to success. He reportedly suffered from a lack of self-esteem and had an almost pathological need to be "the man." Always the life of the party, he was legendary for the lavish gatherings he hosted. His tendency toward substance abuse further escalated in 1990 and began to interfere with his professional life.
In 1995, he was allegedly undergoing drug rehabilitation under the care of his physician, and longtime friend, Stephen Ammerman. On 8/14/1995, the doctor was found in Simpson’s pool house, dead of a drug overdose. Afterward Simpson was deeply depressed and increasingly was unable to help his partner with their production duties. In December 1995, Bruckheimer made a public announcement stating that while they were still good friends, they were dissolving their professional partnership.
Simpson died of a heart attack on 19 January 1996 in Los Angeles, California.