Movie Producer and Philanthropist Steve Bing Dead at 55

steve bing
(Photo: Mark Mainz/Getty Images)

Producer and philanthropist Steve Bing has died. He was 55. The news of Bing's passing first surfaced in a bulletin by Deadline, where it's reported Bing died by suicide. The producer was best known for founding Shangri-La Entertainment, a major film financier based in Los Angeles. Founded in 2000, Shangri-La helped financed several of Robert Zemeckis' projects including Beowulf (2007) and Polar Express (2004). Other Shangri-La credits include Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Rock the Kasbah, and Rules Don't Apply.

Bing was also a noted political contributor in Democratic circles. The philanthropist had previously paid for President Bill Clinton to fly to North Korea in 2009 to negotiate for the release of two American journalists and in 2000, Bing worked with then-Democratic National Committee head Terry McAuliffe to finance the annual DNC convention to a tune of $1 million. More recently, Bing also donated to the presidential campaign of Elizabeth Warren as well as the congressional campaigns of Senators Bob Casey (PA), Tim Johnson (SD), and others. His donations to the William J. Clinton Foundation range between $10 and $25 million.

More recently, Bing donated $30 million to the Motion Picture & Television Fund and committed to giving away the majority of his wealth via The Giving Pledge.

“For years Steve Bing has been one of the most philanthropic and generous people in our industry,” MPTF chair Jeffrey Katzenberg said when the donation was received. “He has also been one of the most loyal supporters of the MPTF through both the good and challenging times. Now with this amazing contribution he puts us another step closer to securing our long-term goals.”

In addition to being a producer and financier, Bing also locked down a handful of screenwriting credits including Kangaroo Jack (2003), Every Breath (1994), Married...with Children (1989), and Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985).

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Bing is survived by his two children — Damian, from a previous relationship with Elizabeth Hurley, and Kira, from a relationship with tennis player Lisa Bonder.

Cover photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images