A former actor, Robert Evans ran Paramount during the late 1960s and early 1970s when the studio made Rosemary's Baby, Love Story, the two Godfathers, The Odd Couple, True Grit, Paper Moon and Chinatown.

Evans has married four times - to Sharon Hugueny, Camilla Sparv, Ali McGraw and Phyllis George.

In 1980, Evans, prone to self destruction, was busted for cocaine. He was next suspected in the murder of financier Roy Radin, who wanted to partner with Evans in the Francis Ford Coppola movie The Cotton Club.

According to the book The Club Rules, Evans is the producer with the most mystique. "I'm a loner," Evans told journalist Lawrence Grobel. "When I was head of Paramount I had a contract that said I didn't have to go out to parties. I just wanted to be involved with film.

"We were four people who ran the company in those days: Marty Davis, Stanley Jaffe, Peter Bart and myself. I ran it out in California with Peter as my associate, and Marty and Stanley were in New York. We had a hundred actors around. Now there are a hundred executives and four actors around. It's a whole different business. It's a committee business.

"And all the studios are the same. There is no such word as an "independent" producer. Everyone is a dependent producer. The only time you're an independent producer is when you use your own money. Sam Goldwyn was an independent producer. When you're being paid, you take orders."

Q: "Why do abnormal people make good actors?"

RE: "People are not interested in watching normalcy on the screen, it's boring. They see it in life. You have to have a certain craziness...otherwise you're not interesting to watch.

"'Producer' is a lousy word today. A producer gets so little respect. He's like Willy Loman. A producer is on a project longer than anybody else. He usually buys the property, hires the writers, the director, is involved in the production, the post-production, the marketing, and he gets little credit.

"I made Tropic of Cancer, which was X-rated. It was a damn good film. Henry Miller and I were good friends. We used to play Ping-Pong together. He usually won. He said, 'You don't have the guts to make Cancer.' I got it made, and they pulled it after one theater, it was so rough. Ellen Burstyn was in it, she had a different name: Ellen McGray. She had her pussy showing, lice in her pussy, open legs. When Gulf & Western saw it, they said, 'Get rid of this crazo.' Then I made another picture they had to pull called Medium Cool with Haxell Wexler. It was so controversial that Gulf & Western wanted to get rid of that too. So when it came to Last Tango in Paris, they turned it down and I was sick about it. I was the one who got Marlon in it. It was a brilliant film. Maria Schneider came on at the last minute. Dominique Sander was supposed to play the part, but she got pregnant and Maria was Brigitte Bardot's stand-in. She was wonderful in that film, as good as Marlon. It was her first movie. I knew her well, used to take her out. Hse used to dance all alone at Costello's in Paris. What a body she had! Then she got stuck on heroin. When Black Sunday came around, she was up for that, she was a total dyke." (Told to Lawrence Grobel)

Sources: Grobel, Lawrence. 2000. "Above the Line: Conversations about the movies." US. Da Capo Press.