, Detroit, Michigan, USA
The son of German Jewish immigrants, Bruckheimer was born in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Mumford High School in Detroit until moving to Arizona for college at age 17. Bruckheimer was also an active member of the Stamp Collecting Club. He graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Arizona with an algebra minor. He was a member of the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity. A film buff at an early age with an interest in photography, Bruckheimer would take snapshots when he had the opportunity. After college Bruckheimer worked in advertising in Detroit and New York City, producing award-winning commercials.
As of 2010, Bruckheimer has produced over 40 feature films, and is regarded in the industry as one of the most successful movie producers of all time. Bruckheimer started producing films in the 1970's, after leaving his job in advertising, with director Dick Richards. Bruckheimer then worked with Paul Schrader on two movies, 'American Gigolo' and 'Cat People', which began got him noticed in Hollywood.
During the 1980's and 1990's, he co-produced with Don Simpson, a string of highly successful Hollywood films for Paramount Pictures. The two worked together and created Bruckheimer's first big hit, 1983's Flashdance. He had a number of other hits including the Beverly Hills Cop films, 'Top Gun' and 'Days of Thunder'.
While working with Simpson, Bruckheimer became known as "Mr. Outside" because of his experience with film making, while Simpson became known as "Mr. Inside" because of his film industry contacts. 'The Rock' was the last film in which Bruckheimer collaborated with Simpson, due to Simpson's untimely death. Bruckheimer stipulated that 'The Rock' be dedicated to the memory of Simpson (this fact is mentioned at the end of the movie).
Despite the setback of the untimely death of Simpson in 1996, Bruckheimer continued to produce a large number of action movies, often working with director Michael Bay for several hits including 'Armageddon'. His other hit movies produced include 'Remember the Titans', 'Black Hawk Down' and the 'Pirates of the Caribbean series'.
He has also acquired the rights to produce a movie based on the popular role playing game by Palladium Books, Rifts.
Early in his career, Bruckheimer produced television commercials, including one for Pepsi. Since 1997 he has branched out into television, creating a number of police dramas of which 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation' has been the most successful. He has also produced the reality game show The 'Amazing Race'.
In May 2008 CBS announced it had picked up Bruckheimer's newest series, 'Eleventh Hour', for the 2008–2009 broadcast television season. The science fiction drama follows a government agent and a professor as they investigate strange scientific and medical activity.
Bruckheimer currently has five television shows on the air: 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation', 'CSI: Miami', 'CSI: NY', 'The Amazing Race' and 'Chase'. At one point, three of his TV series ranked among the top 10 in the ratings—a unique feat in television.
One of the most successful producers of all time, Bruckheimer has been nicknamed "Mr. Blockbuster", due to his track record of commercially successful, high-grossing films. Overall, his films have brought in over $13 billion to Hollywood and have launched the careers of numerous actors and directors.
In 2007, he was ranked #39 on Forbes Celebrity 100 List, up from #42 in 2006. With reported annual earnings of $120 million,he was the 10th highest money-earner on the 2006 Forbes Celebrity 100 List.
In July 2003, Bruckheimer was honored by Variety magazine as the first producer in Hollywood history to field the top two highest-grossing movies in a single weekend, the buddy-cop fender-bender 'Bad Boys II' and the Disney theme-park spin-off, 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl'.
The Pirates of the Caribbean film trilogy, produced through Walt Disney Pictures was enormously profitable, and demonstrates Bruckheimer's ability to create lucrative projects. After the unexpected success of the first film, Walt Disney Pictures revealed that a trilogy was in the works.
The editors of Entertainment Weekly named Bruckheimer the #1 most-powerful person in Hollywood in 2003. He was ranked #10 on Premiere's 2006 "Power 50" list and had also ranked #10 on the 2005 list. He ranked #19 on Premiere's 2003 annual Hollywood Power List, and had ranked #22 in 2002.
His projects have been honored with 41 Academy Award nominations (six wins), eight Grammy Award nominations (five wins), 23 Golden Globe nominations (four wins), 77 Emmy Award nominations (seventeen wins), eight People's Choice nominations (four wins), and numerous MTV Awards, including one for Best Picture of the Decade.
Bruckheimer received the Showest Producer of the Year Award in 1998 and in 2000 the Producers Guild honored him with the David O. Selznick Award for Lifetime Achievement. In May 2006, he was honored with a doctor of fine arts degree (DFA) from the University of Arizona's College of Fine Arts.
Bruckheimer has been married twice. His first wife was Bonnie Bruckheimer. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his second wife, novelist Linda Bruckheimer. He also has one stepdaughter, Alexandra. The couple also owns a farm in Bloomfield, Kentucky, as well as another in Ojai, south of Santa Barbara.
His film company, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, is located at 1631 10th Street in Santa Monica, California.
Bruckheimer's philanthropic activities have included publicly supporting the fight against multiple sclerosis via his work with The Nancy Davis Foundation for MS. He has additionally pledged to help various causes by establishing the Jerry Bruckheimer Foundation.
Bruckheimer has aided in the repair and restoration of the historic clipper ship 'Cutty Sark', which is similar to the ships seen in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' films. A collection of photos taken by Bruckheimer went on display in London in November 2007 to help raise money for the Cutty Sark Conservation Project.