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Overview for Leon Vitali
Leon Vitali

Leon Vitali


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Ruth Vitale succeeded Ira Deutchman as president of Fine Line, the specialty film division of New Line, in January 1995, after serving as executive VP of worldwide acquisitions for New Line. Her directive was to secure a larger and more commercial share of the arthouse market. A long-time film executive and executive producer, Vitale first rose to prominence while senior vp of production for Vestron from 1984-1988, guiding that company's biggest hit, "Dirty Dancing" (1987), as well as executive producing "The Beat" (1987), "And God Created Woman" (1988) and "Call Me" (1988). After the demise of Vestron, Vitale shifted to Constantin Film Development in 1988, and then was named president of Gary David Goldberg's UBU Productions in 1989. While there she was producer (with Paul Heller) of the TV movie "The Disappearance of Christina," which aired on the USA Network in 1993 and told the story of a businessman accused of murder. Vitale returned to independent filmmaking in 1992, joining New Line, first as senior VP acquisitions, then executive VP worldwide acquisitions.

Becoming more involved in hands-on production, she was executive producer of "Corrina, Corrina" (1994), in which Whoopi Goldberg was nanny to a little girl who won't talk, and "Safe Passage" (1994), where Susan Sarandon played mother to a bevy of grown boys. Both served their leading ladies better than they served the box office. In 1995, Vitale was executive producer of "Don Juan DeMarco," which teamed Marlon Brando and Johnny Depp, but did not ignite at the box office. Her Fine Line included "Mother Night" (1996), "Love! Valour! Compassion!" (1997) and "For Roseanna" (1997). She subsequently became co-president of Paramount Classics (later re-named Paramount Vantage) and then served as president of First Look Pictures. After 2007, she led the consulting firm known as the Film Collective, and, in 2013, Vitale was enlisted to head up Creative America, an organization designed to raise awareness about television and film piracy.

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