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Manager And Producer Robert Stigwood Passes

LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — Robert Stigwood, the manager and producer and label exec, known for his work with Eric Clapton the Beeg Gees, and for films such as “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease”, died on Monday. He was 81.

A native of Australia, Mr. Stigwood moved to London after a stint as a advertising copywriter, where he launched a talent agency for actors. In 1966, he took on management duties for Cream, the rock group that included Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. He also signed rising artists such as the Bee Gees, David Bowie and Rod Stewart.

Mr. Stigwood also ventured into the world of the theatre, bringing Broadway shows such as "Hair" and "Oh! Calcutta" to London. He also produced shows for Andrew Lloyd Webber, such as "Evita" and "Jesus Christ Superstar."

Mr. Stigwood also had an impact on Hollywood, producing films such as “Saturday Night Fever” (1977) and “Grease” (1978), as well as releasing chart-topping soundtracks for the films on his label, RSO.

In the early 1980s, Stigwood's success started to wane, and he produced a series of box office failures, including sequels to both "Grease" and "Saturday Night Fever", a film version of the Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” and "Times Square" which performed poorly at the box office, but would go on to become a cult hit.

In 1980, Stigwood was hit with a $200 million by the Bee Gees, who accused him of not paying royalties. He counter-sued the group for breach of contract and the two parties eventually managed to reach an out-of-court settlement.

Stigwood's RSO continued to produce soundtracks for films, including major hits such as "The Empire Strikes Back" before it was eventually absorbed into Polygram Records.

Stigwood remained active in his later years, though, primarily in the realm of musical theatre.

Information on survivors and his funeral arrangements was not immediately available. – Staff Writers