Producer of acclaimed films including Gandhi from 1982 and Dances with Wolves from 1990.
His first movie was the animated feature Watership Down, a British children's feature from 1978.
His gambles on films did not always pay off. He lost $750,000 of his own funds from the flop Zulu Dawn in 1979.
He was born in Montreal, Quebec, his father an aluminum maker and his mother an interior decorator.
He and Sam Spiegel both worked outside the Hollywood system to make many of their best films.