Notable for executive producing the films Rent (2005) and The One (2001), he is perhaps more well known as a two-term President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In the late 1980s, he began a three-decade teaching career at the University of California-Los Angeles' School of Theater, Film, and Television.
An occasional actor as well as a producer, he made a brief appearance in a 2002 episode of NYPD Blue and played the role of "Benny the Bagel Man" in the 2012 movie Columbus Circle.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, he later settled in Calabasas, California. He and his wife Madeleine raised three children.
Several months before Sherak's death, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti named him Director of the Mayor's Entertainment Industry and Production Office.