Philanthropist and ‘Kangaroo Jack’ co-writer Steve Bing dies by suicide

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The man behind Kangaroo Jack, Steve Bing, has died by suicide.  He was 55.

Deadline confirms that Bing, a philanthropist, screenwriter and producer died Monday in Los Angeles.  The local police and the coroner’s office, while not identifying Bing by name, claim a man matching the 55-year-old’s description jumped to his death off a city apartment building that afternoon.

His death is a major loss to the movie industry.

Bing’s impact on Hollywood spans over three decades, starting when he inherited a $600 million fortune from his grandfather and dropped out of Stanford when he was 18 to pursue a career in the movie industry.

He is credited for writing an episode of Married with Children and creating the story for the 1984 action film Missing in Action

Besides co-writing Kangaroo Jack in 2003, which starred Anthony Anderson and Jerry O’Connell, he invested $80 million into the 2004 Christmas film, The Polar Express.

Bing went on to earn numerous movie credits for supporting other documentaries and films — such as the Rolling Stones’s concert documentary Shine a Light along with Rock the Kasbah and Beowulf.  

The 55-year-old was also a known political donor, in which he contributed millions to Democratic causes such as environmental protection.  He was also a close friend of former President Bill Clinton, in which he forwarded $10 million of his fortune to the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton mourned his friend’s death, tweeting, “He had a big heart, and he was willing to do anything he could for the people and causes he believed in. I will miss him and his enthusiasm more than I can say, and I hope he’s finally found peace.”

According to TMZ, sources say Bing was suffering from depression.

(The number for the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.) 

By Megan Stone
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