Film bankroller, writer, and philanthropist Steve Bing died Monday afternoon in Los Angeles, with law enforcement sources telling TMZ he took his own life by jumping from a 27-story apartment building in Century City. He was 55. Though not a definitive link to suicide, sources tell the website that Bing, who lived in the building, had been depressed while in lockdown due to the pandemic. Per the Los Angeles Times, foul play isn't suspected. A rep for the Los Angeles County coroner tells People that a cause of death and confirmed ID is pending. Bing, who wrote 2003's Kangaroo Jack and pumped $85 million into Tom Hanks' 2004 Polar Express, founded the Shangri-La Entertainment production company in 2000. He was also known for his former relationship with actress Elizabeth Hurley, with whom he had a son, 18-year-old Damian. Per Yahoo, Hurley responded that "I am saddened beyond belief that my ex Steve is no longer with us. It is a terrible end."
Bing, whose fortune started with $600 million he inherited as a teen from his real estate developer grandfather, was also big in the philanthropy world, notes Deadline. He was a major donor toward environmental initiatives and close to former President Clinton, whose foundation received at least $10 million from him. Bing was also known for his laid-back, unpretentious style: Then-DNC fundraiser Terry McAuliffe has relayed a story of showing up in 2000 to billionaire Ron Burkle's house to seek donors for the party's summer convention, and Bing was there, "wearing ripped up old jeans and a T-shirt with holes in it," per McAuliffe's book. McAuliffe thought he was the gardener or pool boy, until Bing pulled out a crumpled check from his pocket and wrote it out for $1 million. In addition to Damian Hurley, Bing also had a daughter, 21-year-old Kira Bonder, with ex-tennis pro Lisa Bonder. (Read more Steve Bing stories.)