Billionaire Art Collector William Louis-Dreyfus Is Dead at 84

Actress Julia Louise-Dreyfus honored her late father at the Emmy Awards.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and William Louis-Dreyfus. Courtesy Getty Images.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and William Louis-Dreyfus. Courtesy Getty Images.

As actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepted an Emmy for “Outstanding Lead Actress” last night for her role as President Selina Meyer on HBO’s hit series “Veep,” she also surprised the crowd by revealing that her father had died just two days prior.

Gerard, aka William Louis-Dreyfus, the French-born billionaire collector and philanthropist, died on September 16 at the age of 84.

Her father made headlines in early 2015 when he announced his decision to donate proceeds from the sale of his 3,500-piece art collection to the charity Harlem Children’s Zone. After seeing a 60 Minutes news story that explained the organization’s “cradle to college” methodology of helping children in poverty, he made the gift, which was estimated to be worth between $10 million and $50 million.

Louis-Dreyfus developed a reputation as a savvy collector who bought work by lesser-known artists such as Leonardo Cremonini and George Boorujy, and outsider artist Bill Traylor, as well as blue-chip artists such as Jean Dubuffet, Helen Frankenthaler, and Alberto Giacometti.

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, winner of Best Actress in a Comedy Series and Best Comedy Series for "Veep", poses in the press room during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Courtesy of Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, winner of Best Actress in a Comedy Series and Best Comedy Series for “Veep”, poses in the press room during the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Courtesy of Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

The “Veep” actress narrated a documentary titled Generosity of Eye about the collection, after her father chose to open a dedicated art space in Mount Kisco, New York.

In accepting the award, the actress said, “I’m so glad he liked ‘Veep’ because his opinion was the one that really mattered.”

According to reports, private funeral services will be handled by Cassidy-Flynn Funeral Home in Mount Kisco.


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share

Article topics