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Financial Literacy - Planning for your heirs
SPOTLIGHT
Legacy of Warner Bros
The granddaughter of Harry Warner, president and co-founder of Warner Bros., inherited more than money.
Planning for your heirs

Spotlight: Cass Warner

Not only did independent filmmaker Cass Warner grow up in a socially conscious family in Los Angeles, but she also grew up in and around movies her whole life. Her grandfather was Harry Warner, president and co-founder, along with his siblings Jack, Sam and Albert, of Warner Bros. Studio.

At a glance:

It wasn't unusual for Cass Warner to sit down next to Richard Burton or Natalie Wood, watching one of the recent WB films in her family's living room. And every Saturday, she would accompany her writer/producer father, Milton Sperling, to the studio lot, where she was allowed to roam.

Warner sidelined her filmmaking career to become a mother of four children, including her son, actor Cole Hauser. Warner studied screenwriting under the her dad and Howard Koch, of "Casablanca" fame. Now the 60-year-old Warner has started her own production company, Warner Sisters, and has started producing independent films. In her latest project, "Conversations With Cass," she interviews people in the entertainment business.

Warner is currently producing a documentary on the history of Warner Bros., with Clint Eastwood as executive producer. "The Brothers Warner" will chronicle their rise from humble beginnings to influential forces that helped shape the 20th century.

The legacy of the brothers extends beyond family members, who benefited from the sale of land that later became the Warner Center, an office-retail complex located in the San Fernando Valley, Calif. That tract was part of an 1,100-acre horse ranch purchased by Harry Warner in the 1940s.

She talks about the film business and her family's legacy with Bankrate.

Do you think raising money as a producer now is easier than before, back when your father and grandfather were making movies?

I think you're a salesperson and you've got to be a people person. You've got to believe in what you're doing to the point where you exude a certainty where others just go, "Wow!" They get that you're going to make the best product. It's really collecting believers. I've been doing this for 18 to 20 years and it just makes me admire my grandfather, Harry, more and more. He kept that studio going for over 50 years.

-- Posted: Nov. 19, 2007
 
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