Kevin Turen's father says TV producer suffered medical emergency while driving, praises 'hero' grandson

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More information surrounding TV and film producer Kevin Turen‘s final moments has emerged days after his death.

Turen, whose work included HBO and Sam Levinson series “Euphoria” and “The Idol,” suffered a medical emergency while driving his Tesla over the weekend, his father, Edward Turen, confirmed to The Times. Kevin Turen died Nov. 12, but no official cause of death has been revealed. He was 45.

According to his father, the producer was driving back from a tennis tournament with his 10-year-old son, Jack. Taking his two sons to and from tournaments was “what Kevin loved doing best in life,” Edward said in a phone call, before detailing how his grandson took control of the car.

“Jack looked over and his dad had fainted, he thought, at the wheel,” Edward said. “He had the presence of mind to undo his seat belt, to get on the floor with his left hand [controlling] the brake and the accelerator, his right hand the steering wheel.”

The Tesla was in autopilot, but Jack had to navigate the car “three lanes over to the side,” where he could call 911. According to Edward, officers arrived at the scene in three minutes, but “it was too late.” A representative for the California Highway Patrol did not immediately provide additional information to The Times on Thursday.

Turen shared sons Jack and James with actor Evelina Turen. On Thursday, Edward said, “My grandson’s a hero,” and he praised his son and his wife for their “unbelievable job [of] raising their two boys.”

He continued: “It’s a horrible story, but there could’ve been two people [hurt].”

News of Turen’s death broke Sunday evening. In a statement shared to Deadline, Edward said that the producer was “so incredibly special” and that “this world is going to be less without him.”

Turen’s close friend Jay Penske, chief executive of Penske Media Corp., praised Turen for his commitment to family and friends.

“He was so proud of his children. He and his wife, Evelina, were resolved that their children grow up with great values and ensured they make a difference in the broader world,” Penske said. “Our collective heart breaks for them, and we all feel such a profound sense of loss. We will miss Kevin so much, and this town lost one of its brightest rising stars today.”

Turen co-founded Little Lamb Productions with Sam and Ashley Levinson, which produced the feature film “Pieces of a Woman” in 2020 and worked closely with filmmaker Ti West, producing the slasher-horror films “X” and “Pearl” in 2022 — the first two parts in West’s X trilogy that stars Mia Goth.

His other major credits include “An American Crime,” “Arbitrage,” “All Is Lost,” “That Awkward Moment,” “The Birth of a Nation,” “Malcolm & Marie” and “Irma Vep.”

Tributes from Turen’s Hollywood collaborators poured in Sunday evening. Playwright Jeremy O. Harris shared on Instagram a letter he wrote to Turen. The “Zola” writer said Turen was the “first producer to take me seriously and champion me.”

“Hart of Dixie” star Jaime King honored the late producer on Instagram on Wednesday. She said Turen encouraged her to begin her Hooligan Dreams production company, mentored her and “understood the power of the totality of these gifts even before I did.”

She added: “Your family shaped and supported me and the boys in times of darkness, I knew I was not alone.”

On Thursday, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner database listed Turen’s cause of death as “deferred.”

Times staff writer Nardine Saad contributed to this report.

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