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Prince Azim, Hollywood Producer and the Sultan of Brunei’s Son, Dies at 38


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Prince Azim, who was the second son of the Sultan of Brunei and forged a career as a Hollywood producer, has died. He was 38.

The government of Brunei announced that the prince died Oct. 24 at a hospital in Jerudong. The cause of death remains unclear, although local media reports suggest that the prince was ill for some time with liver cancer. On announcing the death, Brunei authorities declared a seven-day period of national mourning.

The prince was fourth in line to the throne of Brunei, a small oil-rich absolute monarchy in Southeast Asia. His father, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, is one of the wealthiest men in the world, primarily as a result of Brunei’s large reserves of natural resources, and is also one of the longest-reigning monarchs. The sultan owns the Dorchester Collection of luxury hotels, which includes The Dorchester in London, Paris’ Plaza Athénée and the Hotel Bel-Air and the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

The prince, whose name was sometimes styled as Azim Bolkiah, was born in Bandar Seri Begawan on July 29, 1982. He was educated in England, briefly attending the exclusive military academy Sandhurst, before becoming a regular face in London society.

The Times of London pegged Prince Azim’s personal wealth at $5 billion, which he spent liberally and lavishly on star-filled parties attended by the likes of Pamela Anderson, Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey. He was also known for his philanthropy, but he poured his heart into his London-based film production company Daryl Prince Productions and worked with a host of A-list, Oscar-winning talent.

Through his production company, Prince Azim produced George C. Wolfe’s 2014 drama You’re Not You, starring Hilary Swank, Emmy Rossum and Josh Duhamel. A year later he produced Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s crime drama Dark Places, starring Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and Christina Hendricks. In 2016, he produced the comedy Wild Oats, starring Shirley MacLaine and Jessica Lange and, a year later, The Time of Their Lives, starring Joan Collins. His other producing credits include Rupert Everett’s The Happy Prince (2018), starring Colin Firth and Emily Watson, and Hellbent (2018), starring Martin Henderson.

In 2019, Prince Azim courted controversy in Hollywood after supporting Brunei’s push to introduce strict sharia law, including the death penalty for homosexuality and adultery. A host of stars, among them George Clooney, Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres, led a worldwide boycott of the Dorchester Collection hotels.

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