Perhaps best-known locally in Southern California for his West Hollywood art gallery, Regen Projects, Stuart Regen produced two films, the most famed of which is the highly acclaimed Leaving Las Vegas (1995), the grim story of an alcoholic who commits suicide by drinking himself to death in a Las Vegas hotel room. The screenplay is based on a semi-autobiographical book by John O'Brien. The film came about after Regen read the then out-of-print book. Deeply moved and impressed, he located the author and bought the movie rights. Unfortunately, not many studios wanted to touch such a relentlessly downbeat film until Regen pitched his idea to the independent Lumiere Studios. They agreed to back the film. It proved to be a good move: Leaving Las Vegas was a box-office smash that earned three Oscar nominations and provided leading man Nicholas Cage with an Oscar for Best actor.