Former Studio 54 Owner Mark Fleischman Dies By Assisted Suicide

Mark Fleischman
Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Mark Fleischman, the former owner of the legendary celebrity hang-out Studio 54, has died by assisted suicide at a clinic in Switzerland. He was 82.

Last month, the businessman who was once at the center of New York City’s thriving nightlife announced that he planned to end his own life after living with an undiagnosed medical condition since 2016 that affected his ability to speak and left him in a wheelchair. Fleischman told the New York Post that he would use the Swiss nonprofit assisted suicide group Dignitas to end his life on July 13.

“I can’t walk, my speech is f***ed up and I can’t do anything for myself,” Fleischman told The Post. “My wife helps me get into bed and I can’t dress or put on my shoes. I am taking a gentle way out. It is the easiest way out for me.”

Fleischman bought Studio 54 in November 1980 after the club’s original owners, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, were charged and later convicted of tax evasion, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy. The venue would become a frequent hang-out for celebrities, with notable patrons including Woody Allen, Andy Warhol, David Bowie, Debbie Harry, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Liza Minnelli, John Lennon, and many more.

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The famous club has been the subject of several documentaries and books, with Fleischman himself chronicling his experience in Inside Studio 54. It was also featured in a 2018 documentary film directed by Matt Tyrnauer, which is currently available on Netflix. And it will next be seen as the focus of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story, whose fourth season will be set at the club during the 1970s.

Studio 54 closed its doors in 1986, and since November 1998, the site has served as a venue for productions of the Roundabout Theatre Company. In 2020, it expanded into a music imprint including a record label, Studio 54 Music, and a radio station on Sirius XM, Studio 54 Radio.