Schwary, an Oregon native, had broken into the entertainment business through his friendship with John Wayne while working as a manager of the USC football team. Wayne assisted Schwary in getting work as a stand-in for Dustin Hoffman on “The Graduate” and as an extra in “Planet of the Apes.”
Schwary also became a DGA Trainee, which led to the start of his career as an assistant
director in the early 1970s. He began working with Jerry Lewis, Elvis, Peter Fonda, Ann-Margret, Jack Lemmon, and Walter Matthau and eventually became a production
manager with the assistance of director Bob Butler, and producer Ray Stark.
Schwary was hired by Redford as the sole producer on “Ordinary People” after Schwary had worked as an associate