"Sir" Ivan L. Wilzig (born c.
1956) or Peaceman is a musician who is best known for technoremixes of 1960s songs such as "Imagine" and "San Francisco". He is also founder of the nonprofit Peaceman Foundation and appeared as Mr. Mitzvah on Season Two of the reality television show "Who Wants to be a Superhero?".
Early life and career
Ivan Wilzig is the son of the late Siegbert (Siggi) Wilzig (died in January 2003), who as a penniless German
Holocaustsurvivor earned a fortune through finance. 59 of Ivan Wilzig's relatives were killed during the HolocaustFact|date=July 2008. Ivan was born in Newark and grew up in Clifton, New Jerseyas the oldest of the Wilzig children. He has a brother Alan and sister Sherry.
Wilzig began voice lessons as a teenager, but was discouraged by his father, who wanted his son to have a more successful career. However, his mother describes him as a "natural performer" with a particular love for comic books — especially
Captain Marvel, Superman, and Batman.
Ivan Wilzig graduated from the
University of Pennsylvania, earning a degree in European intellectual history. He then earned his law degree at the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. He and his brother, Alan Wilzig, assisted his father in running the Trust Company Bank of New Jersey. Most of Ivan Wilzig's work at the bank was in public relations and marketing; he tried one year as a corporate lawyer but hated it. Wilzig's most notable accomplishment at the Trust Company Bank was the brokering of a deal that allowed several bank branches to open up at A&PSupermarkets.
In 2000 "Sir Ivan" abandoned his banking career to begin a career in music. (He sat on the board of the Trust Company Bank as of 2001, finally leaving in 2004.) Wilzig began to release techno remixes of 1960s singles such as "Imagine", "San Francisco" and "Peace on Earth". He formed the charitable Peaceman Foundation, which gives the proceeds of his records to charity.
As the spokesman for the Peaceman Foundation, the flamboyant Wilzig began to dress as a caped character named Peaceman. Wilzig states that he was motivated to "become" Peaceman from
suicide bombings in Israeland the events of September 11, 2001. "Then the world finally woke up and realized that evil is evil, and that there is right and wrong, and there are the bad guys versus the good guys," said Wilzig.Fact|date=August 2007
Wilzig describes his music as "techno" produced tracks with "
hippie" lyrics. He describes it as "Technippy". "Imagine", "San Francisco" and "Peace on Earth" were produced by Grammy-nominee Ernie Lake. His newest song, "For What It's Worth", was produced by FORDaka Lawrence Fordyce.
During the first season of "
Who Wants to be a Superhero?", Wilzig attempted to audition with the producers as Peaceman, but he was too late to be included. He was encouraged to audition for the next season.
His "Peaceman" character made the cut for Season Two, but as a precondition, the Sci Fi Channel and NBC obtain the trademarks to contestant characters. Wilzig refused to give up the trademark to "Peaceman" and attempted to create a new character "
MitzvahMan", but the name had already been trademarked. "Mr. Mitzvah", however, was not trademarked, and Wilzig took on the identity of Mr. Mitzvah for the show.
He was eliminated in the third episode.
Synonymous with "Sir Ivan" Wilzig's eccentric and
hedonisticlifestyle is his lavishly decorated 12,000 square foot medieval-style estate in Water Mill on Long Island, New York. Referred to as "the Castle", it is considered by many entertainment journalists (and by the owner himself) as the " Playboy Mansionof the East Coast".Fact|date=August 2007 Although built in the late 1990s the Castle has been featured in various television shows, including the Travel Channel's "Grand Castles of America".
"Sir Ivan" Wilzig has been a regular on lifestyle and reality shows on American and international television since the year 2000. The dating shows "Single in the Hamptons" and "Manhattan on the Beach" were syndicated around the world. "Sir Ivan" appeared for the first time on German network television
ProSiebenintroducing his Billboard hit "Imagine" right after September 11th, 2001terrorist attacks. That segment also featured Wilzig's Japanese girlfriend Mina Otsuka, who escaped the attacks from her office on the 79th floor of Two World Trade Center.
In early 2004 the ProSieben network broadcast the five-part reality-short-series "So lebt ein Milliardaer!" ("Lifestyle of a Billionaire!") featuring "Sir Ivan" dressed as Peaceman next to supermodel
Naomi Campbell, DJ Paul Oakenfoldand tennis world champion Venus Williams. In 2006 ProSieben featured him in the five-part mini-docu-soap "Die Maedchen und der Milliardaer" ("The Girls and the Billionaire"). VH1featured "Sir Ivan" Wilzig in 2003 ("Hopelessly Rich") and in 2007 (" The Fabulous Lifeof the Hamptons").
Sometime after 2000, Wilzig filmed a
television pilotfor his Peaceman character. Wilzig says the pilot is a combination of reality, scripted material and animation. It is not known whether or not this pilot has ever been aired.
* [http://journalism.nyu.edu/portfolio/bestof/2004/001420.html Ivan Wilzig: The Peaceman Cometh]
* [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0C11F6395F0C7A8CDDA90994DC404482 "A Caped Crusader For Peace (and Fun)"] in "The New York Times" (cache) [http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkxNzcmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcxNzU5NjUmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk3 *"'M' is for 'Mr. Mitzvah', superhero of peace"] (cache)
* [http://www.sirivanmusic.com/flash.html Official website]
* [http://gawker.com/news/sir-ivan/ Video of "Sir Ivan" on VH1's "The Fabulous Life of the Hamptons"]
* [http://www.scifi.com/superhero/aftershow/index.php?Episode=3 Aftershow of "Who Wants to Be A Superhero?" Season 2, Episode 3]
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