Robert Gerard Tapert (born May 14, 1955), sometimes credited as Rob Tapert, Robert G. Tapert, or Rip Tapert, is an American film producer, best known as the co-founder of Renaissance Pictures and went on to become founders of Ghost House Pictures.
Tapert first became involved with filmmaking while attending Michigan State University. He intended to study economics, but was drawn into film courses by his roommate Ivan Raimi's brother Sam Raimi, who had been making films of his own for many years, usually with his brothers Ivan and Ted, and Raimi's childhood friend Bruce Campbell.
He has two sisters Dorothy Tapert and Mary Beth Tapert, he also has a younger brother, Jeff Tapert. He is married to actress Lucy Lawless.
Tapert and Sam Raimi worked together to create The Happy Valley Kid, the story of a young man, played by Tapert, who goes to college, only to be met with rejection at every turn. Near the end of the film, he loses his mind, dresses up as a cowboy, and begins gunning down all those who wronged him. Despite its seemingly serious plot, the film is largely a comedy. The film was screened at Michigan State several times, and made a profit for Raimi and Tapert.
Tapert then made a feature film, a graphic horror film titled The Evil Dead, directed by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell. Thanks to a glowing review from author Stephen King, the film was a success with the crowd at the Cannes Film Festival in France, although not a favorite of critics. The film was successful enough to spawn two sequels, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness.