Producer of ‘Spider-Man’ Movies, ‘Pretty Woman,’ and First Woman to Produce Oscarcast by Herself, Dies at 61

Jun 13, 2011  •  Post A Comment

"The producer of ‘Pretty Woman’ and the ‘Spider-Man’ films, who was a driving force behind the Stand Up to Cancer research movement, died Sunday," reports The Hollywood Reporter

Laura Ziskin, who was also the first woman to produce the Academy Award telecast by herself, in 2002, died of breast cancer." She was 61-years-old and was first diagosed with the cancer in 2004.

"Stand Up to Cancer co-founder Katie Couric said: ‘Laura was one of the most courageous people I’ve ever known. Her fearlessness in the face of this relentless killer inspires everyone on the SU2C team to redouble our efforts to make cancer history,’ the article reports.

The story adds, "With the Spider-Man films at Sony, Ziskin has overseen one of the most successful film franchises in history. ‘Spider-Man’ (2002) and ‘Spider-Man 2’ (2004) have grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide, and ‘Spider-Man 3’ (2007) became the highest-grossing film in Sony’s history with his worldwide take of more than $890 million. A rebooted Spider-Man film, also produced by Ziskin, just wrapped shooting in May for release next year. In 2007, Ziskin produced the Academy Awards for the second time and instituted the first ‘green’ Oscar ceremony."

The article also notes, "In 2000, Ziskin teamed with George Clooney to produce the live television movie ‘Fail Safe,’ directed by Stephen Frears. It was the first telefilm to air live in more than 35 years and was nominated for six Emmy Awards."

She is survived by her husband, screenwriter Alvin Sargent. Also, reports THR, "survivors include a daughter, Julia. A memorial is being planned; details will be announced as soon as they are available. For those wishing to honor Ziskin, the family requests donations be made to Stand Up to Cancer through the organization’s website at www.standup2cancer.org."

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