He Produced ‘Jaws’ (1975) and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (2010). In Between He Produced ‘The Exorcist,’ ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ ‘The Verdict’ and ‘Cocoon,’ Among Others. Producer From Fabled Hollywood Family Dies at 77

Jul 16, 2012  •  Post A Comment

He produced some of the best-known movies of the last 40 years, including Steven Spielberg’s "Jaws," the hit "Alice in Wonderland" with Johnny Depp, "The Exorcist," "The Verdict," "Cocoon" and the Oscar-wiinning Best Picture "Driving Miss Daisy."

Producer Richard Zanuck died at age 77 on Firiday, July 13, 2012, according to The New York Times.

Says the Times obituary, "Richard D. Zanuck, the once-spurned son of the legendary Hollywood producer Darryl F. Zanuck who carved out his own career as a frequently honored producer, running up more than $2 billion in grosses and, by producing “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1989, becoming the only son to duplicate a father’s best-picture Oscar, died on Friday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif." 

The cause of death was a heart attack, the story said.

The Times said,"In high school and college, [Richard Zanuck] worked in a different department at Fox every summer. In 1962, when Mr. Zanuck was still in his 20s, his father defied charges of nepotism and made him Fox’s production chief. Under Richard, the studio won 159 Oscar nominations, and three movies — “The Sound of Music,” “Patton” and “The French Connection” — were named best picture.

"Darryl Zanuck, a cigar-chomping Midwesterner who never made it to high school and waved a polo mallet to reinforce a conversational point, fired his son in 1970 after a studio shake-up," the story reports. "The father was trying to save his own job, unsuccessfully. Richard Zanuck’s resentment lasted almost until his father’s death, in 1979."

Richard Zanuck partnered witth David Brown for a number of the films he produced.

Steven Spielberg, who directed "Jaws" and subsequently has gone on to produce a number of his own pictures, as well as those of others, said in a statement about Richard Zanuck that he “taught me everything I know about producing.”

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