Laura Ziskin leaves for heavenly abode

MUMBAI: Producer Laura Ziskin, known to have produced the Spider-Man franchise, has expired. The 61-year old, who had been battling breast cancer for seven years, continued to undertake major productions in Hollywood in spite of her illness.

Though Ziskin struggled with cancer since receiving a Stage 3 diagnosis in 2004, she remained indefatigable, overseeing one of Sony‘s highest-grossing franchises and the broadcast of the industry‘s top awards shows.

The Spider-Man franchise, incidentally, roped in over $1.5 billion worldwide making her one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood.

Ziskin also produced the Academy Awards telecast two times, becoming the first woman to produce the awards show solo in 2002. She also produced critically acclaimed films like Fight Club and To Die For.

She also became active in the movement to combat the disease, drawing on her contacts in the entertainment industry to help found Stand Up To Cancer in 2008.

Ziskin rose from the trenches of the entertainment industry to become one of a handful of women who were an integral part of the power elite. After graduating from the University of Southern California‘s School for Cinematic Arts, Ziskin worked as a game show writer and personal assistant to producer Jon Peters. From there, she moved on to become a development executive, eventually forming Fogwood Films with partner Sally Field.

At Fogwood, the noted producer made the Oscar nominated Murphy‘s Romance as a vehicle for Field and the Cold War thriller No Way Out that provided a crucial early role to a young Kevin Costner.

As president of Fox 2000, Ziskin oversaw hits like Pretty Woman and Courage Under Fire among others. After leaving Fox 2000 in 1999, Ziskin landed an independent production deal at Columbia Pictures, where she produced Spider-Man.

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