Oscar-winning producer Richard Zanuck dies at 77

MUMBAI: Oscar-Winning producer Richard D. Zanuck, whose distinguished career as a producer included The Sting and Driving Miss Daisy, Jaws and other well-received films as The Verdict and Cocoon, died on Friday of a heart attack at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 77.

In recent times , Zanuck produced Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows. He worked on six films with the director.

Regarded as one of the more progressive producers in Hollywood, Zanuck was partnered by his wife, Lili Fini Zanuck, in their company called Zanuck Co. Their first production was Driving Miss Daisy(1992). Winner of four Oscars, the film captured several other top honors: a Golden Globe award, the National Board of Review Award and Producer of the Year honours from the Producers Guild of America.

In 1999, Zanuck and his partner, David Brown, received the Irving G. Thalberg award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.The occasion marked the first time that an honoree was a second-generation recipient – Zanuck’s father, former 20th Century Fox head of production, and chairman Darryl F. Zanuck, were given the award in 1938, 1945 and 1951. They also happen to be the only father and son producers to be nominated for best picture at the Oscars.

In 1962, Zanuck became the youngest studio chief in history in1965 when he was appointed by his father as head of Fox at the age of 28. During his five years at the helm, the studio earned an impressive 159 Oscar nominations. Three of the films -- The Sound of Music (1965), Patton (1970) and The French Connection (1971) -- won best picture.

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