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Richard D. Zanuck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard D. Zanuck
Zanuck at the 62nd Annual Academy Awards, 1990
Richard Darryl Zanuck

(1934-12-13)December 13, 1934
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedJuly 13, 2012(2012-07-13) (aged 77)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1956–2012
  • (m. 1958; div. 1969)
  • (m. 1969; div. 1978)
  • (m. 1978)
Children4, including Dean Zanuck

Richard Darryl Zanuck (/ˈzænək/; December 13, 1934 – July 13, 2012) was an American film producer. His 1989 film Driving Miss Daisy won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Zanuck was also instrumental in launching the career of director Steven Spielberg, who described Zanuck as a "director's producer" and "one of the most honorable and loyal men of our profession."[1]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Don't Say No Until I Finish Talking -- (Movie Promo) Richard D. Zanuck - Part 1
  • Film Producer Darryl F. Zanuck on The Ed Sullivan Show
  • Richard D. Zanuck rencontre Steven Spielberg
  • Robert Evans & Richard D. Zanuck on Sunday Morning Shootout


Early life and career

Richard Darryl Zanuck was born in Los Angeles to actress Virginia Fox and Darryl F. Zanuck, then head of production for 20th Century Fox. He was the youngest of three children. He had two elder sisters, Darrylin (1931–2015)[2][3] and Susan (1933–1980).[4][5] While studying at Stanford University, he began his career in the film industry working for the 20th Century Fox story department. In 1959, Zanuck had his first shot at producing with the film Compulsion. In the 1960s, Zanuck became the president of 20th Century Fox. One year of his tenure was chronicled by John Gregory Dunne in The Studio.[6] After failures like 1967's Doctor Dolittle, he was dismissed by his father and joined Warner Bros. as Executive Vice President.

In 1972, Zanuck joined with David Brown to form an independent production company called the Zanuck/Brown Company at Universal Pictures. Their first big hit was The Sting (1973), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in April 1974. The two men produced a pair of Steven Spielberg's early films, The Sugarland Express (1974) and Jaws (1975). They subsequently produced such box office hits as Cocoon (1985) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989) before dissolving their partnership in 1988. They were jointly awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1990. He worked with Tim Burton six times, producing Burton's adaptation of Planet of the Apes (2001), Big Fish (2003), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2010), and Dark Shadows (2012). He and Burton connected immediately, and Zanuck was Burton's producer of choice.[7] In a May 2012 interview, Zanuck told Variety: "A producer should contribute from the very beginning until the very end, in all aspects. I'm there at the set every day, on every shot. Not that the director, particularly Tim [Burton], needs me, but just in case."[8]

Personal life

Zanuck married three times. On January 14, 1958, he married Lili Charlene Gentle (b. March 4, 1940), an actress from Birmingham, Alabama, and a second cousin of actress Tallulah Bankhead. The marriage, which produced two daughters, Virginia Lorraine Zanuck (born 1959) and Janet Beverly Zanuck (born 1960), was dissolved in 1968.

On October 26, 1969, Zanuck and his protégé, actress Linda Harrison, together with his friend, producer Sy Bartlett, and Harrison's sister Kay, flew to Las Vegas, where Zanuck married Harrison on a balcony of the Sands Hotel.[9][10][11] The marriage became difficult after Harrison failed to garner the role of the wife in Zanuck's production of Jaws.

In mid-1977, as a result of his second wife's entanglement with a 65-year-old "guru", Vincentii Turriziani of the Risen Christ Foundation, and the alleged guru's claims and demands for money from Zanuck, he filed for divorce and was awarded custody of his two sons, Harrison Richard Zanuck (born 1971) and Dean Francis Zanuck (born 1972).[12][13][14]

In a 1985 interview, Zanuck said that career problems contributed to his two failed marriages. "Both girls were actresses, and neither one was well established," he said. As head of 20th Century Fox, "It was tough to try to be fair to the project and also try to help them in their careers. If I didn't give them the role, then I had to explain why they weren't right for it. It wasn't the major problem in the marriages, but it was an underlying source of discomfort."[15]

On September 23, 1978, Zanuck married his third wife, Lili Fini (born 1954), a former World Bank employee and Carnation Co. office manager, who helped him raise his sons from his second marriage, and would co-produce some of his most memorable films, including Cocoon (1985), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), and Reign of Fire (2002). When the Zanucks won the Best Picture Oscar in 1989 for Driving Miss Daisy, Lili Fini Zanuck was only the second woman in history to have earned an Oscar for Best Picture. In 1998, she directed an episode of the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, titled "We Have Cleared the Tower",[citation needed] and in 2000, Richard and Lili Fini Zanuck co-produced the 72nd Academy Awards ceremony.[16]


Zanuck died on July 13, 2012, of a heart attack at his home in Los Angeles.[8][17] The Beverly Park home he had lived in until his death was sold for $20.1M in July 2012.[18] On February 25, 2014, 20th Century Fox opened the Richard D. Zanuck Production Building at its Los Angeles studios. "Richard was a true giant of our industry for over five decades", Fox chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos said at the dedication ceremony. "He was family, and an integral part of our legacy. We couldn't find a building worthy of him, so we built one."[19][20] The ceremony was attended by Zanuck's widow, Lili Fini Zanuck, his sons, and four of his nine grandchildren.[21]


He was a producer in all films unless otherwise noted.


Credited as producer

Credited as executive producer

Other film credits

Credited as miscellaneous crew
Year Film Role Notes
1963 Cleopatra Studio executive Uncredited
1965 The Sound of Music
1966 The Sand Pebbles
1967 Doctor Dolittle
1969 Patton
1970 M*A*S*H
1970 Tora! Tora! Tora!
1971 The French Connection
Credited as production manager
Year Film Role Notes
1970 Tora! Tora! Tora! Executive in charge of production Uncredited
Credited as "Thanks"
Year Film Notes
2013 The Zero Theorem In the memory of the great
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel Special thanks: Our old friends
2014 Escobar: Paradise Lost In loving memory of


Television credits for Richard Zanuck
Year Production Credit Notes
1987 CBS Summer Playhouse Executive producer
1992 Driving Miss Daisy Executive producer Television film
2000 72nd Academy Awards Television special
2004 Dead Lawyers Executive producer Television film
2015 Bessie Executive producer Television film
Posthumous credit

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Film Result
2015 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Television Movie Bessie Won
2011 Golden Globe Award Best Film Alice in Wonderland Nominated
2009 Camerimage Special Award to the Producer of Visually Outstanding Films Won
2007 Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Nominated
2007 Golden Globe Award Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Won
2007 Saturn Award Best Horror Film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Won
2005 British Academy Children's Awards Best Film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Nominated
2005 Saturn Award Best Film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Nominated
2004 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Film Big Fish Nominated
2004 Palm Springs International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Won
2002 Producers Guild of America Award Best Theatrical Motion Picture Road to Perdition Nominated
2002 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Remake or Sequel Planet of the Apes (2001 film) Won
2001 ShoWest Convention, USA Producer of the Year Won
2000 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Special 72nd Academy Awards Nominated
1998 Hollywood Film Festival Outstanding Achievement in Producing Won
1993 Producers Guild of America Award Lifetime Achievement Award in Motion Pictures Won
1991 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Film Driving Miss Daisy Nominated
1990 Academy Award Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award Won
1990 Academy Award Best Picture Driving Miss Daisy Won
1990 Golden Globe Award Best Picture– Musical or Comedy Driving Miss Daisy Won
1990 National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Best Film Driving Miss Daisy Won
1990 Producers Guild of America Award Best Theatrical Motion Picture Driving Miss Daisy Won
1990 Producers Guild of America Award Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures Driving Miss Daisy Won
1983 Academy Award Best Picture The Verdict Nominated
1976 Academy Award Best Picture Jaws Nominated


  1. ^ Eller, Claudia; Horn, John (July 13, 2012). "Filmmakers, producers remember Richard Zanuck". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  2. ^ Holmes, Mannie (October 8, 2015). "20th Century Fox Founder's Daughter, Darrylin Zanuck de Pineda, Dies at 84". Variety. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  3. ^ Barnes, Mike (October 8, 2015). "Darrylin Zanuck de Pineda, Daughter of the Founder of 20th Century Fox, Dies at 84". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  4. ^ "Richard Zanuck obituary | Movies | The Guardian". Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  5. ^ McLellan, Dennis; July 14, Los Angeles Times; Pt, 2012 12 Am (July 14, 2012). "Richard Zanuck dies at 77; Oscar-winning producer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 13, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Dunne, John Gregory (1969). The Studio. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN 0-375-70008-0.
  7. ^ "Obituary of Richard Zanuck". Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. July 16, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Chagollan, Steve (July 13, 2012). "Oscar-winning producer Richard Zanuck dies at 77". Variety. Archived from the original on January 5, 2018. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  9. ^ The Cumberland News, October 28, 1969, p. 3.
  10. ^ The Milwaukee Journal: Show Business, Part II, Monday October 27, 1969, p. 12.
  11. ^ Richard Warren Lewis, In Bracken's World Live Beautiful People, Including..., TV Guide, February 14, 1970, p. 28.
  12. ^ Stephen M. Silverman, The Fox That Got Away: The Last Days of the Zanuck Dynasty at Twentieth Century-Fox (L. Stuart 1988), p. 143.
  13. ^ Lakeland Ledger, Tipoff, July 26, 1977, p. 2.
  14. ^ The Montreal Gazette, November 18, 1974, p. 28.
  15. ^ Bob Thomas. Producing 'Cocoon' was a family affair, The Associated Press, Nashua Telegraph, June 27, 1985, p. 22.
  16. ^ "Richard and Lili Fini Zanuck to Produce 72nd Oscar Telecast" (Press release). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. September 29, 1999. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
  17. ^ "Hollywood producer Richard Zanuck dies at 77". The Times of India. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. July 14, 2012. Archived from the original on January 26, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  18. ^ "L.A. Home of Richard Zanuck Sells for $20.1 Million". The Wall Street Journal. November 12, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  19. ^ McClintock, Pamela (February 26, 2014). "Old Hollywood Turns Out for Richard D. Zanuck Building Dedication at Fox". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  20. ^ Johns, Nikara (February 26, 2014). "20th Century Fox Dedicates Production Building to Richard D. Zanuck". Variety. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  21. ^ "Dedication of the Richard D. Zanuck Production Building at the Twentieth Century Fox Studios". Yahoo! Celebrity. Yahoo. February 26, 2014. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 26 March 2024, at 18:00
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