Producer Richard D. Zanuck dead at 77

July 13, 2012 at 5:48 PM
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LOS ANGELES, July 13 (UPI) -- Renowned Hollywood film producer Richard D. Zanuck died of a heart attack Friday, his family said. He was 77.

The Los Angeles native and son of 20th Century Fox studio head Darryl Zanuck, Richard D. Zanuck produced "Jaws," "The Verdict," "Cocoon," "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Book of Eli."

The Hollywood Reporter said Zanuck became the youngest studio chief in history when he was appointed head of 20th Century Fox in 1962 at the age of 28. During his eight years in the post, the studio earned 159 Oscar nominations and "The Sound of Music," "Patton" and "The French Connection" won Best Picture Oscars.

Other hits under Zanuck's tenure at Fox were "The Planet of the Apes," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "M*A*S*H."

Zanuck later moved to Warner Bros. where he oversaw production of box-office blockbusters such as "The Exorcist," "The Sting" and "Blazing Saddles."

Zanuck started up the Zanuck Co. with his wife, Lili Fini Zanuck, in 1988. The company's first film, "Driving Miss Daisy" won four Oscars, including Best Picture. His most recent producing credit was this year's "Dark Shadows."

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