Oscar-winning 'Jaws' producer dies
Posted July 13, 2012
Richard Zanuck, the producer behind movies such as Jaws, Driving Miss Daisy and several Tim Burton films, died of a heart attack at age 77, Variety reports.
Zanuck took home a best picture Oscar in 1990 for Daisy, which starred Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy.
In a statement to Lifeline Live, Jaws director Steven Spielberg remembers Zanuck fondly.
"In 1974, Dick Zanuck and I sat in a boat off Martha's Vineyard and watched the mechanical shark sink to the bottom of the sea. Dick turned to me and smiled. 'Gee, I sure hope that's not a sign.' That moment forged a bond between us that lasted nearly 40 years. He taught me everything I know about producing. He was one of the most honorable and loyal men of our profession and he fought tooth and nail for his directors. Dick Zanuck was a cornerstone of our industry, both in name and in deed."
Interestingly, in the last decade of his career, Zanuck teamed with prolific director Tim Burton on six projects: Planet of the Apes (2001), Big Fish (2003), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Sweeney Todd (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Dark Shadows (May 2012).
Moviemaking was in Zanuck's blood, as he was the son of Oscar-winning 20th Century Fox mogul Darryl F. Zanuck, who died in 1979, also at age 77.
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