Posted by: ckckred | July 14, 2012

Richard D. Zanuck: 1934-2012

The man who produced films like Jaws and M*A*S*H died on Friday

When I heard Richard Zanuck had died yesterday at 77, I didn’t know what to feel.  Zanuck always appeared to be a Hollywood man.  His mother was an actress and his father was a studio head.

Zanuck became head of Fox at 28, at which he helmed films like The Sound of MusicPattonM*A*S*H, and The French Connection.  Three of which won best picture and brought Zanuck to stardom.

Zanuck, though, was fired for the few flops under his tenure, such as Dr. Dolittle.  He then went to form the Zanuck/Brown Co.  From there, they produced Steven Spielberg’s first film, The Sugarland Express, and then Jaws.

IJaws had gone far over budget and schedule, and looked like an expensive failure.  However, the movie became a box office success and went on to be the highest grossing film of all time, until Star Wars took it.  It launched Spielberg’s career, and is typically listed as one of the greatest films ever made.

Zanuck had also produced films like The Sting and The Verdict.  In the 80s he made Cocoon and its sequel.  In the 90s he made hits like Total Recall and Deep Impact.  He won an Oscar for the 1989 film Driving Miss Daisy.

It’s sad to see such a great producer go.  Films like Jaws and Patton have changed the way I though about movies.  May he rest in peace.



  1. Great post and tribute to Zanuck. He produced some of the most influential films I’ve ever seen. RIP Richard D.Zanuck

    • The films he produced really changed my life. Jaws is one of my favorites of all time and Patton was one of the first films that got be interested in movies. May he rest in peace.

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