Oscar-Winning Producer Zanuck Dead at 77

He won for 'Driving Miss Daisy'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 13, 2012 6:15 PM CDT
Oscar-Winning Producer Zanuck Dead at 77
FILE - In this May 9, 2012 file photo, Richard D. Zanuck arrives for the European Premiere of "Dark Shadows," at a central London cinema. According to his publicist, producer Richard D. Zanuck has died at age 77 on Friday, July 13, 2012, in Los Angeles. Zanuck won an Oscar for best picture for his film,...   (Jonathan Short)

Film producer Richard Zanuck, who won the best picture Oscar for Driving Miss Daisy and was involved in such blockbuster films as Jaws and The Sting after his father, Hollywood mogul Darryl F. Zanuck, fired him from 20th Century Fox, died today. He was 77. Zanuck's publicist says he died of a heart attack at his Beverly Hills home. Zanuck's run of successes as an independent producer rivaled the achievements of his legendary father, who reigned over 20th Century Fox from the 1930s until age and changing audience tastes brought him down.

A statement from Steven Spielberg: "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." (More Richard Zanuck stories.)

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