Legendary producer Richard D Zanuck dies

The man behind Driving Miss Daisy was 77.

by Jennie Kermode

Producer Richard D Zanuck died today at his Los Angeles home. He is believed to have suffered a heart attack. As well as being the force behind some highly acclaimed films, he was known and loved for his optimism, his instinctive ability to identify a hit, and his dedication to being closely involved with films from beginning to end.

Zanuck, who learned his craft from his father Darryl, one of early Hollywood's most powerful figures, was responsible for hits like Jaws, Driving Miss Daisy, Deep Impact and recent remake Clash Of The Titans. He had a particularly close relationship with director Tim Burton, working with him on six films, including Sweeney Todd and Big Fish. His independent career as a producer began in 1959 when he worked on Compulsion with Orsion Wells, and his final film, Hidden, will be released next year.

Zanuck is survived by his wife Lili, his sons Harrison and Dean - who also work in film production - and nine grandchildren. "These days, right now, these are the good old days," he told the LA Times last year. "I’ve always approached it that way. That’s why I’m still working."

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