Darryl F. Zanuck
One of the most prolific and accomplished moguls of Hollywood's Golden Age, Darryl F. Zanuck was the co-founder and primary force behind 20th Century Fox, and helped to shepherd the company from a start-up in the late 1920s to one of the greatest movie studios in film history. Under Zanuck's command as head of production and later chairman, Fox produced countless memorable motion pictures between 1934 and 1971, including Oscar winners "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940), "How Green Was My Valley" (1941), "Gentleman's Agreement" (1947), "The King and I" (1958), "The Longest Day" (1962), "Planet of the Apes" (1968) and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969). Each of these films, along with dozens of others, benefitted from Zanuck's inherent skill at selecting projects that were both audience pleasers and quality pictures, and honing them from conception to release through careful nurturing of stars, scripts and directors. In doing so, he became an anomaly in the industry: a studio chief with eyes on both the bottom line and artistic merit. Though changing times eventually forced his ouster in the 1970s, Zanuck's exceptional list of productions made him one of the legendary movers and shakers in Hollywood history, and compared to his peers of the time, like Columbia's Harry Cohn and MGM's Louis B. Mayer, also one of the more pleasant of the Golden Age studio titans.