Lili Fini Zanuck

Producer, Director, Research assistant
One of the more successful female producers, Zanuck, who has also begun a secondary career as a director, reached the top at a very young age. After a brief stint as a research assistant with the World Bank in ... Read more »
Born: 04/01/1954 in Leominster, Massachusetts, USA

Filmography

Producer (13)

Reign of Fire 2002 (Movie)

(Producer)

Countdown to Oscar 2000 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

One 2000 (Movie)

(Producer)

The 72nd Annual Academy Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Producer

True Crime 1999 (Movie)

(Producer)

Mulholland Falls 1996 (Movie)

(Producer)

Wild Bill 1995 (Movie)

(Producer)

Clean Slate 1994 (Movie)

(Producer)

Rich in Love 1993 (Movie)

(Producer)

Driving Miss Daisy 1989 (Movie)

(Producer)

Barrington 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Cocoon 1985 (Movie)

(Producer)

Bessie (TV Show)

Executive Producer
Director (2)

Revelations 2005 (Tv Show)

Director

Rush 1991 (Movie)

(Director)
Actor (2)

On the Inside 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 1988 Miss America Pageant 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

One of the more successful female producers, Zanuck, who has also begun a secondary career as a director, reached the top at a very young age. After a brief stint as a research assistant with the World Bank in Washington, DC, she moved to Los Angeles with the hopes of becoming a film editor. Shortly thereafter, she married producer Richard Zanuck, whom she had met on a blind date. Zanuck entered the industry as an unpaid researcher for her husband's partner David Brown, then assumed the full-time responsibilities of handling contracts, reading scripts and negotiating deals for The Zanuck/Brown Company. There, Zanuck helped develop "The Island" (1980), "Neighbors" (1981) and "The Verdict" (1982), before initiating and co-producing her first project, Ron Howard's hit "Cocoon" (1985).

Relationships

Richard D. Zanuck Producer

Husband
Met on a blind date Married four months later Sept. 23, 1978 Co-produced 72nd Annual Academy Awards (2000)

Dean Zanuck

Step-Son
born c. 1973

Harrison Zanuck

Step-Son
born c. 1974

EDUCATION

Northern Virginia Community College

Annandale , Virginia

Milestones

2000

Signed production deal with DreamWorks

2000

With husband Richard, produced the annual telecast of the Academy Awards; first female to hold that distinction

1999

Was one of the producers of the Clint Eastwood vehicle "True Crime"

1995

Co-produced "Wild Bill"

1991

Directed first feature, "Rush"

1989

Co-produced the Oscar-winning Best Picture "Driving Miss Daisy"

1987

First TV-movie as co-producer, "Barrington" (CBS)

1985

First film as co-producer, "Cocoon"

1977

Moved to Los Angeles to become a film editor; moved into office management at Carnation Company

Worked part-time as researcher for Zanuck's partner David Brown; assumed full-time responsibilities and began to handle contracts, scripts and to negotiate deals

Worked as research assistant at the World Bank in Washington in 1970s

Bonus Trivia

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Fini Zanuck has directed several music videos, most notably "Breathe", performed by Faith Hill and "Let's Make Love" by Hill and her husband Tim McGraw.

.

"So I'm actually Dick's creation? A monster he created? Look . . . I've been around for a long, long time. I used to be a gofer in the company. I learned about deals and the working of a studio." --Lili Fini Zanuck quoted in a 1991 article in Movieline.

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"When I'm shooting, I'm the audience, the only one who has to be satisfied. I never shot a scene and thought, 'who will like this besides me?' Now that I'm turning over the film, I have to let seep into my conciousness these other people--the audience--and it's tough. But this is show business, not a private home movie I'm making." --Lili Fini Zanuck quoted in Movieline, 1991.

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"Driving Miss Daisy" was Lili and husband Richard Zanuck's third film collaboration with Jessica Tandy, who featured in both "Cocoon" (1985) and "Cocoon: The Return" (1988).

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