Paula Wagner

Producer, Agent, Actor
Formerly one of Hollywood's most successful talent agents, Paula Wagner went on to become one-half of a powerhouse producing duo, alongside her most famous client, Tom Cruise. Initially trained as an actress, Wagner ... Read more »
Born: 12/12/1946 in Youngstown, Ohio, USA

Filmography

Producer (18)

Caught Stealing 2014 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Jack Reacher 2012 (Movie)

(Producer)

Death Race 2008 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Eye 2008 (Movie)

(Producer)

Ask the Dust 2006 (Movie)

(Producer)

Mission: Impossible III 2006 (Movie)

(Producer)

Elizabethtown 2005 (Movie)

(Producer)

War of the Worlds 2005 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Suspect Zero 2004 (Movie)

(Producer)

Shattered Glass 2003 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Last Samurai 2003 (Movie)

(Producer)

Narc 2002 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Others 2001 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Vanilla Sky 2001 (Movie)

(Producer)

Mission: Impossible 2 2000 (Movie)

(Producer)

Without Limits 1998 (Movie)

(Producer)

Mission: Impossible 1996 (Movie)

(Producer)

Five (TV Show)

Executive Producer
Actor (4)

Tom Cruise 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Women on Top: Hollywood and Power 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Loose Change (TV Show)

Actor
Executive (1)

Lions for Lambs 2007 (Movie)

(Studio Executive)

Biography

Formerly one of Hollywood's most successful talent agents, Paula Wagner went on to become one-half of a powerhouse producing duo, alongside her most famous client, Tom Cruise. Initially trained as an actress, Wagner transitioned to agent at Creative Artists Agency in the late 1970s. During her pioneering tenure at CAA as one of the industry's few female agents, she nurtured the careers of such talents as Robert Towne, Demi Moore, Val Kilmer, Oliver Stone, and most notably, Cruise. In 1993, she joined Cruise in forming the Paramount Pictures-based, Cruise/Wagner Productions, which went on to score such hits as "Mission: Impossible" (1996), "The Others" (2001) and "War of the Worlds" (2005), to name but a few. Together, she and Cruise garnered critical accolades, several awards, and literally billions of dollars in box office receipts. Following a rough patch, marked by several theatrical disappointments and Cruise's disintegrating pubic image, the pair became co-owners of United Artists after being let go by Paramount in 2006. The endeavor was short-lived, however, when unequivocal failures like "Valkyrie" (2008), soon led to Wagner's departure from UA and the forming of her own company, Chestnut Ridge, as a solo producer. Preferring not to see herself as a woman in a man's Hollywood world, Wagner nonetheless employed traditionally feminine traits such as communicativeness and empathy to inarguable effect as one of the most formidable producers in the industry.

Relationships

Jesse Nicita

Son
Father, Rick Nicita

Zachary Nicita

Son
Father, Rick Nicita

Rick Nicita Other

Husband
Married c. 1984

Robin Wagner Other

Husband
Divorced

EDUCATION

Carnegie-Mellon University

Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania

Milestones

2008

Left her job as chief executive of United Artists to produce projects independently

2006

Signed a two-year development deal for Cruise/Wagner Productions with an investment partnership headed by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder

2006

Partnered with Tom Cruise and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to resurrect United Artists; will serve as chief executive

2006

Produced the highly anticipated sequal, "Mission: Impossible III" marking J.J. Abrams' feature directorial debut

2006

On August 22, 2006, Paramount Pictures announced it was ending its 14-year relationship with Cruise/Wagner Productions

2006

Re-teamed with long-time collaborator writer/director Robert Towne on "Ask the Dust," starring Colin Farrell

2003

Executive produced Billy Ray's directorial debut, "Shattered Glass"

2002

Executive producerd "Narc"

2001

Executive produced the Alejandro Amenábar gothic sensation "The Others"

2000

Produced the highly anticipated sequel, "Mission: Impossible 2"

1998

Produced the critically acclaimed "Without Limits" with writer/director Robert Towne

1996

First feature under the Cruise/Wagner Production was the worldwide box office sensation "Mission: Impossible"

1992

Partnered with actor Tom Cruise to form Cruise/Wagner Productions

1980

Worked as agent at CAA for 12 years

1978

Had featured role in "Loose Change" miniseries (NBC)

1977

Migrated to Los Angeles

Acted with the Yale Repertory Company; on Broadway and Off-Broadway

Co-authored play, "Out of Our Fathers' House"

Bonus Trivia

.

Co-wrote a play adaptation of the Eve Merriam book "Growing Up Female in America: Ten Lives"; Wagner's play version is called "Out of Out Fathers' House".

.

Wagner on being a woman agent: "Your negotiating skills have to be more developed than a man's. You need to understand football, basketball and baseball terms, which are used a lot in this business." - from People Extra, Spring, 1991

.

"If someone calls you 'honey' in passing, you have to realize that's just their way. Humor is the best way to deal with it. You don't want to alienate anyone, particularly in a business that's all about having good relationships with people." - from People Extra, Spring, 1991

.

In 2001 Wagner was honored by Premiere magazine with the Women in Hollywood Icon Award.

.

In 2004 the Daily Variety honored the producing team as "Billion-Dollar Producers."

.

On August 22, 2006, Paramount Pictures announced it was ending its 14-year relationship with Cruise/Wagner Productions. Chairman of Viacom (Paramount's parent company) Sumner Redstone cited the economic damage to Tom Cruise's value as an actor and producer from his controversial public behavior and views. Cruise/Wagner Productions responded that Paramount's announcement was a face-saving move after the production company had successfully sought alternative financing from private equity firms.

.

In December 2006, Wagner was named Number 26 among woman in entertainment in The Hollywood Reporter's 15th annual "Women in Entertainment Power 100."

SIMILAR ARTICLES