The revered Hollywood producer behind movie hits like Jaws and Alice in Wonderland passed away on Friday morning (13Jul12), aged 77.
The son of movie mogul Darryl F. Zanuck, he began his Hollywood career as a producer in the late 1950s and was an uncredited executive on film hits The Sound of Music and The Sting.
Zanuck also produced classics The Eiger Sanction, The Black Windmill, The Sugarland Express, Cocoon and Driving Miss Daisy, which won him an Oscar and a Producers Guild Award in 1990.
He went on to produce the Academy Awards telecast in 2000, just before embarking on a long-standing collaboration with director Tim Burton.
Zanuck’s association with the filmmaker began with 2001’s Planet of the Apes and he went on to produce Burton’s films Big Fish, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland and this year’s (12) Dark Shadows.
His final film, Hidden, is currently in pre-production.
Among his many honours, Zanuck was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award at the Oscars in 1991 and the Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993.
Rob Lowe and Zooey Deschanel are leading the celebrity tributes to the producer.
Lowe took to Twitter.com and wrote, “Sorry to hear of the passing of a legend and true gentleman, Dick Zanuck. If there was a Mount Rushmore of producers he’d be ALL the faces.”
Actress Deschanel adds, “He was a great person and producer, I am terribly sad to hear this”, while Robert De Niro’s producer pal Jane Rosenthal simply tweets, “R.I.P. Richard D. Zanuck”.
Zanuck’s death also struck a chord with rocker Fred Durst, who posted, “RIP Richard D Zanuck. What he accomplished in a day is more than most do in a lifetime. A true legend and inspiration for me.”