General News

Producer Ziskin loses cancer battle

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Jun 13, 2011 | 5:00am EDT

The moviemaker passed away at her Los Angeles home on Sunday (12Jun11).

Ziskin made her name as a producer in the 1980s, making her debut working on 1985's Murphy's Romance, and she went on to help make Julia Roberts a star by taking charge of 1990's Pretty Woman.

She took on producer duties for two Academy Awards ceremonies (2002 and 2007) and also served as president of Fox 2000 Pictures, a feature film division of 20th Century Fox.

Ziskin co-produced all three Spider-Man movies and was working on next year's (12) installment, The Amazing Spider-Man, before her death.

Ziskin was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and underwent several treatments, including a mastectomy and chemotherapy, in a bid to overcome the disease.

She went on to co-found Stand Up To Cancer (SUTC), a charity to raise funds for research into the disease. The venture has been supported by two telethons since its inception in 2008, with stars including Michael Douglas, Jennifer Aniston and Halle Berry taking part in the projects.

Ziskin's cancer returned in 2009, having spread to her liver and bones, and she eventually lost her fight for life on Sunday.

Christina Applegate, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, has led tributes to Ziskin, and urged fans to donate to Stand Up To Cancer in her memory.

In a series of posts on her Twitter.com page, she writes, "Just heard that the remarkable, talented, amazing Laura Ziskin has passed away! SU2C (Stand Up To Cancer) we will continue to fight for you!!! Bless you Laura!

"Sorry for my language but f**k this disease! Today in honour of Laura and millions of others who have lost the battle. Donate... Be of service."

Ziskin's Stand Up to Cancer co-founder Katie Couric says, "Laura was one of the most courageous people I've ever known. Her fearlessness in the face of this relentless killer inspires everyone on the SU2C team to redouble our efforts to make cancer history."

Ziskin is survived by her screenwriter husband Alvin Sargent and a daughter from her first marriage.

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