Richard Darryl Zanuck

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Richard Darryl Zanuck

Birthdate: (77)
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Death: July 13, 2012 (77)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States (Heart Attack)
Immediate Family:

Son of Darryl F. Zanuck and Virginia Fox
Husband of <private> Zanuck (Fini)
Ex-husband of <private> Zanuck (Gentle) and <private> Zanuck (Harrison)
Father of <private> Zanuck; <private> Zanuck; <private> Zanuck and <private> Zanuck
Brother of <private> de Pineda (Zanuck) and Susan Marie Hakim

Managed by: Cecil Stuart Dana
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • <private> Zanuck (Gentle)
    • <private> Zanuck (Harrison)
    • <private> Zanuck
    • <private> Zanuck
    • <private> Zanuck (Fini)
    • <private> Zanuck
    • <private> Zanuck
    • mother
    • <private> de Pineda (Zanuck)

About Richard Darryl Zanuck

Richard Darryl Zanuck (December 13, 1934 – July 13, 2012) was an American film producer. He won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1989 for Driving Miss Daisy.

Life and career

Richard Darryl Zanuck was born in Los Angeles, to actress Virginia Fox and Darryl F. Zanuck, then head of 20th Century Fox. While studying at Stanford University, he began his career in the film industry working for the 20th Century Fox story department. In 1959, Zanuck had his first shot at producing with the film Compulsion. In the 1960s, Zanuck became the president of 20th Century Fox. One year of his tenure, 1967, is chronicled in the John Gregory Dunne book The Studio.[citation needed] After failures like 1967's Doctor Dolittle, he was fired by his father and joined Warner Bros. as Executive Vice President.

In 1972, Zanuck joined up with David Brown to form an independent production company called The Zanuck/Brown Company at Universal Pictures. The two men produced a pair of Steven Spielberg's early films, The Sugarland Express (1974) and Jaws (1975). They subsequently produced such box office hits as Cocoon (1985) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989) before dissolving their partnership in 1988. They were jointly awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1990. He worked with Tim Burton six times, producing Planet of the Apes (2001), Big Fish (2003), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2010), and Dark Shadows (2012). He and Burton connected immediately, and Zanuck was his producer of choice.

Zanuck was married three times. On January 14, 1958, he married Lili Charlene Gentle (b. March 4, 1940), an actress from Birmingham, Alabama, and second cousin of Tallulah Bankhead. The marriage, which produced two daughters, Virginia and Janet, was dissolved in 1968. On October 27, 1969, Zanuck married actress Linda Harrison, his protégé, by whom he had two sons, Harrison Richard and Dean Francis; they divorced in 1978. In the same year, he married Lili Fini, a former World Bank employee and Carnation Co. office manager, who would co-produce some of Zanuck's memorable films. In 1998, Lili Fini Zanuck directed an episode of the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, titled "We Have Cleared the Tower".

In 2000, Zanuck and Lili Fini Zanuck co-produced the 72nd Academy Awards ceremony.


Richard Zanuck died on July 13, 2012, of a heart attack at his home in Beverly Hills. The Beverly Park home he had lived in until his death was sold for $20.1MM in July 2012.




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Richard Darryl Zanuck's Timeline

December 13, 1934
Los Angeles, CA, USA
July 13, 2012
Age 77
Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States