Producer LILI FINI ZANUCK established
her reputation for extraordinary taste and tenacity with her very
first film, "Cocoon," and fortified her stature with
an Academy Award for her third effort, 1989's Best Picture, "Driving
Lili Zanuck began her career as a research
assistant at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. After moving to
Los Angeles in 1977, she met and married producer Richard D. Zanuck.
At the urging of David Brown, her new husband's
then-partner in the Zanuck/Brown Co., she began working as a part-time
researcher on a project in pre-production at the time, "The
Island." Zanuck gradually became involved with the company
full-time, acting as production assistant and coordinating various
behind-the-scenes activities on "Neighbors" and on the
multi-Oscar-nominated "The Verdict."
After two and a half years of physical production
work, Zanuck began tapping new, non-mainstream sources of creative
material for the company, soliciting works from never-before-produced
writers and cultivating working relationships with little-known
Her unconventional approach led to her discovery
of "Cocoon," which she personally oversaw through every
stage of development over a four-year struggle to get the film
made. Co-produced by Zanuck, "Cocoon" was released in
1985 to critical and box-office acclaim and earned the Zanucks
and David Brown the title of Producers of the Year by The National
Association of Theater Owners. Two years later the film's successful
sequel, "Cocoon: The Return," was released.
In 1988, Zanuck and her husband formed the
Zanuck Company in partnership with entrepreneur Jerry Perenchio.
Their new company's first endeavor, "Driving Miss Daisy,"
was distributed by Warner Bros., earning 9 Academy Award nominations
and winning 4 Oscars, including Best Picture.
Zanuck made her directorial debut with the
compelling drama "Rush" in 1992, and recently directed
a segment of the HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon."
She is currently in preparation to direct an as-yet unnamed dramatic
thriller starring Sylvester Stallone.
Zanuck's other feature film producing credits
with Richard D. Zanuck include "Rich In Love," "Wild
Bill" and "Mulholland Falls."
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