Celebrities share their reactions to the death Friday of Oscar-winning producer Richard Zanuck:
“In 1974, Dick Zanuck and I sat in a boat off Martha’s Vineyard and watched the mechanical shark sink to the bottom of the sea. Dick turned to me and smiled. ‘Gee, I sure hope that’s not a sign.’ That moment forged a bond between us that lasted nearly 40 years. He taught me everything I know about producing. He was one of the most honorable and loyal men of our profession and he fought tooth and nail for his directors. Dick Zanuck was a cornerstone of our industry, both in name and in deed.”—Steven Spielberg, whose films “Jaws” and “The Sugarland Express” Zanuck produced.
“I’m stunned! Richard was a good and longtime friend. A very fine producer who was wonderful to work for and with.”—Morgan Freeman, star of 1989’s “Driving Miss Daisy,” which earned Zanuck a best-picture Oscar.
“Dick was a legend in the industry and a true pleasure to work with, making his passing a true loss. His gut feelings for the art of cinema matched his brains for the business. He is already missed.”—Tom Hanks, who starred in “Road to Perdition” and other Zanuck films.
“The tragic loss of this great legend, this warrior, is too shocking for words. He was family. He was the first producer that I ever experienced actually producing. He would shield the filmmaker from all unnecessary distractions and delicately build an actor’s confidence on a daily basis. An incredibly strong and vital force on and off set, with a genuine kindness toward everyone, regardless of their position. He was the last of a breed. My condolences to his dear wife, Lili, whom he adored, and to his family, who meant the world to him. You will forever be in our thoughts, Dear Richard.”—Johnny Depp, star of the Zanuck-produced “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in 2005 and “Dark Shadows” in 2012.
“The great Richard Zanuck. A filmmaking force I assumed would go on forever. His leadership on “Cocoon” made a huge difference He’ll be missed.”—Ron Howard, director of “Cocoon.”
“Richard Zanuck was a long-standing member of the Warner Bros. family and an extraordinary producer. His body of work includes some of the best loved films of all time, including our own ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ ... He was a good friend and will always be remembered as a true gentleman who strove for and achieved excellence throughout his career.”—Barry Meyer, Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros.