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    June 14, 2011

    R.I.P. LAURA ZISKIN (1950-2011)

    We started the week with a sad news from Hollywood. One of the finest American female film producer, Laura Ellen Ziskin has passed away on Sunday. According to a statement from Sony Pictures, she passed away at her Los Angeles home due to breast cancer, a disease she has fought over the last seven years.

    Ziskin has a long and most amazing career under her belt as producer. She started out as the personal assistant of Jon Peters. Then she ventured out as an independent producer, forming Fogwood Films with partner Sally Field in 1984. Ziskin's biggest success emerged later in the year 1990, where she executive produced Richard Gere and Julia Roberts' Pretty Woman for Touchstone Pictures. The movie was a sensational box office and critical hit, earning four Golden Globe Awards nominations for Best Picture, Best actor, Best Actress (won by Roberts) and Best Supporting Actor.

    Over the career of two decades following the success of Pretty Woman, Ziskin has produced various films with many of them garnered major awards nominations and wins. She will be remembered for her various role producing movies like the three "Spider-Man" movies (starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Durnst), "Fight Club" (starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton), "No Way Out" (starring Kevin Costner), "To Die For" (starring Nicole Kidman), "The Thin Red Line" (starring Sean Penn and John Travolta), "Courage Under Fire" (starring Denzel washington and Meg Ryan), and "Hero" (starring Dustin Hoffman and Geena Davis)

    In addition to making movies, Ziskin also produced the Academy Awards broadcast twice, and served as president of Fox 2000 Pictures, a feature film division of 20th Century Fox.

    In 2008 Ziskin along with other entertainment celebrities, including Katie Couric, co-founded Stand Up To Cancer, an an advocacy group for cancer research. Later that year and again last September, Ziskin produced all-star telethons that aired live on the major U.S. networks to support the funding of cancer research.

    Sony Pictures said a memorial would be planned. Ziskin is survived by her husband Alvin Sargent, an Oscar-winning screenwriter ("Ordinary People," "Julia") who collaborated on the "Spider-Man" films; and a daughter from her first marriage.

    Her last producer credit will be for next year's "The Amazing of Spider-Man", a reboot to her "Spider-Man" franchise.

    [SOURCE: Reuters]
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