20th Century Fox Dedicates Production Building to Richard D. Zanuck

Jim Gianopulos dedicates the Richard D.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Twentieth Century Fox honored the late Richard D. Zanuck with a building dedication ceremony on Tuesday.

“For those of us that work at Fox — he was family,” said Fox topper Jim Gianopulos. “He was an integral part of our legacy, he was like a pater familias to us.”

Zanuck was known in the industry for producing hits like “Jaws,” Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” He won the Academy Award for “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1989 and was nominated for two other Oscars.

Zanuck was made president of 20th Century Fox at the age of 28, making him the youngest studio chief in Hollywood history. During his eight years as head of studio, Fox amassed 159 Oscar nominations.

“We waited to try and find a building worthy of Dick. We couldn’t, so we built one,” Gianopulos said.

The 15,000 square foot building is the most state-of-the-art movie production building and screening room in the business today, according to Gianopulos. Currently, it is being christened by “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “The Other Woman.”

Zanuck became an independent producer forming the Zanuck/Brown Company and then the Zanuck Company with his wife Lili Fini Zanuck. But, he was always accessible and free for advice to Fox and came back in 2001 to produce “Planet of the Apes.”

“Dick considered 20th Century Fox his home. He had been coming here since he was a little boy. He thought it was his backyard,” said his wife. “Nothing is more fitting than that it’s a production building to honor Dick, his great — second love — in life.”

Guests mingled on a red carpet and sat in director chairs among the likes of Shirley MacLaine, Cynthia Sikes, Barbara Davis and Zanuck’s sons and grandchildren.

After the dedication, “Don’t Say No Until I Finish Talking,” a documentary of the life and work of Richard D. Zanuck, was shown in the screening room of the new building.

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