×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Debra Messing Remembers Craig Zadan: ‘I Hope Ethel Merman Is Singing to Him Right Now’

Craig Zadan and his producing partner, Neil Meron, are responsible for one of the most meaningful professional experiences in my career.

They brought the magic of Broadway to primetime television with “Smash,” and for two years I felt like I was living in a dream. They brought accomplished actors, real Broadway dancers and singers, Tony-winning lyricist/score writers, Steven Spielberg and Pulitzer Prize nominee Theresa Rebeck together with a pure love and drive to bring Broadway to all those who can’t afford or travel to see a show in NYC.

I loved it and I loved Craig for his passion and heart and absolute belief in the endeavor. Craig wanted the world to be touched by the power of theater. He was lifted and changed by the magical communal experience of watching a living, breathing story unfold in real time.

Craig always had a smile on his face, always excited about the next project he had in the works. He was full of life and joy. He was a man who navigated the world with integrity and dignity. He loved talent more than anything else and was always looking for ways to showcase those he admired. Craig was a kind, talented man who I’d never really imagined would ever stop creating.

The theater world has lost a legend, and Hollywood has lost one of its most prolific and singular producers. I hope Ethel Merman is singing to him right now.

Debra Messing starred in Zadan and Meron’s “Smash,” which ran for two seasons on NBC.

More TV

  • American Son review

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases 'American Son' Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix released the trailer for “American Son” starring Kerry Washington and first looks at Dolly Parton’s new anthology series, “Heartstrings.” FIRST LOOKS Netflix has released the trailer for “American Son,” which premieres Nov. 1 on the streaming service. Directed by Tony award-winner Kenny Leon, the film is based on the [...]

  • BBC's Little Mix Talent Show to

    BBC's Little Mix Talent Show to Be Produced by Management Firm's New Shingle, ModestTV

    The BBC has confirmed its Little Mix talent show, which the pop band’s management firm, Modest!, will produce through a new banner, ModestTV. “Little Mix The Search” will be exec produced by Andrea Hamilton, who has partnered with the management outfit to launch the new operation. Her entertainment show credits include “The Voice” and “Strictly [...]

  • Monica Beletsky Apple TV Plus

    Apple Sets Overall Deal With Monica Beletsky

    Monica Beletsky is the latest of a small group of content creators to set an overall deal with Apple and their streaming platform, Apple TV Plus. Under the multi-year deal, Beletsky will develop and produce television series exclusively for the streamer. This is the first overall of Beletsky’s career. Her previous credits include “Fargo,” “Friday [...]

  • Saladin Patterson

    Saladin Patterson Inks Overall Deal at 20th Century Fox Television

    Saladin Patterson has signed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the multi-year deal, Patterson will develop, write and produce comedy series for network, cable and streaming platforms. He was previously under a development deal at the studio earlier in his career. Patterson is currently an executive producer on the upcoming FX series [...]

  • Lenny Abrahamson and 'The Favourite' Producer

    'Room' Director Lenny Abrahamson and 'The Favourite' Producer Ed Guiney Present Their BBC-Hulu Series 'Normal People' (EXCLUSIVE)

    At TV market Mipcom in Cannes this week the team behind BBC-Hulu series “Normal People” – led by Lenny Abrahamson, the Oscar nominated director of “Room” – presented the first footage from the show, and explained how they approached the adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel. Variety had exclusive access to the presentation. Ed Guiney, one [...]

  • El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

    ‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’ Scores 6.5 Million Viewers Across First Weekend

    “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which dropped on Netflix Oct. 11, drew around 6.5 million total viewers in its first three days on the streaming platform, according to Nielsen. The movie also reached just under 8.2 million unique TV viewers. “El Camino” unsurprisingly drew its biggest audience of the three days on day 1, [...]

  • Natalie Morales, Photo by Catie Laffoon

    'Dead to Me' Season 2 Casts Natalie Morales (EXCLUSIVE)

    Natalie Morales has been cast in “Dead to Me” Season 2 at Netflix, Variety has learned exclusively. Morales will appear in the recurring role of Michelle. Described as wry and down to earth, Michelle has a relaxed charm and infectious wit. She forms a connection with Judy (Linda Cardellini) at the Assisted Living Facility, where Michelle’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content