Film pioneer, studio boss, financier, star maker, Darryl Zanuck was a man for whom ideas were the very substance of life. When he died in 1979 he was the last survivor of the early Hollywood movie moguls.
Always a leader — even in an era that resounded with such names as Goldwyn, Mayer, Cohn, Schenck, Zukor and Thalberg — he pioneered talking pictures with "The Jazz Singer" and widescreen process with "The Robe."
He helped create stars such as Tyrone Power, James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson. He fought with the likes of Henry Fonda and Betty Grable. And he once wrote scenarios for Rin-Tin-Tin.
But always he remained Zanuck — the inscrutable and complex figure driven by the need for power but also ruled by pride and thrust onward by an unwavering enthusiasm for every new project, every new trend, every new idea.
In 1935 when Fox Studios merged with 20th Century, Fox had a fabled history, a sprawling studio lot and most of the resources. But 20th Century had the key to the deal: Zanuck, a brilliant, hard-charging young executive who already, at 33, had a reputation for fearless decision-making and a nose for hit movies.
At the time, Hollywood assumed Zanuck would be buried by the giant Fox bureaucracy. Instead, he transformed the studio overnight. Screenplays were thrown out, movies were canceled, payroll was slashed while Zanuck quickly revived Fox's fortunes, signing new and younger movie stars and bringing in a host of his favorite writers and producers. In short, it was the younger, mercurial Zanuck, not the established but aging Fox executives, who was the real ruler of the new kingdom.
|1935||Best Original Story||G-Men||Nomination|
|1937||Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award||Win|
|1938||Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award||Win|
|1944||Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award||Win|
|1950||Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award||Win|
|1962||Best Picture||The Longest Day||Nomination|