The Zanucks: Reel Royalty

Richard and Lili Zanuck win Best Picture Oscar for DRIVING MISS DAISY (1989) AP

On an estate high above Los Angeles lives a man who has made quite a splash in the film industry, reports CBS News Correspondent Rita Braver.

His name is Richard Zanuck, and if it does not sound familiar, well that's OK. You will certainly know his films.

"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "Sound of Music," "Patton," "Planet of the Apes," "Mash": Zanuck has been making films for nearly 50 of his 70 years. He produced his first film when he was 24. At 27 he became head of production at 20th Century Fox, where he green-lighted some of the studio's biggest hits.

Zanuck explains, "I've been on both sides of the desk. I've been a producer, as I am now; I've been a suit, in the days when the suits actually wore suits."

No matter what he's wearing, these days, when other men his age are slowing down, Zanuck is one of the hottest producers in town.

Johnny Depp stars in Zanuck's latest production, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," which opens later this week.

Depp says, "Dick Zanuck is one of those guys who is so incredibly encouraging and coming from a veteran like him, it gave me great confidence."

The actor would like to repeat the experience, working with Zanuck on "everything. Anything. I love the guy."

Zanuck, who is on-set every day while his movies are shot, says a lot of filmgoers don't understand what a good producer is supposed to do.

Zanuck says "a producer, if he's doing his job, is the creative force. He doesn't tell the director how to direct but he hires the director, hires the writer and has picked the story. He's kind of the grand master of it all."

Zanuck himself is the son of one of Hollywood's Grand Masters of all time, 20th Century Fox studio head Darryl Zanuck. The elder Zanuck was responsible for such classics as "Miracle on 34th St.," "The Grapes of Wrath" and "How Green was my Valley." He also signed contract players like Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne and Tyrone Power.
  • Brian Leach

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