Darryl F. Zanuck

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Darryl Francis Zanuck
Zusätzliche namen:
Gregory Rogers, Melville Crossman, Mark Canfield
Filmproduzent, Freimaurer
Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery

Darryl Francis Zanuck (September 5, 1902 – December 22, 1979) was an American film producer and studio executive; he earlier contributed stories for films starting in the silent era. He played a major part in the Hollywood studio system as one of its longest survivors (the length of his career was rivaled only by that of Adolph Zukor).

 He earned three Academy Awardsduring his tenure.

Other names

Gregory Rogers
Melville Crossman
Mark Canfield


Virginia Fox (1924–56; separated)


Darrylin Zanuck Jacks Pineda Carranza (1931– )
Susan Zanuck Hakim Savineau (1933–1980)
Richard D. Zanuck (1934–2012)

Early life

Zanuck was born in Wahoo, Nebraska, to Louise (née Torpin) and Frank Zanuck, who owned and operated a hotel in Wahoo. Zanuck was of part Swiss descent and was raised a Protestant.  At age six, Zanuck and his mother moved to Los Angeles, where the better climate could improve her poor health. At age eight, he found his first movie job as an extra, but his disapproving father recalled him to Nebraska.

In 1918, despite being sixteen, he deceived a recruiter, joined the United States Army, and served in France with the Nebraska National Guard.

Upon returning to the US, he worked in many part-time jobs while seeking work as a writer. He found work producing movie plots, and sold his first story in 1922 to William Russell and his second to Irving Thalberg. Screenwriter Frederica Sagor Maas, story editor at Universal Pictures' New York office, stated that one of the stories Zanuck sent out to movie studios around this time was completely plagiarized from another author's work.

Zanuck then worked for Mack Sennett and FBO (where he wrote the serials The Telephone Girl and The Leather Pushers) and took that experience to Warner Brothers, where he wrote stories for Rin Tin Tin and under a number of pseudonyms wrote over forty scripts from 1924 to 1929, including Red Hot Tires (1925) and Old San Francisco(1927). He moved into management in 1929, and became head of production in 1931.

Zanuck was also a mason.

Studio head

In 1933, Zanuck left Warners over a salary dispute with studio head Jack Warner. A few days later, he partnered with Joseph Schenck to found 20th Century Pictures, Inc. with financial help from Joseph's brother Nicholas Schenck and Louis B. Mayer, President and Studio head of Loew's, Inc and its subsidiary Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, along with William Goetz and Raymond Griffith. 20th Century released its material through United Artists.

During that short time (1933–1935), 20th Century became the most successful independent movie studio of its time, breaking box-office records with 18 of its 19 films, all in profitability, including Clive of India, Les Miserables and The House of Rothschild. After a dispute with United Artists over stock ownership, Schenck and Zanuck negotiated and bought out the bankrupt Fox studios in 1935 to formed Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation. Zanuck was Vice President of Production of this new studio and took an interventionist approach, closely involving himself in film editing and producing. Like the other heads of Hollywood studios, during the war he was commissioned as a Colonel in the Army Signal Corps. He returned to Twentieth Century-Fox in 1944.

In 1956, he withdrew from the studio and left his wife, Virginia Fox, to move to Europe and concentrate on independent producing. Many of his later films were designed, in part, to promote the careers of his successive girlfriends, Bella Darvi,Irina Demick, and Geneviève Gilles, and several movies he produced featured his girlfriend of the moment, including the French singer Juliette Gréco.

He returned to control Fox in 1962, replacing Spyros Skouras, in a confrontation over the release of Zanuck's production ofThe Longest Day as the studio struggled to finish the difficult production of Cleopatra (1963). He made his son, Richard D. Zanuck, head of production. He later became involved in a power struggle with the board and his son, circa 1969. In May 1971, Zanuck was forced from "his" studio.


A long-time cigar smoker, he died of jaw cancer at the age of 77, and was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.


Haunted by his part in the racist Ham and Eggs at the Front, Zanuck began tackling serious issues, breaking new ground by producing some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. Long before it was fashionable to do so, Zanuck addressed issues such as racism (Pinky), anti-Semitism (Gentleman's Agreement), poverty (The Grapes of WrathTobacco Road), unfair unionization and destruction of the environment (How Green Was My Valley), and institutionalised mistreatment of the mentally ill (The Snake Pit). After The Snake Pit was released, thirteen states changed their laws.

For his contributions to the motion picture industry, Zanuck earned three Thalberg Awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; after Zanuck's third win, the rules were changed to limit oneThalberg Award to one person. 20th Century Fox, the studio he co-founded and ran successfully for so many years, screens movies in its Darryl F. Zanuck Theater. Zanuck's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located at 6336 Hollywood Blvd. Some say that Zanuck's reputation as an egotistical tyrant and voracious womanizer has overshadowed his contributions to film.


Keine Orte


        1Richard Darryl ZanuckRichard Darryl ZanuckSohn13.12.193413.07.2012
        2Virginia FoxVirginia FoxEhefrau02.04.190204.10.1982
        3Juliette  GrécoJuliette GrécoPartner07.02.192723.09.2020
        4Myrna LoyMyrna LoyArbeitskollege02.08.190514.12.1993
        5Nigel BruceNigel BruceArbeitskollege04.02.192508.10.1953
        6Gene MarkeyGene MarkeyArbeitskollege11.12.189501.05.1980
        7Gertrude OlmsteadGertrude OlmsteadArbeitskollege13.11.189718.01.1975
        8Sam McDanielSam McDanielArbeitskollege28.01.188624.09.1962
        9Ethel WatersEthel WatersArbeitskollege31.10.189601.09.1977
        10Louise FazendaLouise FazendaArbeitskollege17.06.189517.04.1962
        11Jessica TandyJessica TandyArbeitskollege07.06.190911.09.1994
        12Montagu LoveMontagu LoveArbeitskollege15.03.187717.05.1943
        13Al SheanAl SheanArbeitskollege12.05.186812.08.1949
        14Karen MorleyKaren MorleyArbeitskollege12.12.190908.03.2003
        15Jane WyattJane WyattArbeitskollege12.08.191020.10.2006
        16Gregory PeckGregory PeckArbeitskollege05.04.191612.06.2003
        17Thomas MitchellThomas MitchellArbeitskollege11.07.189217.12.1962
        18Nan MartinNan MartinArbeitskollege15.07.192704.03.2010
        19George ZuccoGeorge ZuccoArbeitskollege11.01.188627.05.1960
        20Jean HarlowJean HarlowArbeitskollege03.03.191107.06.1937
        21Sonja HenieSonja HenieArbeitskollege08.04.191212.10.1969
        22Hal B. WallisHal B. WallisArbeitskollege14.09.189805.10.1986
        23Sam JaffeSam JaffeArbeitskollege21.05.190110.01.2000
        24Walter HustonWalter HustonArbeitskollege05.04.188307.04.1950
        25Buddy EbsenBuddy EbsenArbeitskollege02.04.190806.06.2003
        26Ainārs RitenbergsAinārs RitenbergsGleichgesinnte13.12.194315.06.2007