September 21, 2015
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Laura Ziskin, producer and Oscar powerhouse, dies at 61

By Sean O’Connell Laura Ziskin, a powerhouse behind the scenes in Hollywood, died on Sunday at trhe age of 61.

Ziskin, whose producing credits include “Pretty Woman,” “No Way Out,” “Too Die For,” “Murphy’s Romance,” “As Good as It Gets” and Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. THR notes ZIskin was the “driving force behind the Stand Up to Cancer research movement.”

“Laura was one of the most courageous people I’ve ever known,” said Stand Up co-founder Katie Couric. “Her fearlessness in the face of this relentless killer inspires everyone on the SU2C team to redouble our efforts to make cancer history.”

ZIskin’s imprint also could be felt on the Academy Awards. She was the first female to produce the telecast on her own in 2002. Later, her efforts surrounding the 2007 Oscars helped designate the ceremony as a “green” telecast.

As the trade reports, “For those wishing to honor Ziskin, the family requests donations be made to Stand Up to Cancer through the organization’s website at”

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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