Alan Ladd Jr.

Alan Walbridge Ladd Jr. (October 22, 1937 – March 2, 2022) was an American film industry executive and producer. He served as president of 20th Century Fox from 1976 to 1979, during which he approved the production of Star Wars. He later established The Ladd Company and headed MGM/UA. Ladd won an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1996 for producing Braveheart.

Alan Ladd Jr.
Born
Alan Walbridge Ladd Jr.

(1937-10-22)October 22, 1937
DiedMarch 2, 2022(2022-03-02) (aged 84)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1963–2007
Spouse(s)
  • Patricia Ann Beazley
    (m. 1959; div. 1983)
  • Cindra Ladd
    (m. 1985, divorced)
Children4
Parent(s)
Relatives

Early lifeEdit

Ladd was born in Los Angeles, California, on October 22, 1937.[1][2] He was the only child of Alan Ladd and Marjorie Jane (née Harrold),[3][4] who divorced when he was two years old.[1] He initially stayed with his mother, but lived with his father at his estate in Holmby Hills due to her poor health.[1][2] He later recounted how the time he spent with the elder Ladd was sparse,[1] and described their relationship as "basically nonexistent".[2] Ladd served in the U.S. Air Force and was called up as a reservist during the Berlin Crisis of 1961,[5] before being employed by his stepfather's business for a brief period. He subsequently joined Creative Management Associates as an agent in 1963 and worked under Freddie Fields. Among Ladd's clients were Robert Redford and Judy Garland.[1][6] His paternal half-brother is actor and producer David Ladd.[citation needed]

CareerEdit

Ladd relocated to London at the end of the 1960s to work as an independent producer.[1] There, he established a film venture with Jay Kanter and Jerry Gershwin.[7] Ladd made nine films during his sojourn there, including The Walking Stick,[8] A Severed Head,[9] Villain,[8] The Nightcomers, and Zee and Co..[9][10] He eventually returned to the United States in 1973 to become vice president of creative affairs at 20th Century Fox. Three years later, he was promoted from worldwide production head to president of Fox's film division.[1]

Ladd came to Fox President Gordon Stulberg to request consideration for making George Lucas's Star Wars. Stulberg approved the production, and the two men remained as Lucas's support at times when the board of directors of 20th Century Fox wished to shut down production. The production was plagued by location difficulties, story problems, and budgetary disagreements for a project that was mainly considered a risk to the studio. However, when Ladd saw the audience's rapturous appreciation of the film at its first public screening at the Northpoint Theatre in San Francisco in early May 1977, he was moved to joyful tears at seeing the unlikely production he and Stulberg had supported against all odds.[11] Star Wars was a massive and critically hailed hit upon release, becoming, up to that point, the highest-grossing film of all time, and spawned an extensive media franchise that includes many other films as well as television, radio, video game and print media.[12]

Star Wars and Alien were a few of the films produced during Ladd's tenure. However, he stepped down and left Fox in 1979 after falling out with Fox chairman Dennis Stanfill.[6] Ladd founded his own production company, The Ladd Company, with Kanter and Gareth Wigan.[1] The company produced Chariots of Fire, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1982.[13][14] Other productions included Outland (1981),[15] Night Shift, Blade Runner (both 1982), The Right Stuff (1983),[1] Police Academy (1984), and Gone Baby Gone (2007).[8]

Ladd joined MGM/UA in 1985, eventually becoming Chairman and CEO of MGM-Pathé Communications. During his tenure, MGM/UA produced Moonstruck (1987), A Fish Called Wanda (1988), and Thelma & Louise (1991).[6] After being unceremoniously dismissed by Credit Lyonnais (who administered MGM after a loan default),[6] he proceeded to reform the Ladd Company with Paramount Pictures in 1993.[1] He produced The Brady Bunch Movie and Braveheart,[8] one of the two projects he was permitted to take with him after leaving MGM.[6] The latter film won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1995, with Ladd receiving the award as one of the film's three producers.[1][16] He later received the 2,348th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 28, 2007.[17]

Personal life and deathEdit

Ladd married his first wife Patricia Ann Beazley in September 1959. They met while studying at the University of Southern California together.[18][19] They had three children, Kelliann, Tracy and Amanda, but divorced in 1983.[5] Ladd married his second wife Cindra Pincock in 1985.[2] They had one child, Chelsea,[5] who predeceased him in March 2021.[2] Ladd and Pincock separated in March 2015[20] and later divorced.[5]

Ladd died of kidney failure at his home in Los Angeles on March 2, 2022, at the age of 84.[13][21]

FilmographyEdit

Ladd was a producer of all films unless otherwise noted.
Year Film Credit Notes
1970 The Walking Stick[8][9]
Tam-Lin[9][10]
A Severed Head[8][10]
1971 Villain[8][10]
The Nightcomers[10][22] Executive producer
Uncredited
1972 Zee and Co.[8][9]
Fear Is the Key[8][10]
1984 Police Academy[22] Executive producer
Uncredited
1988 Vice Versa[9][23] Executive producer
1990 Death Warrant[24]
Uncredited
1995 The Brady Bunch Movie[8][9] Executive producer
Braveheart[8][10]
1996 The Phantom[8][10]
A Very Brady Sequel[8][10]
1998 The Man in the Iron Mask[8][9] Executive producer
2005 An Unfinished Life[8][10]
2007 Gone Baby Gone[8][10]
2022 Elvis
Dedicated to his memory

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k McLellan, Dennis (March 2, 2022). "Alan Ladd Jr. dies; Oscar-winning producer and studio boss greenlighted 'Star Wars'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e Barnes, Mike (March 2, 2022). "Alan Ladd Jr., 'Star Wars' Savior and Oscar Winner for 'Braveheart,' Dies at 84". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  3. ^ Frasier, David K. (September 11, 2015). Suicide in the Entertainment Industry: An Encyclopedia of 840 Twentieth Century Cases. McFarland. p. 176. ISBN 978-1-4766-0807-5.
  4. ^ Roberts, Jerry (November 20, 2012). The Hollywood Scandal Almanac: 12 Months of Sinister, Salacious and Senseless History. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-1-61423-786-0.
  5. ^ a b c d Genzlinger, Neil (March 3, 2022). "Alan Ladd Jr., Hitmaking Film Executive, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e Coyle, Jake (March 2, 2022). "Oscar-winning producer Alan Ladd Jr. dies at 84". Associated Press. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  7. ^ Sharp, Kathleen (January 1, 2013). Mr. & Mrs. Hollywood: Edie and Lew Wasserman and Their Entertainment Empire. Blackstone Publishing. ISBN 978-1-62064-774-5.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Alan Ladd Jr". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Alan Ladd Jr". British Film Institute. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Alan Ladd Jr". American Film Institute. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  11. ^ Jenkins, Garry (1997). Empire Building: The Remarkable Real-Life Story of Star Wars. Simon & Schuster. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-806-52087-2.
  12. ^ Gray, Tim (August 12, 2016). "Alan Ladd Jr. Documentary Proves There's Life Beyond the Original 'Star Wars'". Variety.
  13. ^ a b Pedersen, Erik (March 2, 2022). "Alan Ladd Jr. Dies: Oscar-Winning 'Braveheart' Producer, 'Star Wars' Shepherd & Former Exec At Fox, MGM/UA Was 84". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  14. ^ "The 54th Academy Awards – 1982". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  15. ^ Guillaud, Julie (March 3, 2022). "Le producteur Alan Ladd Jr., père de la saga Star Wars, est décédé à 84 ans". Le Figaro. Paris. Retrieved March 3, 2022. (in French)
  16. ^ "The 68th Academy Awards – 1996". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  17. ^ "Alan Ladd, Jr". Hollywood Walk of Fame. October 25, 2019. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  18. ^ "Actor's Son to Marry". The Morning News. Wilmington, Delaware. August 27, 1959. p. 23. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  19. ^ Danzig, Fred (August 27, 1959). "This Show Played Hookey". The Bakersfield Californian. p. 47. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  20. ^ "'Braveheart' Producer Files for Divorce From Bill Cosby Accuser". TMZ. October 22, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  21. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (March 3, 2022). "Alan Ladd Jr., Hitmaking Film Executive, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  22. ^ a b "Alan Ladd Jr. List of Movies and TV Shows". TV Guide. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  23. ^ "Alan Ladd Jr. – Filmography". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  24. ^ "Alan Ladd, Jr.: "The basic rule is, if you don't have good material, you don't have a good movie"". Film Talk. October 26, 2017. Retrieved March 3, 2022.

External linksEdit