'Spider-Man' Franchise Producer Laura Ziskin Passes Away at Age 61
Sad news starts off our week as Variety reports longtime producer Laura Ziskin succumbed to her battle with breast cancer over the weekend and passed away at the age of 61. Perhaps best known for producing Sam Raimi's Spider-Man franchise, Ziskin was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2004 while working on Spider-Man 2, but she battled the disease for seven years and continued to work as best she could. One wouldn't expect anything less from a woman who was part of a whole generation of women who climbed the ladder and fought gender bias to become Hollywood executives and producers in the 80's and 90's.
In addition to the Spider-Man franchise, Ziskin has also produced such hit films as Pretty Woman, As Good As It Gets and What About Bob? While heading up the Fox 2000 division at 20th Century Fox she oversaw the release of other films like Courage Under Fire, One FIne Day, Never Been Kissed, Fight Club and The Thin Red Line. In addition, Ziskin was recently honored by the Producers Guild of America with its Visionary Award. This is truly a sad loss for the industry, and our thoughts go out to Ziskin's family, friends and colleagues. If you'd like to honor Ziskin's memory, donations be made to Stand Up 2 Cancer through the org's website, standup2cancer.org. Rest in peace.