The Oscar winning producer died on Friday (Jul 13) from a heart attack. He was 77.

Zanuck was born on Dec 13 1934 in Los Angeles to producer Darryl F Zanuck and actress Virginia Fox. After graduating from Stanford University and completing his military service he joined his father as a production assistant on Island In The Sun and The Sun Also Rises for Twentieth Century Fox.

At 24 he produced his first solo project Compulsion starring Orson Welles and produced two more films before being named president of production at Fox at the age of 28.

His tenure inspired a remarkable run of films at the studio that included The Sound Of Music, Patton, The French Connection, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and Planet Of The Apes, among others.

After Fox he moved to Warner Bros to become senior evp where he worked on such films as The Exorcist and Blazing Saddles with his future business partner David Brown.

The pair launched the Zanuck/Brown Company in 1971 and produced a roster of acclaimed films that included Jaws, The Sting, The Verdict and Steven Spielberg’s feature debut The Sugerland Express.

Zanuck and Brown shared the Academy’s Irving G Thalberg Memorial Award in 1991 for “consistently high quality of motion picture production.” Darryl F Zanuck had previously won the award.

In 1988 Zanuck and his wife Lili Fini Zanuck founded The Zanuck Company and in 1990 they won the best picture Oscar for Driving Miss Daisy. Zanuck previously shared best picture nominations with Brown for The Verdict and Jaws.

His more recent credits include Dark Shadows, the latest in a long line of Tim Burton collaborations, as well as True Crime, Deep Impact and Road To Perdition, produced with his son Dean.

Zanuck is survived by his wife Lili Fini Zanuck, sons Harrison and Dean, daughters Virginia and Janet, nine grandchildren and sister Darrylin.