- Associated Press - Saturday, July 14, 2012

Celebrities share their reactions to the death Friday of Oscar-winning producer Richard Zanuck:

_ “In 1974, Dick Zanuck and I sat in a boat off Martha’s Vineyard and watched the mechanical shark sink to the bottom of the sea. Dick turned to me and smiled. `Gee, I sure hope that’s not a sign.’ That moment forged a bond between us that lasted nearly 40 years. He taught me everything I know about producing. He was one of the most honorable and loyal men of our profession and he fought tooth and nail for his directors. Dick Zanuck was a cornerstone of our industry, both in name and in deed.” _ Steven Spielberg, whose films “Jaws” and “The Sugarland Express” Zanuck produced.

_ “I’m stunned! Richard was a good and longtime friend. A very fine producer who was wonderful to work for and with.” _ Morgan Freeman, star of 1989’s “Driving Miss Daisy,” which earned Zanuck a best-picture Oscar.

_ “Dick was a legend in the industry and a true pleasure to work with, making his passing a true loss. His gut feelings for the art of cinema matched his brains for the business. He is already missed.” _ Tom Hanks, who starred in “Road to Perdition” and other Zanuck films.

_ “The tragic loss of this great legend, this warrior, is too shocking for words. He was family. He was the first producer that I ever experienced actually producing. He would shield the filmmaker from all unnecessary distractions and delicately build an actor’s confidence on a daily basis. An incredibly strong and vital force on and off set, with a genuine kindness toward everyone, regardless of their position. He was the last of a breed. My condolences to his dear wife, Lili, whom he adored, and to his family, who meant the world to him. You will forever be in our thoughts, Dear Richard.” _ Johnny Depp, star of the Zanuck-produced “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in 2005 and “Dark Shadows” in 2012.

_ “The great Richard Zanuck. A filmmaking force I assumed would go on forever. His leadership on “Cocoon” made a huge difference He’ll be missed.” _ Ron Howard, director of “Cocoon.”

_ “Richard Zanuck was a long-standing member of the Warner Bros. family and an extraordinary producer. His body of work includes some of the best loved films of all time, including our own `Driving Miss Daisy’ … He was a good friend and will always be remembered as a true gentleman who strove for and achieved excellence throughout his career.” _ Barry Meyer, Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros.

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