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Scott Rudin

Scott Rudin

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Also Known As: Scott D. Rudin Died:
Born: July 14, 1958 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: Producer ... producer executive casting director production assistant
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BIOGRAPHY

A leading producer of diverse Hollywood features and Broadway productions, Scott Rudin was seen as a show business wunderkind when he was named President of Production at 20th Century Fox at the age of 27. Rudin went on to spend nearly a decade producing steady box office hits for Paramount Pictures, earning as much of a reputation for delivering high quality dramas, comedies and thrillers, as for his notoriously quick temper and revolving door of employees. Shortly after settling into a deal with Disney in 2004, Rudin hit a career high mark when the Coen Brothers' "No Country for Old Men" (2007) - which he had produced - and Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will be Blood" (2007) -which he had executive produced - were both nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture. Along with the Coen Brothers, he would win Best Picture for "No Country for Old Men."

Scott Rudin was born in New York City, NY, on July 14, 1958, and raised in the town of Baldwin on Long Island. At the age of 15, he landed a job as an assistant to the legendary theater producer Kermit Bloomgarten and went on to work for producers Robert Whitehead and Emanuel Azenberg. With one foot already firmly planted in the career of his choice, Rudin eschewed college and went right to work as a casting agent, eventually running his own firm and casting such Broadway shows as "Pippin" (1972) for Stuart Ostrow and Bob Fosse, and "Annie" (1977) for producer Mike Nichols. In addition, he cast several New York-produced films like "King of the Gypsies" (1978) and "The Wanderers" (1979).

In 1980, Rudin accepted a producing offer with Edgar J. Scherick Associates and moved to Los Angeles, CA, where he served as producer on feature dramas including "I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can" (1981) starring Jill Clayburgh; the Gloria Vanderbilt biopic miniseries "Little Gloria ... Happy at Last" (NBC, 1982); and the Oscar-winning documentary "He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'" (1983). Following that string of successes, Rudin formed his own production company - Scott Rudin Productions - and helmed "Mrs. Soffel" (1984), Australian director Gillian Armstrong's turn-of-the century romantic drama which earned its star, Diane Keaton, a Golden Globe nomination.

Before long Rudin was wooed by 20th Century-Fox, where he briefly served as an executive producer before being promoted to President of Production in 1986. But by the following year, he resigned from the top job, reportedly to work on more independent films. Scott Rudin Productions was revived and struck a deal with Paramount, and over the next five years, Rudin was responsible for films by John Schlesinger ("Pacific Heights," 1990), Mike Nichols ("Regarding Henry" 1991), first-time director Jodie Foster ("Little Man Tate" 1991) and Barry Sonnenfeld ("The Addams Family" 1991). Rudin enjoyed a surprise comedy hit with "Sister Act" (1992) starring Whoopi Goldberg, but his other 1992 ventures - "White Sands" and "Jennifer 8" - were box office disappointments.

When Rudin's contract with Paramount expired in 1992, he did not renew; instead signing on with Tri-Star pictures, where he felt he would have more freedom to purchase and develop material. The news was seen as a boon to the studio, which was experiencing a flagging reputation and purported financial woes. Several more titles he had worked on at Paramount were released before his scheduled move to TriStar the following year, including the star-studded legal blockbuster "The Firm" (1993), and the critically acclaimed "Searching for Bobby Fischer" (1993), a sharply observed drama about a young chess prodigy.

Expanding into theatrical territory, Rudin entered into a partnership with Jujamcyn Theaters to develop and produce new work; his first effort, a co-production with Stuart Ostrow and Jujamcyn Theaters, of the unsuccessful pre-Broadway production "Face Value." The misstep was quickly forgotten the following year when Rudin won a Best Musical Tony Award for his production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's "Passion." When the summer of 1994 rolled around and Rudin was scheduled to relocate to TriStar, it was announced that the producer had delayed the move for another year. Subsequently, still with Paramount, Rudin oversaw production of the romantic comedy "I.Q." (1994) and the Paul Newman vehicle "Nobody's Fool" (1994), as well as the hit "Clueless" (1995), which made a star of Alicia Silverstone and reinvigorated the teen feature market. The same year, he helmed Sydney Pollack's remake of "Sabrina" (1995) and on Broadway, scored again as a producer on Kathleen Turner's "Indiscretion" and Ralph Fiennes' New York theatre debut, "Hamlet." In 1996, Rudin was involved with producing the revival of the Sondheim-Larry Gelbart musical, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," starring Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella and Mark Linn-Baker.

Still working with Paramount, Rudin produced the Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton comedy, "The First Wives Club;" the Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro drama "Marvin's Room;" Albert Brooks' "Mother;" and the Ron Howard thriller, "Ransom" in 1996. He also diversified into television, serving as producer on the series inspired by "Clueless" (ABC, 1996-99). In 1997 Rudin - openly gay himself - scored another big comedy hit with "In & Out, starring Kevin Kline. The following year, he put together the BAFTA Best Picture nominee "The Truman Show" and "A Civil Action."

Over the next several years, Rudin's name was attached to such critically-acclaimed and diverse fare as "Sleepy Hollow" (1999), "Wonder Boys" (2000), "Zoolander" (2001), "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001), "Iris" (2001) and "The Hours" (2002) - the latter of which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. In 2004 - prompted by the resignation of Paramount chairwoman Sherry Lansing and studio president Johnathan Dolgen - Rudin decided to finally leave the studio (he had never actually hung his shingle at TriStar), opting for a first-look deal with Disney. The deal would offer him the chance to release films under any of the Mouse's four labels, including Miramax, which appealed to Rudin's taste in art films.

Following a successful run of a Rudin-produced revival of "Fiddler on the Roof," he produced his first Disney projects including "M. Night Shyalaman's The Village" (2004); quirky comedies like "I Heart Huckabees" (2004) and "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" (2004); the family film "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" (2004); as well as British dramas "The Queen" (2006) and "Notes on a Scandal" (2006). Rudin hit a career high mark and fulfilled his desire to bring more art house fare into the mainstream the following year, producing two Oscar Best Picture nominees - one with the Coen Brothers' "No Country for Old Men" and the other, with Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will Be Blood." Along with the Coen Brothers, he would take home the Best Picture Oscar for "No Country for Old Men."

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