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Mark Canton

Mark Canton

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: June 19, 1949 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: executive, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Youthful studio executive who worked his way up from the proverbially mail room to executive production positions at Warner Bros. in the 1980s where he played a central role in the greenlighting of such socially and racially relevant films as "New Jack City" (1991) and Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" (1992). Noted for his ability to make rapid decisions and his creative relationships with such Hollywood talent as Barbra Streisand, Richard Donner, Tim Burton and James Brooks, Canton left his position as executive vice president of worldwide motion picture production at Warner Bros. in 1991 to join his former colleague, Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Peter Guber, as president of Columbia Pictures with an agenda to accelerate the number of projects. After nearly five years at the helm, Canton resigned from Columbia in September 1996.

Youthful studio executive who worked his way up from the proverbially mail room to executive production positions at Warner Bros. in the 1980s where he played a central role in the greenlighting of such socially and racially relevant films as "New Jack City" (1991) and Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" (1992). Noted for his ability to make rapid decisions and his creative relationships with such Hollywood talent as Barbra Streisand, Richard Donner, Tim Burton and James Brooks, Canton left his position as executive vice president of worldwide motion picture production at Warner Bros. in 1991 to join his former colleague, Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Peter Guber, as president of Columbia Pictures with an agenda to accelerate the number of projects. After nearly five years at the helm, Canton resigned from Columbia in September 1996.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Hello, He Lied (2002) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Bayside in Queens, New York; family also owned apartment in Manhattan and beach house in Westhampton, Long Island
:
Worked in Warner Bros. mail room while a student at UCLA
1973:
Became assistant to director-producer Franklin Schaffner on "Papillon"
:
Began professional career as assistant to Mike Medavoy when he was president of production at UA (earning $117.80 per week)
1978:
Joined MGM as vice president, motion picture development
1979:
Became executive vice president, Jon Peters Organization
1980:
Joined Warner Bros. as vice president of production
1983:
Appointed senior vice president of production, Warner Bros.
1985:
Promoted to president, worldwide theatrical production
1989:
Appointed vice president, worldwide motion picture production, Warner Bros.
:
Named executive vice president, worldwide motion picture production, Warner Bros.
1991:
Warner Bros. announced Canton would leave the company by mutual agreement (September)
1991:
Appointed chairman of Columbia Pictures replacing Frank Price (October 4)
1996:
Resigned as chairman of Columbia Pictures (September 13)
1997:
Signed exclusive three-year production deal with Warner Bros.
1997:
Formed The Canton Co., an independent production company
:
Served as one of the producers of "Jack & Jill" (The WB)
2002:
Joined Artists Production Group (APG) as a partner; also served as chair and CEO
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of California at Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -
P S 169: Bayside , New York -

Notes

"There are two extraordinary things about Mark [Canton]. The first is his self-confidence. The second is that it is warranted." --James Brooks (VANITY FAIR, December 1991)

"I want to stay socially relevant. People's convictions matter to me. I want to make distinct films, special and distinct. . . . I'm not slow-moving. I'm not going to come in walking, but I won't drive the car off the road, either." --Mark Canton on his appointment as the president of Columbia Pictures (THE NEW YORK TIMES, October 4, 1991)

"I want us to be a studio that is responsible for the world we live in but that is audience-driven. We are not the audience, and money is important to the audience. I want them to get real value for their money. When they go to see a Columbia picture, I want them to [get] diverse entertainment that has meaning." --Mark Canton (quoted in THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, October 4, 1991)

"Canton, quintessentially 'new Hollywood'--cool, trendy, plugged-in. His style is low-key, his clothes, modish Italian, his jargon Melrose hip. At Warners, when Peter Guber, then a producer, needed something to happen, he usually went to Canton, who know how to get it done." --Peter Bart (VARIETY, September 30, 1991)

"Thanks to Peter Guber, Canton is now poised to take the wheel himself. Ever since Jon Peters, Guber's former producing partner . . . opted out of his job as co-chairman of Columbia Pictures Entertainment (now Sony Pictures) to go back into independent production, Guber has been in need of a partner who can create sparks with him. Guber is corporately a co-dependent, to utilize the trendy Hollywood babble, and Mark Canton is the new Jon Peters, a role Canton has been groomed for ever since he ran the Jon Peters Organization fifteen years ago." --Kevin Sessums (VANITY FAIR, December 1991)

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Wendy Finerman. Producer. Heads her own production company; had a production deal with Columbia Pictures but with her husband's appointment to presidency of studio, moved to Tri-Star; graduated from Wharton School; hired as financial analyst for Warner's Movie Channel at age 21; later worked at Steve Tisch's production company; received the National Board of Review Best Picture Award for "Forrest Gump" (1994), shared award with "Pulp Fiction" (1994); also received the Golden Globe award for Best Dramatic Picture for "Gump"; married c. 1985; Finerman filed for divorce in 1997.
companion:
Aimee Peyronnet.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Arthur Canton. Publicist, producer, film importer. Worked as publicity aide to filmmakers Alfred Hitchcock and Sam Spiegel; his Canton-Weiner Films made the 1949 Oscar winning short "Van Gogh"; later worked as publicity executive with MGM, Blowitz, Thomas & Canton Inc (1964-), Warners, Columbia.
mother:
Shirley Canton. Died May 1996.
brother:
Neil Canton. Producer. Older; produced "Back to the Future" films.
daughter:
Dorothy Canton. Born c. 1989.
son:
Henry Canton. Born c. July 1991.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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