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Paula Wagner

Paula Wagner

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Youngstown, Ohio, USA Profession: producer, actor, agent

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Formerly one of Hollywood's most successful talent agents, Paula Wagner went on to become one-half of a powerhouse producing duo, alongside her most famous client, Tom Cruise. Initially trained as an actress, Wagner transitioned to agent at Creative Artists Agency in the late 1970s. During her pioneering tenure at CAA as one of the industry's few female agents, she nurtured the careers of such talents as Robert Towne, Demi Moore, Val Kilmer, Oliver Stone, and most notably, Cruise. In 1993, she joined Cruise in forming the Paramount Pictures-based, Cruise/Wagner Productions, which went on to score such hits as "Mission: Impossible" (1996), "The Others" (2001) and "War of the Worlds" (2005), to name but a few. Together, she and Cruise garnered critical accolades, several awards, and literally billions of dollars in box office receipts. Following a rough patch, marked by several theatrical disappointments and Cruise's disintegrating pubic image, the pair became co-owners of United Artists after being let go by Paramount in 2006. The endeavor was short-lived, however, when unequivocal failures like "Valkyrie" (2008), soon led to Wagner's departure from UA and the forming of her own company, Chestnut...

Formerly one of Hollywood's most successful talent agents, Paula Wagner went on to become one-half of a powerhouse producing duo, alongside her most famous client, Tom Cruise. Initially trained as an actress, Wagner transitioned to agent at Creative Artists Agency in the late 1970s. During her pioneering tenure at CAA as one of the industry's few female agents, she nurtured the careers of such talents as Robert Towne, Demi Moore, Val Kilmer, Oliver Stone, and most notably, Cruise. In 1993, she joined Cruise in forming the Paramount Pictures-based, Cruise/Wagner Productions, which went on to score such hits as "Mission: Impossible" (1996), "The Others" (2001) and "War of the Worlds" (2005), to name but a few. Together, she and Cruise garnered critical accolades, several awards, and literally billions of dollars in box office receipts. Following a rough patch, marked by several theatrical disappointments and Cruise's disintegrating pubic image, the pair became co-owners of United Artists after being let go by Paramount in 2006. The endeavor was short-lived, however, when unequivocal failures like "Valkyrie" (2008), soon led to Wagner's departure from UA and the forming of her own company, Chestnut Ridge, as a solo producer. Preferring not to see herself as a woman in a man's Hollywood world, Wagner nonetheless employed traditionally feminine traits such as communicativeness and empathy to inarguable effect as one of the most formidable producers in the industry.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Loose Change (1978) Roxanne
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Acted with the Yale Repertory Company; on Broadway and Off-Broadway
:
Co-authored play, "Out of Our Fathers' House"
1977:
Migrated to Los Angeles
1978:
Had featured role in "Loose Change" miniseries (NBC)
1980:
Worked as agent at CAA for 12 years
1992:
Partnered with actor Tom Cruise to form Cruise/Wagner Productions
1996:
First feature under the Cruise/Wagner Production was the worldwide box office sensation "Mission: Impossible"
1998:
Produced the critically acclaimed "Without Limits" with writer/director Robert Towne
2000:
Produced the highly anticipated sequel, "Mission: Impossible 2"
2001:
Executive produced the Alejandro AmenĂ¡bar gothic sensation "The Others"
2002:
Executive producerd "Narc"
2003:
Executive produced Billy Ray's directorial debut, "Shattered Glass"
2006:
Produced the highly anticipated sequal, "Mission: Impossible III" marking J.J. Abrams' feature directorial debut
2006:
Re-teamed with long-time collaborator writer/director Robert Towne on "Ask the Dust," starring Colin Farrell
2006:
On August 22, 2006, Paramount Pictures announced it was ending its 14-year relationship with Cruise/Wagner Productions
2006:
Signed a two-year development deal for Cruise/Wagner Productions with an investment partnership headed by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder
2006:
Partnered with Tom Cruise and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to resurrect United Artists; will serve as chief executive
2008:
Left her job as chief executive of United Artists to produce projects independently
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Carnegie-Mellon University: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania -

Notes

Wagner co-wrote a play adaptation of the Eve Merriam book "Growing Up Female in America: Ten Lives". Wagner's play version is called "Out of Out Fathers' House".

Wagner on being a woman agent: "Your negotiating skills have to be more developed than a man's. You need to understand football, basketball and baseball terms, which are used a lot in this business." -- PEOPLE EXTRA, Spring, 1991

"If someone calls you 'honey' in passing, you have to realize that's just their way. Humor is the best way to deal with it. You don't want to alienate anyone, particularly in a business that's all about having good relationships with people." -- PEOPLE EXTRA, Spring, 1991.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Rick Nicita. Agent. Works at CAA.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Zachary Nicita.
son:
Jesse Nicita.

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