PROFILE
Name:
Brian Grazer
Birth Date:
July 12, 1951
Birth Place:
Los Angeles, California, USA
Height:
5' 7" (1.70 m)
Nationality:
American
Famous for:
Oscar-nominated producer of 'Splash' (1984)
BIOGRAPHY
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Brian Grazer_090512
Producer of A Beautiful Mind

Background:

“I only make movies that are interesting to me.” Brian Grazer

American film and television producer Brian Grazer is well associated as the propelling producing partner of director Ron Howard. Through Imagine Entertainment, the production company Grazer and Howard started in 1986, Grazer have produced successful television show like “From the Earth to the Moon” (HBO, 1998), “24” (Fox, 2001-2010), “Arrested Development” (Fox, 2003-2003) and “Curious George” (PBS, 2006-?) and notable films such as “Parenthood” (1989), “Kindergarten Cop” (1990), “Backdraft” (1991), “Apollo13” (1995), “The Nutty Professor” (1996), “Liar Liar” (1997),“A Beautiful Mind” (2001), “Friday Night Lights” (2004), “The Da Vinci Code” (2006), “Frost/Nixon” (2008) and “J. Edgar” (2011). Active since 1978, the former story reader and talent agent picked up an Academy Award for Best Picture for “A Beautiful Mind” as well as nominations in the same category for “Apollo 13” and “Frost/Nixon,” in addition to one nomination for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for “Splash” (1984). He took home an Emmy Award for “From the Earth to the Moon,” “Arrested Development” and “24” each and two Daytime Emmy Awards for “Curious George.” Grazer also has won AFI Film Awards, PGA Awards and Monte-Carlo TV Festival Awards. He was handed the ShoWest Award for Producer of the Year in 1992,  the PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Motion Pictures and the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Life Career Award both in 2001, the ShoWest Convention Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 and the PGA Milestone Award in 2009. In 1997, Grazer was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to motion picture. He was ranked No. 19 on the Premiere 2006 annual list of Hollywood Power 50 and No. 11 on EW's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood of 2007.

Currently, Grazer lives in Santa Monica, California. He has been married and divorced three times. He is the father of four. Grazer was a surfur before he became a producer.   


L.A. Boy

Childhood and Family:

Brian Thomas Grazer was born on July 12, 1951, in Los Angeles, California, to Thomas Grazer, a criminal lawyer, and  Arlene Grazer. He was raised in the San Fernando Valley's Sherman Oaks and Northridge, along with his younger siblings Nora Beth Grazer (born 1952) and Gavin V Grazer (born 1956). Brian received a scholarship and attended the University of Southern California as a psychology major. After graduating, he spent one year at law school before quitting to take a job at Warner Bros.

Brian has been married three times. He married first wife Theresa Mckay-Roberts from March 16, 1972 until they divorced on July 6, 1979. His second married to Corki Grazer lasted from May 23, 1982 to June 2, 1992. The couple have one son, Riley Grazer (born 1986), and one daughter, Sage Grazer (born 1988). On September 20, 1997, Brian married Gigi Levangie, who wrote the novel “The Starter Wife.” They welcomed their first child, son Thomas Costa Grazer, on November 15, 1999 and a second son, Patrick Grazer, followed later in 2004. In 2006, Levangie filed for legal separation, but the couple later reconciled. Brian and his wife eventually divorced on May 21, 2009.


24

Career:

Starting out as a legal intern at Warner Bros., Brian Grazer joined the production company of  Edgar J. Scherick in the late 1970s, from which he got his early television production credits with the made for television movies “Zuma Beach” (NBC, 1978), a teen comedy about a weakening rock star (played by Suzanne Somers) attempting to forget her faltering career, and “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery” (NBC, 1978), a drama about a paraplegic's wife who is allowed to have an extramarital affair. While executive producing television pilots for Paramount Pictures, Grazer met Ron Howard, and he next produced Howard's first film, “Night Shift” (1982), a comedy starring Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton and Shelley Long. The film earned generally good reviews from critics. Two years later, he reunited with Howard for the 1984 comedy/fantasy film “Splash,” which Grazer produced and   co-wrote. The film brought him an Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, sharing with Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel and Bruce Jay Friedman. Starring Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, John Candy, Eugene Levy, and Dody Goodman, “Splash” was a big commercial success. It grossed $69,821,334 against a budget of $8 million and became the tenth highest grossing film of 1984. In the following year, Grazer received first television story credit for the premiere episode of ABC's “Shadow Chasers,” which he also created and executive produced.

Grazer produced “Real Genius” (1985), a positively reviewed satirical comedy directed by Martha Coolidge and starring Val Kilmer and Gabriel Jarret, and “Spies Like Us” (1986), which was directed by John Landis and starred Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd. He produced and provided the story for the 1986 comedy film “Armed and Dangerous,” which was helmed by Mark L. Lester and starred John Candy, Meg Ryan and Eugene Levy.  In 1986, Grazer joined forced with Howard to establish Imagine Films Entertainment, and he served as the company's co-chair and CEO. The company went on to become one of the most productive and successful production companies in Hollywood.    

In 1987, Grazer released first film under the banner of Imagine production, “Like Father Like Son,” a remake of the 1976 classic Disney film “Freaky Friday.” After executive produced television show “Smart Guys” and TV movies “Poison” and “Mutts” (all 1988), he produced the Ron Howard directed comedy/drama “Parenthood” (1989), starring an ensemble cast that included Steve Martin, Dianne Wiest, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Robards, Rick Moranis, Tom Hulce, Martha Plimpton, Keanu Reeves, Harley Kozak, Eileen Ryan, Joaquin Phoenix and Dennis Dugan. The film received positive reviews from critics, and was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Wiest) and Best Music, Original Song (Randy Newman). The film opened at No. 1 in its opening weekend with over $ 10 million and finally grossed over $126 million worldwide.            

Grazer executive produced “Cry-Baby” (1990), a teen musical comedy helmed and written by John Waters and starring Johnny Depp as 1950s teen rebel “Cry-Baby” Wade Walker, and produced the Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy vehicle “Kindergarten Cop” (1990), which, despite the mixed reviews, was a success at the box office. The same year, he also executive produced the short lived television series adaptation of “Parenthood” (NBC).  The next year saw Grazer executive produce the Oliver Stone directed biopic “The Doors,” Radha Bharadwaj's drama/thriller “Closet Land” and the critically and commercially successful action/crime movie “Backdraft” (directed by Ron Howard and starred Kurt Russell, William Baldwin and Robert De Niro) as well as produce the Howard Zieff helmed family film “My Girl” (starred Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin).

Grazer and Howard produced the epic “Far and Away” (1992), which was directed by Howard from a script by Howard and Bob Dolman, and starred Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. The film earned negative reviews, and scored over $137 million worldwide. He also produced the Frank Oz helmed “HouseSitter” (1992, starred Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn), where he also received story story credit, and the Eddie Murphy comedy vehicle “Boomerang” (1992, directed by Reginald Hudlin). In 1992, Grazer declared that he and Howard were leaving Imagine for a joint venture with Universal. However, in the following year, the two negotiated a buy back of outstanding stock of Imagine Entertainment and returned the company to privately held hands. Grazer continued to lend his producing talents to Tamra Davis's “CB4” (1993, starred Chris Rock), Barry Sonnenfeld's “For Love or Money” (1993, starred Michael J. Fox and Gabrielle Anwar), “My Girl 2” (1994), Jonathan Lynn's “Greedy” (1994, starred Michael J. Fox, Kirk Douglas and Nancy Travis), Ron Howard's “The Paper” (1994, starred Michael Keaton, Glenn Close and Robert Duvall) and Gregg Champion's “The Cowboy Way” (1994, starred Woody Harrelson, Kiefer Sutherland and Dylan McDermott).

In 1995, Grazer produced the Ron Howard directed drama “Apollo 13,” which was adapted from the book “Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13” by astronaut Jim Lovell (the story's protagonist) and Jeffrey Kluger. Starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Kathleen Quinlan and Ed Harris, the film gained critical praise and was nominated for many awards, with nine Academy Awards including Best Picture, and won two Oscars for Best Film Editing and Best Sound. The film also was a financial success, making over $355 million worldwide against a budget of $52 million. Apart from Oscar nomination, Grazer also won a PGA for Motion Picture Producer of the Year for his work on the film.

Grazer enjoyed another box office success in the following year with “The Nutty Professor,” a remake of the 1963 film of the same name. Directed by Tom Shadyac and starring Eddy Murphy, the film was produced on a budget of $54 million and grossed $273,961,019 worldwide. The same year, he also produced “Sgt. Bilko,” “Fear,” “The Chamber” and the Ron Howard helmed remake “Ransom” (starred Mel Gibson, Gary Sinise and Rene Russo). In 1997, Grazer returned as the producer of the smash hit “Liar Liar,” a family comedy film written by Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur, directed by Tom Shadyac and starring Jim Carrey. The film made $181,410,615 in the domestic market and $121,300,000 elsewhere for a total of $302,710,615. The budget of the film was $45 million. Grazer and Howard produced the romance film “Inventing the Abbotts” (1997), which was directed by Pat O'Connor and starred Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Crudup, Liv Tyler, and Jennifer Connelly.

In 1998, Grazer executive produced The WB's series “Felicity” and the ABC sitcom “Sports Night,” from which he received a PGA nomination for Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic. Still in that same year, he collaborated with Ron Howard and Tom Hanks to produce the HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon,” where he jointly netted an Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries and a PGA for Television Producer of the Year Award in Longform for his efforts. On the film front, Grazer produced “Mercury Rising” and “Psycho.” In 1999, Grazer again collaborated with Eddy Murphy on “Life,” from which he received a Black Reel nomination for Best Film, and “Bowfinger.” He served as an executive producer on the animated series “The PJs” (Fox, 1999-2000; WB, 2000-2001), which earned him a 1999 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less).

Entering the new millennium, Grazer executive television series “Wonderland” (2000), directed by Peter Berg, as well as produced the sequel “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps” (2000, starred Eddie Murphy) and the live-action feature adaption of Dr. Seuss' “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000), which was directed by Ron Howard and starred Jim Carrey. In 2001, he executive produced the ABC summer series “The Beast” and the Fox political thriller series “24,” which would run for eight seasons until May 2010. The latter series brought Grazer a 2006 Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, not to mention four additional nominations in the same category, as well as a 2003 PGA for Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Drama and a Golden Nymph for Best International Producer at the 2006 Monte-Carlo TV Festival.  

Grazer scored further victory on the big screen when he produced the biopic “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. Directed by Howard and starring Russell Crowe as the title character, the film grossed $313,542,341 worldwide and won four Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Jennifer Connelly), Best Director, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published (Akiva Goldsman) and Best Picture (Grazer and Howard). Adding to his Oscar, Grazer picked up a BAFTA Film nomination for Best Film and an AFI nomination for Best Foreign Film Award for his work.         

Grazer continued to produce such films as “Undercover Brother” (2002), “Blue Crush” (2002), “8 Mile” (2002), a hip hop drama directed by Curtis Hanson and starring rapper Eminem, “Intolerable Cruelty” (2003), “Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat” (2003, starred Mike Myers) and “The Missing” (2003) as well as executive    produce the TV films “The Break” and “The Snobs” (both 2003) and NBC's short lived series “Miss Match” (2003), starring Alicia Silverstone and Ryan O'Neal. He enjoyed another success on television with the Fox sitcom “Arrested Development,” which ran for three seasons from November 2, 2003  to February 10, 2006. As an executive producer, Grazer shared a 2004 Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series and two additional nominations in the same category. The show also brought him Monte-Carlo TV Festival's Golden Nymph for Outstanding Producer of the Year – Comedy and two PGA nominations for Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic-Comedy.

In 2004, Grazer produced the football drama film “Friday Night Lights,” directed by Peter Berg and starring Billy Bob Thornton. It received broad positive reviews and grossed $61,950,770 at the box office (against a budget of $30 million). He also executive produced the television series version of the film, which premiered on NBC on October 3, 2006. He received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series in 2011 for the series.

Grazer co-produced (with Ron Howard and Penny Marshall) the Ron Howard helmed “Cinderella Man” (2005), starring Russell Crowe, and produced the documentary “Inside Deep Throat” (2005), written and directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, and the Spike Lee crime/drama film “Inside Man” (2006), starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Willem Dafoe and Jodie Foster. The latter film garnered him an AFI Film for Movie of the Year, a Black Movie nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture and a Black Reel nomination for Best Film. Grazer also produced the feature adaption of “The Da Vinci Code” (2006, directed by Howard and starred Tom Hanks), “American Gangster” (2007, directed by Ridley Scott) and “Changeling” (2007, directed by Clint Eastwood) as well as  executive produced the TV movie “24: Redemption” (Fox, 2008) and the CBS legal drama series “Shark” (2006-2008), starring James Woods. Additionally, he was one of executive producers on the PBS animated series “Curious George” (2006-?), based on the “Curious George” children's book series, which features Jeff Bennett as the voice of The Man with the Yellow Hat. The show earned him two  Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children's Animated Program in 2008 and 2010.   

In 2008, Grazer co-produced the big screen adaptation of Peter Morgan’s play “Frost/Nixon,” helmed by Ron Howard and starring Frank Langella and Michael Sheen. The film received five Oscar nominations, including Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Director and Best Actor. He next produced “Angels & Demons” (2009), the Ron Howard-directed sequel to “The Da Vinci Code” that once again starred Hanks, an adaptation of “Robin Hood” (2010, directed by Ridley Scott and starred Russell Crowe), “The Dilemma” (2011, directed by Ron Howard and starred Vince Vaughn, Kevin James and Winona Ryder), “Restless” (2011, directed by Gus Van Sant),  “Cowboys and Aliens” (2011, directed by Jon Favreau and starred Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde), “Tower Heist” (2011, directed by Brett Ratner and starred Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller and Casey Affleck) and “J. Edgar” (2011), a biographical drama directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Leonardo DiCaprio that brought the producer an AFI Film Award in the category of AFI Movie of the Year. On the small screen, Grazer executive produced “Lie to Me” (Fox, 2009-2011), “Friends with Benefits” (NBC, 2011) and an updated TV series version of the 1989 film “Parenthood” (NBC, 2010-2012). In 2012, he co-produced the “84th Annual Academy Awards” telecast.

Grazer is the producer of the “Katy Perry: Part of Me” documentary, which was released in the Unites States on July 5, 2012. He has signed on to produce upcoming films like “Rush” (2013), “Sick Day” (2013), “Arabian Nights” (2014), “The Lost Symbol” and the film versions of “ Arrested Development” and “24.” He is also set to producer the made for TV films “Harve Karbo”  (2012), “Susan 313” (2012) and “How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life” (2012) and the series “The Great Escape” (2012).  
    

Awards:

AFI Film: AFI Movie of the Year, “J. Edgar,” 2011
Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Children's Animated Program, “Curious George,” 2010
PGA: Milestone Award, 2009
Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Children's Animated Program, “Curious George,” 2008
AFI Film: AFI Movie of the Year, “Frost/Nixon,” 2008
AFI Film: AFI Movie of the Year, “Inside Man,” 2006
Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series, “24”, 2006
Monte-Carlo TV Festival: Golden Nymph, Best International Producer, “24,” 2006
Monte-Carlo TV Festival: Golden Nymph, Outstanding Producer of the Year – Comedy, “Arrested Development,” 2005
Emmy: Outstanding Comedy Series, “Arrested Development,” 2004
PGA: Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Drama, “24,” 2003
ShoWest Convention: Lifetime Achievement Award, 2003
Academy Award: Best Picture, “A Beautiful Mind,” 2002
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Life Career Award, 2001
PGA: Lifetime Achievement Award in Motion Pictures, 2001
PGA: Television Producer of the Year Award in Longform, “From the Earth to the Moon,” 1999
Emmy: Outstanding Miniseries, “From the Earth to the Moon,” 1998
PGA: Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award, “Apollo 13,” 1996
ShoWest Convention: ShoWest Award, Producer of the Year, 1992
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