Pretty Woman producer dies in Los Angeles

By Jennifer Lipman, June 13, 2011

The producer of Pretty Woman and As Good As It Gets has died at the age of 61.

Laura Ziskin had fought a seven-year battle with cancer, during which time she was one of the founders of the charity Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) and helped raise £122m for research.

Ms Ziskin, who was born in California, enjoyed an enviable rise in Hollywood, going from personal assistant to the producer of the Brad Pitt film Fight Club and the four Spiderman films. Early in her career she worked with Barbra Streisand on A Star Is Born.

She also spent five years as president of the Fox 2000 studio and in 2002 became the first woman to produce the Academy Awards television broadcast, a feat she repeated in 2007.

She was given the Producers Guild of America's Visionary Award earlier this year in honour of her philanthropic efforts.

Her SU2C co-founder Sherry Lansing said: "She dreamed big, and attacked every challenge with creativity, passion, perseverance and intelligence."

Laura Ziskin is survived by her husband and daughter.

Last updated: 3:26pm, June 13 2011