Veteran Hollywood executive Richard D. Zanuck, the prolific producer behind the blockbuster shark thriller "Jaws," the best-picture Oscar-winner "Driving Miss Daisy" and a string of Tim Burton fantasies, died on Friday of a heart attack at age 77.
Zanuck, son of famed 20th Century Fox chieftain Darryl F. Zanuck, who was named by his father at age 28 as Fox's head of production, making him Hollywood's then youngest-ever studio boss, died at his home in Beverly Hills, a spokesman said.
No further details were immediately available about the circumstances of his death.
Zanuck, who spent the bulk of his career as an independent producer, earned numerous awards during more than 50 years in filmmaking.
Among his accolades were the Academy Award he shared with his wife and collaborator, Lili Fini Zanuck, for their work on "Driving Miss Daisy," and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his work with longtime associate David Brown.
Steven Spielberg, with whom Zanuck collaborated on "Jaws," called the producer "a cornerstone of our industry, both in name and in deed."