Monday, January 05, 2009

Studio chief, producer Ned Tanen dies at 77

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Ned Tanen, the former president of Universal Pictures who championed such filmmakers as George Lucas and John Hughes, died Monday of natural causes at his home in Santa Monica. He was 77.

Tanen ran Universal from 1976 to 1982. He presided over two record box office years: 1980 and 1982, which included "On Golden Pond," "Coal Miner's Daughter," "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial."

He resigned from Universal in December 1982 amid the success of "E.T." Citing "burnout," he told the Wall Street Journal he was tired of playing the "Hollywood game."

But Tanen couldn't leave the film business that easily. He took on producing roles in three "Brat Pack" films: Hughes' "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles," and Joel Schumacher's "St. Elmo's Fire."

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