Darryl F. Zanuck

  • Birth Name: Darryl Francis Zanuck
  • Birth Place: Wahoo, Nebraska, United States
  • Died: December 22, 1979
  • Profession: Producer, Executive producer, Director
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Fast Facts

  • Made his film debut at age 8 as an extra in a silent western.
  • Abandoned by both of his parents when he was a teenager, he lied about his age and joined the Nebraska National Guard; served in France and Belgium during World War I.
  • Aspired to be a writer and in 1919 moved to L.A. to work in motion pictures.
  • In 1923, he was hired by Warner Bros. as a screenwriter for Rin Tin Tin; under a number of pseudonyms, he wrote more than 40 film scripts.
  • Was promoted to studio manager in 1928 and just a year later was named head of production.
  • In 1933, he resigned from Warner Bros. and formed 20th Century Pictures with Joseph Schenck; two years later the company merged with Fox Film Corporation and became 20th Century Fox.
  • During WWII, he re-enlisted in the Army and reached the rank of colonel.
  • Resigned from 20th Century Fox in 1956 and moved to Europe to become an independent producer; he returned to the studio in 1962 and remained involved with the company until 1971. 
  • Over his career he produced more than 165 motion pictures, wrote or co-wrote nearly 60, and introduced many film stars, including James Cagney, Henry Fonda and Shirley Temple.


  • 1935, Oscar — Best Writing (Original Story): Nominee
  • 1938, Oscar — Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award: Nominee
  • 1954, Golden Globe — Cecil B. DeMille Award: Winner
  • 1950, Oscar — Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award: Winner
  • 1944, Oscar — Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award: Winner
  • 1962, Oscar — Best Motion Picture of the Year: Nominee
  • 1937, Oscar — Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award: Winner
  • 1967, Directors Guild of America Awards — Honorary Life Member: Winner


  • Joseph Norton — Stepfather
  • Susan Zanuck Savineau — Daughter
  • Francis Zanuck — Father
  • Virginia Fox — Wife
  • Darrylin Zanuck DePineda — Daughter
  • Louise Zanuck — Mother
  • Richard D. Zanuck — Son
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