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Alan Ladd Jr., who ushered in the “Star Wars” era of motion pictures in the Twentieth Century Fox, died peacefully at home by his family’s side. The 84-year-old Oscar-winning producer and motion picture executive passed away on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.
He was affectionately was known as Laddie. Ladd Jr. was renowned for his charm, warmth, and general low-profile demeanor, making him a distinct personality among leading studio directors.
His daughter, Amanda Ladd-Jones, announced his death on social media. She shared the news on her Facebook page: “Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies,” where readers can see the documentary she directed.
Ladd Jr. began in the film industry as a stuntman for Shane starring Alan Ladd. But, Ladd Jr. eventually established a more significant effect on Hollywood. He evolved as one of the movie industry’s most liked and leading executives.
He has worked as a headhunter for stars like Robert Redford and Judy Garland. In 1973, he became an independent producer in London before joining Twentieth Century Fox.
Ladd Jr. led the way for “Star Wars,” a $10 million sci-fi film that subsequently became the standard for blockbuster movie franchises. When he became an independent film producer, he won the best picture award for “Braveheart” in 1995, directed and starred by Mel Gibson. But, “Star Wars” was not the only masterpiece sci-fi movie Ladd ushered at Twentieth Century Fox. He also championed “Alien,” starring Sigourney Weaver.
When he accepted the Oscar as one of the three producers, he said:
“I’d like to thank my family. Thank you. Ladd was always known to be a man of few words.”
However, when Variety interviewed him about his contribution to the “Star Wars” movie, he only replied:
“My biggest contribution to Star Wars was keeping my mouth shut and standing by the picture.”
During the 70s, Ladd Jr. went through a crucial period with Fox, and later, but he outshined MGM twice. He managed his first boutique production company, the Ladd Co., and an independent distributor of his films. Even in the face of financial troubles, the Ladd Co. produced blockbuster movies such as “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Blade Runner,” “The Right Stuff,” and “Gone, Baby Gone” starring Ben Affleck.
Ladd Jr. was the son of actor and producer Alan Sr., who filmed successful movies throughout the 1940s and 1950. He was born in Los Angeles, California, on October 22, 1937, and is survived with his second wife, Cindra Pincock, children Kelliann, Tracy, and Amanda, from an earlier marriage to Patricia Ann Beazley; a half brother David; a half-sister; and a stepsister. Alan Jr. was preceded in death by another daughter, Chelsea, who died at age 34 in March 2021.
Written by Janet Grace Ortigas
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
NBC News: Alan Ladd Jr., Oscar-winning producer behind ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Braveheart,’ dies at 84; by Variety
The Washington Post: Alan Ladd Jr., Oscar-winning producer who greenlit ‘Star Wars,’ dies at 84; by Associated Press
Yahoo! News: Alan Ladd Jr., Oscar-Winning Producer Who Greenlit Star Wars, Dead at 84: He ‘Loved Film;’ by Nicholas Rice
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Webster2703’s Pixabay Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of University of Stirling Archives’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License