Long time studio exec and son of a movie icon, Alan Ladd Jr., has passed away at 84. He was known for his hand in such films as Blade Runner, The Turning Point, Alien, and Thelma and Louise.
Ladd, a revered, Hollywood producer, and studio executive saved the production of Star Wars when Fox wanted to shut it down and gained vindication when he received an Oscar for Braveheart after being dumped by MGM. The man who headed production at Fox, Pathe Entertainment, and MGM (in two stints) and ran his own company, The Ladd Co., with great success, passed away on Wednesday, according to his daughter Amanda Ladd-Jones.
“With the heaviest of hearts, we announce that on March 2, 2022, Alan Ladd, Jr. died peacefully at home surrounded by his family,” she wrote on social media. “Words cannot express how deeply he will be missed. His impact on films and filmmaking will live on in his absence.”
Ladd grew up in Hollywood, particularly, Paramount and Fox lots. His father was starring in pictures where he would romp around soundstages during school vacation days. Ladd began his career in the movie industry as a stuntman in his father’s films Santiago (1956) and The Deep Six (1958).
By the 1960s, Ladd had joined Creative Management, repping the likes of Judy Garland, Robert Redford, and Warren Beatty. He turned to independent production six years later where he moved to London and made nine films. In 1973 he moved back to LA and quickly rose through the ranks to become studio president.
During this time Fox had some of its most successful films including Star Wars which was rejected at first but saw the light of day thanks to Ladd. With Ladd in the studio’s controls, Hollywood had its first female VP, Paula Weinstein, and its first African-American marketing chief.
The Ladd Co. also produced The Brady Bunch Movie (1995), A Very Brady Sequel (1996), and The Phantom (1996) at Paramount. His recent producing efforts included An Unfinished Life (2005) and Gone Baby Gone (2007).
Survivors include his second wife, Cindra, whom he married in 1985, daughters Kelliann, Tracy, and Amanda, who directed and produced a 2021 documentary about her dad titled Laddie; and brother David. Another daughter, Chelsea, 34, died in March 2021