HOLLYWOOD HILLS—Craig Zadan, known for producing both on-screen films and broadway hits died on Monday, August 20. Zadan was 69.
Zadan passed away at his Hollywood Hills home due to complications from a recent shoulder replacement surgery. Bob Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC Entertainment made the announcement on Tuesday, August 21.
“Craig’s distinguished career as a passionate and consummate producer is eclipsed only by his genuine love for the thousands of actors, directors, writers, musicians, designers, and technicians he worked with over the years,” said Greenblatt in a statement. “On behalf of his life partner, Elwood Hopkins, and his producing partner, Neil Meron, we are stunned that the man behind so many incredible film, theatre, and television productions — several of them joyous musicals — was taken away so suddenly. Craig’s distinguished career as a passionate and consummate producer is eclipsed only by his genuine love for the thousands of actors, directors, writers, musicians, designers, and technicians he worked with over the years. His absence will be felt in our hearts and throughout our business.”
Zadan was born in Miami on April 15, 1949. He attended Hofstra University and moved to New York to pursue his career in entertainment in the 1970s. In 1984, Zadan produced “Footloose,” starring Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer.
Before passing, he was one half of the accomplished production company Zadan/Meron Productions – the other half being Neil Meron. The pair was responsible for the NBC remakes of musicals that included “The Sound of Music,” “Hairspray” and recently, the John Legend-led “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
Zadan/Meron productions also produced the Academy Awards telecast from 2013 to 2015. Producing revivals of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and other shows, the production duo ventured into Broadway.
The company collected a total of six Academy Awards, including Best Picture for the 2002 film “Chicago;” five Golden Globes, 17 Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, a Grammy Award, six GLAAD Awards, four NAACP Image Awards and two Tony Awards.
Zadan is survived by his partner Elwood Hopkins.