Alan Ladd Jr.
Alan Walbridge Ladd Jr. (born October 22, 1937) is an American film industry executive and producer. He is the son of actor Alan Ladd and Ladd's first wife Marjorie Jane (née Harrold), whom Ladd had met in high school. He started in films as an agent in 1963. In 1969, Ladd moved to London to produce, making nine films, including The Walking Stick, A Severed Head, Villain, The Nightcomers, and X Y & Zee. He returned to the States in 1973 to become Head of Creative Affairs at 20th Century Fox. In August 1976, he was promoted from worldwide production head to president of Fox's film division. He came to Fox President Gordon Stulberg to request consideration for making George Lucas' Star Wars. Stulberg approved the production and they remained as Lucas' support at times when the Board of Directors of 20th Century Fox wished to shut down production. The production was plagued by location difficulties, story problems and budgetary disagreements for a project that was mainly considered a risk to the studio. However, when Ladd saw the audience's rapturous appreciation of the film at its first public screening at the Northpoint Theatre in San Francisco in early May 1977, he was moved to tears at seeing the unlikely production he and Stulberg had supported against all odds. Star Wars was a massive hit upon release, becoming, up to that point, the highest-grossing film of all time, and spawned an extensive media franchise that includes multiple other films. Star Wars and Alien were a few of the films produced during his tenure. But in 1979 Ladd left his position to found his own production company, The Ladd Company. He enjoyed successes with comedies such as Night Shift (1982) and Police Academy (1984), Oscar-winners Chariots of Fire (1981), The Right Stuff (1983), and Gone Baby Gone (2007). The company also produced Blade Runner (1982). In 1985, Ladd joined MGM/UA, eventually becoming Chairman and CEO of MGM-Pathé Communications. During his tenure MGM/UA produced A Fish Called Wanda (1988), Moonstruck (1987) and Thelma & Louise (1991). Ladd reformed the Ladd Company with Paramount Pictures in 1993 where he produced The Brady Bunch Movie and Braveheart. Ladd received the 2,348th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, September 28, 2007.