Brian Grazer

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Brian Grazer
Brian Grazer 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Grazer in 2011
Brian Thomas Grazer

(1951-07-12) July 12, 1951 (age 68)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
OccupationProducer, screenwriter
Years active1978–present
  • Theresa McKay (m. 1972–1979)
  • Corki Corman (m. 1982–1992)
  • Gigi Levangie (m. 1997–2007)
  • Veronica Smiley (m. 2016)
RelativesJack Dylan Grazer (nephew)
Gavin Grazer (brother)

Brian Thomas Grazer (born July 12, 1951) is an American film and television producer and screenwriter. He co-founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986, with Ron Howard; the films they produced have grossed over $13 billion.[2] The movies include four for which Grazer was personally nominated for an Academy Award: Splash (1984), Apollo 13 (1995), A Beautiful Mind (2001), and Frost/Nixon (2008),[3][4] his films and TV series have been nominated for 43 Academy Awards, and 187 Emmys.

In 2002, Grazer won an Oscar for Best Picture for A Beautiful Mind (shared with Ron Howard). In 2007, he was named one of Time's "100 Most Influential People in the World".[1]

Early life[edit]

Grazer was born in Los Angeles, California, to Arlene Becker Grazer and criminal defense attorney Thomas Grazer,[5][6] he is the older brother of Nora Beth Grazer (born 1952) and actor/director Gavin Grazer (born 1961).[7] He was raised in Sherman Oaks and Northridge, in Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley.[6]

Grazer's father was Catholic and his mother is Jewish,[5][8] and he described himself in 2000 as "half-Jewish",[8] his parents divorced when he was in high school.[9] Grazer said "My best buddy, the most important person in my growing up, was my little 4-foot-10 [147 cm] Jewish grandmother, and she'd say, 'In order to get it, you got to do it. No one's going to get it for you, Brian.'"[5]

His nephew is actor Jack Dylan Grazer.[10][11]


Grazer won a scholarship to the University of Southern California (USC) as a psychology major, he graduated from USC's School of Cinema-Television in 1974.[6][12] He then attended USC Law School for one year, but quit in 1975 to pursue a life in Hollywood.[5][6][9][13]


Grazer began his career as a producer developing television projects. While executive-producing TV pilots at Paramount Pictures in the early 1980s, he met current long-time friend and business partner Ron Howard.[1]

He produced his first feature-film, Night Shift, in 1982, directed by Howard.[1] Grazer and Howard teamed up again for Splash in 1984, which Grazer produced and co-wrote. Splash earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay of 1984.[1]

In 1986, Grazer and Howard co-founded Imagine Entertainment, which became one of Hollywood's most prolific and successful production companies. Over the years, Grazer's films and TV shows have been nominated for a total of 43 Academy Awards, and 195 Emmys. At the same time, his movies have generated more than $13.5 billion in worldwide theatrical, music, and video grosses.[1]

Grazer's early film successes include Parenthood (1989) and Backdraft (1991),[1] he produced Apollo 13 (1995), for which he won the Producers Guild of America's Daryl F. Zanuck Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award, as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Picture of 1995.[1]

In 1998, he earned two major honors: he was given his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and made a cameo appearance on the animated series The Simpsons.[14]

In 2001, Grazer won an Academy Award for Best Picture for A Beautiful Mind, which also took home Oscars for Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Connelly), Best Director (Ron Howard), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Akiva Goldsman).

In 2002, Grazer's 8 Mile was released,[1] it proved not only to be a huge box office hit, but also the first film with a rap song to win a Best Original Song Oscar, for Eminem's "Lose Yourself".[15]

Grazer also produced the film adaptation of Peter Morgan's play Frost/Nixon (2008). Frost/Nixon was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.[1]

Grazer's productions span over a quarter-of-a-century, and almost the full spectrum of movie genres, his comedies include Boomerang (1992), The Nutty Professor (1996), Life (1999), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), Intolerable Cruelty (2003) and The Dilemma (2011). He has also produced many dramatic thrillers including Inside Man (2006), The Da Vinci Code (2006), American Gangster (2007), Changeling (2008), Angels & Demons (2009), Robin Hood (2010), and Cowboys & Aliens (2011), his recently released films include J. Edgar, the Clint Eastwood-directed biopic of J. Edgar Hoover, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tower Heist, starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, and Restless, directed by Gus Van Sant.

Grazer's Imagine Entertainment's television series include Sports Night, Felicity, Arrested Development, 24 with Kiefer Sutherland, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, Lie to Me, and Empire.[1]

Grazer's recent productions included the 2017 Grammy awarding winning Best Music Film The Beatles: Eight Days a Week (2016), American Made (2017), Rush (2013), directed by Ron Howard, and starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl,[16] and Made in America.

Grazer produced Get on Up, a biopic of the legendary "Godfather of Soul" James Brown, and In the Heart of the Sea, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, about the American whaleship the Essex.[17]

In 2015, Grazer published his book A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, in which he discusses conversations with interesting people, many of whom inspired his work.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Grazer has been married four times and divorced three times: to Theresa McKay (1972–79), Corki Corman (1982–92; they had two children; son Riley (born 1986) and daughter Sage (1988)), and novelist and screenwriter Gigi Levangie (1997–2007; they had two sons; Thomas (1999) and Patrick (2004)).[6][14] In April 2014, Grazer became engaged to Veronica Smiley, chief marketing officer of SBE, a hotel management company,[19][20] they married on February 20, 2016.[21]

Grazer currently resides in Santa Monica, California,[22] he also has a home in Hawaii on Sunset Beach, on the Banzai Pipeline on O'ahu's North Shore.[23][24]

Additional awards[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Imagine Entertainment Brian Grazer Biography Archived December 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  2. ^ Orzeck, Kurt (January 10, 2012). "Universal Extends Imagine Deal Through 2016 – But Now It's First Look". Reuters. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  3. ^ Mike Fleming Jr., "Q&A: Brian Grazer and Ron Howard on 25 Years Together as Imagine Partners" June 21, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "J. Edgar film and production crew". Telegraph. London. January 6, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d Michaelson, Judith (February 16, 1992). "MOVIES: Imagine That: Riddle: How can a person be in the spotlight and still be in the shadows? Answer: Check out producer Brian Grazer's career". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Brian Grazer Biography". Yahoo. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  7. ^ "Slipstream and the Other Grazer Brother". October 26, 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Hammer, Joshua (December 24, 2000). "Periscope". Newsweek. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Huyền thoại Hollywood và cuộc tình với "cô dâu Việt" – XãLuậ Tin Nóng" (in Vietnamese). Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  10. ^ "What's new on traditional TV".
  11. ^ "Jack Dylan Grazer Talks 'Shazam'". ET Canada. March 15, 2019. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  12. ^ "Brian Grazer: 5 Things to Know About Brett Ratner's Oscar Replacement". The Hollywood Reporter. November 10, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  13. ^ Staff, Movieline (July 1, 1992). "Brian Grazer: The Life of Brian". Movieline. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Encyclopedia of World Biography Brian Grazer. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  15. ^ "Brian Grazer | Biography, Photos, Movies, TV, Credits". Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  16. ^ "Rush (2013)".
  17. ^ [1].
  18. ^ "A Curious Mind". Goodreads.
  19. ^ "Producer Brian Grazer engaged, but almost lost the ring". The New York Post. April 29, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  20. ^ "Brian Grazer Engaged to SBE Exec Veronica Smiley". The Hollywood Reporter. April 30, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  21. ^ "Brian Grazer Marries Marketing Exec Veronica Smiley at Star-Studded Wedding".
  22. ^ "Holiday Surprise: Hollywood is at Work," The New York Times, December 28, 2011
  23. ^ Anthony Rotunno & Dana Mathews. "Brian Grazer's Tips on Hawaii's Banzai Pipeline on Oahu". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  24. ^ "Surfing Oahu's North Shore". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved January 1, 2013.

External links[edit]