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Sherry Lansing

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  Summary  

Sherry Lansing is a former actress and American film studio executive. She is former CEO of Paramount Pictures, and when president of production at 20th Century Fox was the first woman to head a Hollywood studio In 1996, she became the first woman named Pioneer of the Year by the Foundation of the Motion Picture Pioneers, and the first woman studio head to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2005, she became the first woman studio head to place hand and foot prints at Grauman's Chinese Theater. In 2001, she was named one of the 30 most powerful women in America by Ladies' Home Journal, and The Hollywood Reporter named her fourth on its Power 100 list in 2003.

  Biography  

Lansing was born Sherry Lee Duhl in Chicago, Illinois. Her mother, the former Margot Heimann, fled from Nazi Germany; her father was David Duhl, a real-estate investor, who died when she was nine. Lansing attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and graduated in 1962. In 1966, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Northwestern University, where she was a member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority.

Lansing married Academy award winning director William Friedkin on July 6, 1991; he had previously been married to French film star Jeanne Moreau. By this marriage Lansing has two stepsons, Jack and Cedric.

 Career
She pursued an acting career but, dissatisfied with her own acting skills, she decided to learn more about the film industry from the ground up. She took a job with MGM as head script reader and worked on two successful films, The China Syndrome and Kramer vs. Kramer.

Lansing's work at MGM eventually led, after a stint at Columbia Pictures, to an appointment in 1980, at age 35, as the first female president of 20th Century Fox. She was also a partner in Jaffe/Lansing Productions with Stanley R. Jaffe. The company released a consistent string of minor hits through Paramount; including the box-office smash Fatal Attraction in 1987, for which Jaffe and Lansing received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture the following year. In 1992, she was offered the chairmanship of Paramount Pictures' Motion Picture Group. During her tenure at Paramount, the studio enjoyed its longest and most successful string of releases since the '30s. Under Lansing, the studio produced such blockbuster hits as Forrest Gump, Braveheart, and what was, at the time, history's highest grossing film – Titanic . Six of the ten highest grossing Paramount films were released during her tenure which included three Academy Awards for Best Picture. Overall, 80% of the films released by Lansing were profitable, a track record unmatched by any other long term studio management leader.

As studio chief, she focused on bottom-line cost rather than market share, preferring to take fewer risks and make lower-budget films than other studios. Viacom decided to split the company into two parts in 2004 and Lansing stepped down at the end of that year after an almost unprecedented twelve-year tenure atop Hollywood's legendary "Best Show in Town."

She is a Regent of the University of California. She sits on the boards of the American Red Cross, The Carter Center, DonorsChoose, Qualcomm, Teach for America, The American Association for Cancer Research, the Lasker Foundation and Friends of Cancer Research.

In 2005, she created The Sherry Lansing Foundation which is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for cancer research. She is a recipient of UCLA Anderson School of Management's highest honor-the Exemplary Leadership in Management Award.

In 2007, she received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her work in cancer research at the 79th Academy Awards. The award was presented to her by Tom Cruise, her longtime friend and business partner.

In 2008, Lansing gave the commencement speech to the graduating class at Penn State University. In 2011, she gave the commencement speech at the graduation ceremony at the University of Miami. It was later revealed, thanks to recordings of the two speeches both being available on YouTube, that the two speeches were the same.

In 2011, Lansing pledged $5 million to University of Chicago Laboratory Schools to build a new arts wing, including a 250-seat performance venue.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Sherry Lansing", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.