Grazer in 2011
Brian Thomas Grazer
July 12, 1951
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
|Relatives||Jack Dylan Grazer (nephew)|
Brian Thomas Grazer (born July 12, 1951) is an American film and television producer. He co-founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986, with Ron Howard. The films they produced have grossed over $13 billion. 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). His films and TV series have been nominated for 43 Academy Awards, and 187 Emmys.
Grazer was born in Los Angeles, California, to Arlene Becker Grazer and criminal defense attorney Thomas Grazer. He is the older brother of Nora Beth Grazer (born 1952) and actor/director Gavin Grazer (born 1956). He was raised in Sherman Oaks and Northridge, in Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley.
Grazer's father was Catholic and his mother is Jewish, and he described himself in 2000 as "half-Jewish". Raised secular, today Grazer is a practicing Christian. His parents divorced when he was in high school. 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.'"
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. He then attended USC Law School for one year, but quit in 1975 to pursue a life in Hollywood.
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.
He produced his first feature-film, Night Shift, in 1982, directed by Howard. 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.
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.
Grazer's early film successes include Parenthood (1989) and Backdraft (1991). 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.
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).
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 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, 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.
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.
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)). In April 2014, Grazer became engaged to Veronica Smiley, chief marketing officer of SBE, a hotel management company. They married on February 20, 2016.