Saul Zaentz, Film Producer, 1921 - 2014
Independent film producer Saul Zaentz passed away on Friday, January 3, 2014, in San Francisco, CA, due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 92. Zaentz entered the entertainment industry in 1955 as a salesman for Fantasy Records, which he purchased with partners in 1967. A year later, Zaentz made his first fortune by signing the band Creedence Clearwater Revival (which also led to multiple lawsuits between Zaentz and CCR lead singer John Fogerty). He became a film producer in the early 1970’s, producing such critically acclaimed films as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and The English Patient. In 1978, he was the producer for Ralph Bakshi’s animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, which drew substantial crowds and extremely mixed reviews.