Lili Fini Zanuck
Lili Fini Zanuck in 1990
Lili Fini

(1954-04-02) April 2, 1954 (age 70)
Occupation(s)Film producer, director
(m. 1978; died 2012)

Lili Zanuck (née Fini; born April 2, 1954) is an American film producer and director.[1]

Personal life

She was married to Richard D. Zanuck from 1978 until his death in 2012.[1][2]


Zanuck's first film with a producing title was the 1985 critical and commercial hit Cocoon, which went on to win two Academy Awards and earned the Zanucks and David Brown the title Producer of the Year by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO).[3] She also oversaw the sequel Cocoon: The Return in 1988.

In 1988, Zanuck and her husband formed The Zanuck Company.[4] The first film they produced was Driving Miss Daisy which went on to win four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, as well as winning Best Pictur – Musical or Comedy from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Best Film from the National Board of Review. The Zanucks were named Producer of the Year by the Producers Guild of America. Internationally, the film won two Golden Bears at the Berlin Film Festival and was nominated for Best Picture by the British Film Academy.[1][5] Driving Miss Daisy was a financial success, grossing more than $100 million and ranks as one of the most profitable films in Warner Bros. history.[6]

Zanuck directed the 1991 feature film Rush starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jason Patric. The film notably featured the hit song "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton, who also composed the score for the picture. For television, she directed an episode of HBO's From the Earth to the Moon, and three episodes of NBC's six hour event series Revelations starring Bill Pullman.[7]

Zanuck has also co-produced a number of films including Mulholland Falls, True Crime and Reign of Fire.[2]

In March 2000, Zanuck co-produced the 72nd Academy Awards with her husband.[4]

In May 2015, Zanuck executive produced and directed Bessie which premiered on HBO. She developed the project for over 22 years which was met with critical acclaim, receiving twelve 2016 Primetime Emmy Award nominations.[8] Bessie won the 2015 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie and the 2015 Critics Choice Television Award for Best Movie.

Most recently Zanuck directed the documentary Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017 before airing on SHOWTIME in February 2018. The film and Zanuck were Grammy nominated in the category of Best Music Film.[9]

Zanuck has also directed television programs and music videos, including Faith Hill's "Breathe", which won the Academy of Country Music Award for Video of the Year in 1999.[10]



Year Title Position Awards
1985 Cocoon Producer Producer of the Year, National Association of Theatre Owners
1988 Cocoon: The Return Producer
1989 Driving Miss Daisy Producer Best Picture, Academy Awards
Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures, Producers Guild Awards
1991 Rush Director
1992 Rich in Love Producer
1994 Clean Slate Producer
1995 Wild Bill Producer
1996 Mulholland Falls Producer
1999 True Crime Producer
2002 Reign of Fire Producer


Year Title Position Awards
1998 From the Earth to the Moon Director
2000 72nd Academy Awards Producer Emmy Award nominated, Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special
2004 Dead Lawyers Producer
2005 Revelations Director
2015 Bessie Executive Producer Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie
Critics Choice Television Award for Best Movie
2017 Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars Director Grammy Award nominated, Best Music Film

Music videos

Year Song Artist Position Awards
1999 "Breathe" Faith Hill Director Music Video of the Year, Academy of Country Music
1999 "Let's Make Love" Faith Hill & Tim McGraw Director


  1. ^ a b c Vallance, Tom (July 18, 2012). "Richard Zanuck: Film producer responsible for hits including 'Jaws' and 'Driving Miss Daisy'". The Independent. Archived from the original on June 14, 2022. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Clarke, Donald (December 28, 2017). "Eric Clapton opens up – even on his bizarre racist period". The Irish Times. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  3. ^ Collins, Keith (July 13, 2005). "Milestones – A Richard Zanuck Timeline". Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Martinez, Michael (July 14, 2012). "Oscar-winning producer Richard Zanuck of 'Driving Miss Daisy' dead at 77". CNN. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  5. ^ "Driving Miss Daisy – Awards". IMDb. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  6. ^ Chagollan, Steve (July 13, 2005). "Richard Zanuck: A Lifetime of Pictures". Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  7. ^ "Lili Fini Zanuck: Director says 2017 'wasn't a turning point' for Hollywood". BBC News. January 4, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  8. ^ Lanz, Michelle (August 26, 2015). "'Bessie' producer Lili Fini Zanuck says 'women don't help women' enough in Hollywood". The Frame. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  9. ^ "Eric Clapton's 'Life in 12 Bars' Nominated for a Grammy Award". December 9, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  10. ^ "Academy of Country Music – ACM Winners". Academy of Country Music. Retrieved March 12, 2020.