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Richard Zanuck died of a heart attack Friday, Variety's Steve Chagollan reports, and it's a fitting time of year to remember the 77-year-old Oscar-winning producer, since he helped create the phenomenon we all call the summer blockbuster movie. The son of legendary 20th Century Fox head Darryl F. Zanuck, Richard Zanuck made his own Hollywood career, producing Oscar-winners like The Sting, Driving Miss Daisy, and of course Steven Spielberg's little beach picture called Jaws, which Chagollan notes is "largely credited as ushering in the age of the summer blockbuster. Zanuck spent the last decade most notably working with Tim Burton on films like Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and this spring's Dark Shadows.

So, as you countdown the days until The Dark Knight Rises, remember that the summer blockbuster might never have busted out where it not for the prolific Zanuck.

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