Laura Ziskin, who produced 'Pretty Woman' and the Spider-Man films, died of breast cancer on Sunday at the age of 61 in Santa Monica, California.
She was diagnosed with a Stage 3 breast cancer in 2004, which doctors had repeatedly missed previously because of the diffuse type of cancer she had. The cancer returned in 2009, having spread to her liver and bones.
Laura Ziskin was born on 3rd of March, 1950, in San Fernando Valley, California. She was the sole executive producer of the hit comedy 'Pretty Woman' and also became the first woman to produce the Academy Awards telecast alone in 2002 and 2007.
Ziskin was best known for producing the Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, which grossed over $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office. She was working on the reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man at the time of her death.
Ziskin was named as President of Fox 2000 Pictures from 1994 to 2000, which was a newly formed feature film division of 20th Century Fox. On her watch, Fox 2000 released titles such as Courage Under Fire, One Fine Day, Inventing the Abbotts, Soul Food, Never Been Kissed, Fight Club, and The Thin Red Line.
Ziskin was a prominent campaigner for cancer research. She founded Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) in 2008 along with like-minded women in the entertainment industry with a similar desire to make a real impact in the fight against cancer. SU2C is an initiative intended to enable cutting-edge research targeting all types of cancer, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, brain cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer, etc.