Brian Grazer
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Brian Grazer

Brian Grazer
Brian Grazer 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Grazer in 2011
Brian Thomas Grazer

(1951-07-12) July 12, 1951 (age 69)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
OccupationProducer, Author
Years active1978-present
Veronica Smiley
(m. 2016)

Brian Thomas Grazer (born July 12, 1951) is an American film and television producer. He founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986, with Ron Howard. The films they produced have grossed over $15 billion.[1] Grazer was personally nominated for four Academy Award for Splash (1984), Apollo 13 (1995), A Beautiful Mind (2001), and Frost/Nixon (2008).[2][3] His films and TV series have been nominated for 43 Academy Awards and 198 Emmys.

In 2002, Grazer won an Oscar for Best Picture for A Beautiful Mind (shared with Ron Howard). In 2007, he was named one of Times "100 Most Influential People in the World".[4]

Early life

Grazer was born in Los Angeles, California, to Arlene Becker Grazer and criminal defense attorney Thomas Grazer.[5][6] He is the older brother of Nora Beth Grazer (born 1952) and actor/director Gavin Grazer (born 1961).[7] He was raised in Sherman Oaks and Northridge, in Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley.[6]

Grazer's father was Catholic and his mother is Jewish,[5][8] His parents divorced when he was in high school.[9] 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.'"[5]

Suffering from dyslexia, Grazer got through school by reading other students' papers and arguing his grades with his teachers.[10]

His nephew is actor Jack Dylan Grazer.[11][12]


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.[6][13] He then attended USC Law School for one year, but quit in 1975 to pursue a life in Hollywood.[5][6][9][14]


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.[4]

He produced his first feature-film, Night Shift, in 1982, directed by Howard.[4] 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.[4]

In November 1985, 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 198 Emmys. At the same time, his movies have generated over $15 billion in worldwide theatrical, music, and video grosses.[4]

Grazer's early film successes include Parenthood (1989) and Backdraft (1991).[4] 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.[4]

In 1998, he earned two major honors: he was given his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and made a cameo appearance on the animated series The Simpsons.[15]

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).

In 2002, Grazer's 8 Mile was released.[4] It proved not only to be a huge box office hit, but also the first film with a rap song to win a Best Original Song Oscar, for Eminem's "Lose Yourself".[16]

Grazer also produced the film adaptation of Peter Morgan's play Frost/Nixon (2008). Frost/Nixon was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.[4]

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), Liar Liar (1997), Life (1999), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), Intolerable Cruelty (2003) and The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018). 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 Imagine Entertainment's television series include Sports Night, Felicity, Arrested Development, 24 with Kiefer Sutherland, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, Lie to Me, Empire, Genius: Einstein, Genius: Picasso and Wu-Tang: An American Saga.[4]

Grazer's recent productions includes Rebuilding Paradise, Dads, 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,[17] 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.[18]

In 2015, Grazer published his book A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, a #1 NY Times Bestseller, in which he discusses conversations with interesting people, many of whom inspired his work.[19] In 2019, Grazer released his second book "Face To Face: The Art of Human Connection."

Personal life

Grazer has been married three times and divorced two times: 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)).[6][15] In April 2014, Grazer became engaged to Veronica Smiley, chief marketing officer of SBE, a hotel management company.[20][21] They married on February 20, 2016.[22]

Grazer currently resides in Santa Monica, California.[23] He also has a home in Hawaii on Sunset Beach, on the Banzai Pipeline on O'ahu's North Shore.[24][25] He is a keen user of jump ropes.[26]


He was a producer in all films unless otherwise noted.


Year Film Credit Notes
1982 Night Shift
1984 Splash
1985 Real Genius
Spies Like Us
1986 Armed and Dangerous
1987 Like Father Like Son
1989 Parenthood
1990 Cry-Baby Executive producer
Kindergarten Cop
1991 The Doors Executive producer
Closet Land Executive producer
Backdraft Executive producer
My Girl
1992 Far and Away
1993 CB4 Executive producer
For Love or Money
1994 My Girl 2
The Paper
The Cowboy Way
1995 Apollo 13
1996 Sgt. Bilko
The Nutty Professor
The Chamber
1997 Liar Liar
Inventing the Abbotts
1998 Mercury Rising
1999 EDtv
2000 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
2001 A Beautiful Mind
2002 Undercover Brother
Blue Crush
8 Mile
2003 Intolerable Cruelty
The Cat in the Hat
The Missing
2004 Friday Night Lights
2005 Cinderella Man
Fun with Dick and Jane
2006 Inside Man
The Da Vinci Code
2007 American Gangster
2008 Changeling
2009 Angels & Demons
Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey! Executive producer Direct-to-video
2010 Robin Hood
2011 The Dilemma
Cowboys & Aliens
Tower Heist
J. Edgar
2013 Rush
2014 Get on Up
The Good Lie
2015 Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle Executive producer Direct-to-video
Rock the Kasbah Executive producer
In the Heart of the Sea
2016 Pelé: Birth of a Legend
2017 Cop and a Half: New Recruit Executive producer Direct-to-video
American Made
2018 The Spy Who Dumped Me
2019 Backdraft 2 Executive producer Direct-to-video
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band Executive producer
Curious George: Royal Monkey Executive producer Direct-to-video
2020 Rebuilding Paradise
Hillbilly Elegy
TBA Tick, Tick... Boom!
As writer
Year Film Notes
1984 Splash Story with Bruce Jay Friedman
1986 Armed and Dangerous Story with Harold Ramis and James Keach
1992 Housesitter Story with Mark Stein
Music department
Year Film Role Notes
1995 Apollo 13 Executive music producer
Year Film Notes
2015 The Haunting of Pearson Place Inspired by


Year Title Credit Notes
1978 Zuma Beach Television film
Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery Television film
1985-86 Shadow Chasers Executive producer
1987-88 Ohara Executive producer
1988 Poison
Smart Guys Executive producer
Poison Executive producer Television film
Mutts Executive producer Television film
1997 Hiller and Diller Executive producer
1998 From the Earth to the Moon
1999 Student Affairs Television film
Mulholland Dr. Executive producer Television pilot
2000 Thirty Executive producer Television film
1998-2000 Sports Night Executive producer
2000 Wonderland Executive producer
Rat Bastard Executive producer Television film
1999-2001 The PJs Executive producer
2001 The Beast Executive producer
Silicon Follies Executive producer Television film
1998-2002 Felicity Executive producer
2002 B.S. Executive producer Television film
2003 The Snobs Executive producer Television film
The Break Executive producer Television film
Miss Match Executive producer
2004 The Big House Executive producer
2005 The WIN Awards Television special
Queen B Executive producer Television film
Fertile Ground Executive producer Television film
2005-06 The Inside Executive producer
2006 Treasure Hunters Co-producer
Beyond Executive producer Television pilot
2007 24: Day Six - Debrief Executive producer
Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office Executive producer Television film
2006-08 Shark Executive producer
2007 Entourage
2008 24: Redemption Executive producer Television film
2009 Maggie Hill Executive producer Television film
2001-10 24 Executive producer
2009-11 Lie to Me Executive producer
2006-11 Friday Night Lights Executive producer
2011 Friends with Benefits Executive producer
The Playboy Club Executive producer
2012 84th Academy Awards Co-producer Television special
2010-12 Parenthood Executive producer
2012 The Great Escape Executive producer
Susan 313 Executive producer Television film
2013 How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) Executive producer
2014 Those Who Kill Executive producer
Gang Related Executive producer
24: Live Another Day Executive producer
2006-present Curious George Executive producer
2015 The Bastard Executioner Executive producer
WTF America Executive producer Television film
Problem Child Executive producer Television pilot
Nerd Herd Executive producer Television film
The Clan of the Cave Bear Executive producer Television pilot
2016 Chance Executive producer
2016-17 24: Legacy Executive producer
2015-17 Breakthrough Executive producer
2017 Shots Fired Executive producer
2017-18 Genius Executive producer
2016-18 Mars Executive producer
2003-19 Arrested Development Executive producer
2015-19 Empire Executive producer
2019 Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10 Executive producer Television short
Why Women Kill Executive producer
Wu-Tang: An American Saga Executive producer
2020 68 Whiskey Executive producer
Filthy Rich Executive producer
As an actor
Year Title Role Notes
1998 The Simpsons Himself Voice role
2007 Entourage
2013 Arrested Development
2017 This Is Us
As writer
Year Title Notes
1985-86 Shadow Chasers Co-created with Kenneth Johnson
Story with Johnson for episode "Pilot"
Year Title Notes
2002 The Clint Howard Variety Show Special thanks

Additional awards


  1. ^ Orzeck, Kurt (January 10, 2012). "Universal Extends Imagine Deal Through 2016 - But Now It's First Look". Reuters. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ Mike Fleming Jr., "Q&A: Brian Grazer and Ron Howard on 25 Years Together as Imagine Partners" June 21, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "J. Edgar film and production crew". Telegraph. London. January 6, 2012. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Imagine Entertainment Brian Grazer Biography Archived December 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d Michaelson, Judith (February 16, 1992). "MOVIES: Imagine That: Riddle: How can a person be in the spotlight and still be in the shadows? Answer: Check out producer Brian Grazer's career". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Brian Grazer Biography". Yahoo. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ "Slipstream and the Other Grazer Brother". October 26, 2007. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ Hammer, Joshua (December 24, 2000). "Periscope". Newsweek. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Huy?n tho?i Hollywood và cu?c tình v?i "cô dâu Vi?t" - XãLu? Tin Nóng" (in Vietnamese). Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ Wallace, Jane. "Success Stories; Brian Grazer, Academy Award-Winning Producer". The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. Yale University. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ "What's new on traditional TV".
  12. ^ "Jack Dylan Grazer Talks 'Shazam'". ET Canada. March 15, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ "Brian Grazer: 5 Things to Know About Brett Ratner's Oscar Replacement". The Hollywood Reporter. November 10, 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  14. ^ Staff, Movieline (July 1, 1992). "Brian Grazer: The Life of Brian". Movieline. Retrieved 2013.
  15. ^ a b Encyclopedia of World Biography Brian Grazer. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  16. ^ "Brian Grazer | Biography, Photos, Movies, TV, Credits". Retrieved 2013.
  17. ^ "Rush (2013)".
  18. ^ [1].
  19. ^ "A Curious Mind". Goodreads.
  20. ^ "Producer Brian Grazer engaged, but almost lost the ring". The New York Post. April 29, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  21. ^ "Brian Grazer Engaged to SBE Exec Veronica Smiley". The Hollywood Reporter. April 30, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Holiday Surprise: Hollywood is at Work," The New York Times, December 28, 2011
  24. ^ Anthony Rotunno & Dana Mathews. "Brian Grazer's Tips on Hawaii's Banzai Pipeline on Oahu". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2013.
  25. ^ "Surfing Oahu's North Shore". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved 2013.
  26. ^

External links

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