Prolific Hollywood, movie and TV producer Craig Zadan died this week as the result of complications from shoulder-replacement surgery, Towleroad reports.
The out producer was 69.
I’m stunned and saddened the unexpected passing of Craig Zadan. He’s been a friend my entire adult life, championed me to host the Oscars, brought musical theatre back to TV. A wonderful, kind spirit. My sincere condolences to his family and his partner, Elwood. #RIP pic.twitter.com/BWLDmViJar
— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) August 22, 2018
Bob Greenblatt of NBC said in a statement:
It is with profound sadness that I am announcing the passing of my dear friend and colleague Craig Zadan, who died of complications following shoulder replacement surgery. On behalf of his life partner, Elwood Hopkins, and his producing partner, Neil Meron, we are stunned that the man behind so many incredible film, theatre, and television productions — several of them joyous musicals — was taken away so suddenly. Craig’s distinguished career as a passionate and consummate producer is eclipsed only by his genuine love for the thousands of actors, directors, writers, musicians, designers, and technicians he worked with over the years. His absence will be felt in our hearts and throughout our business.
Along with his producing partner Neil Meron (b. 1955), Zadan produced several Oscars telecasts as well as many top Broadway-to-TV events, like The Sound of Music Live! (2013), Peter Pan Live! (2014), The Wiz Life! (2015), Hairspray Live (2016) and this year's Emmy-nomination-laden Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert (2018).
Wow so sad to hear about Craig Zadan. He had music and dance in his soul. And when people are dancing and singing the world is a better place. RIP Craig and Cut Loose!
— Kevin Bacon (@kevinbacon) August 22, 2018
Zadan wrote for After Dark in the '70s and published a book on Stephen Sondheim (b. 1930) before plunging into theatrical production.
Among Zadan's many memorable films, he produced Footloose (1984), Chicago (2002) and Hairspray (2007). On TV, he was behind the Bette Midler (b. 1945) Gypsy (1993),the Whitney Houston (1963-2012) Cinderella (1997) and the fondly remembered series Smash (2012).