Former president of Universal Pictures Ned Tanen has died. He was 77.
The Hollywood producer passed away on Monday (05Jan09) from natural causes at his home in Santa Monica, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Tanen took the helm of two of Hollywood's biggest studios and presided over a string of huge box office hits.
In his time at Universal, from 1976 to 1982, Tanen oversaw two record box office years for the studio, with the release of Oscar winners On Golden Pond and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
He left Universal at the height of E.T.'s success, but quickly took on producing roles on a trio of Brat Pack films: The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and St. Elmo's Fire.
He took on the head role at Paramount in 1984 and continued his stellar box office record, with hits including Top Gun and Ghost being produced by the studio under his watch.
After leaving the studio, he finished his career with producing credits on Guarding Tess, Cops and Robbersons and Mary Reilly.
Tanen started his career as a talent agent and worked with entertainers such as Neil Diamond, Elton John, Bill Cosby and Olivia Newton-John.
He moved into movies, and was propelled up the ladder after spotting the potential of huge successes Jaws and Animal House.
He is survived by his partner, Donna Dubrow, two daughters and three grandchildren.