Thursday 9 August 2012

Some Hollywood Types

In keeping with my theme of “countdown to my return to Los Angeles,” I’m going to briefly profile some Richards in Hollywood.

First up is Richard Darryl Zanuck, who just died this year on 13 July (I realize that’s almost a month ago, but I read Time magazine in a decidedly untimely manner). Richard Zanuck was a producer who began his career at 20th Century Fox, where his father worked. Richard was later fired by his father (after the failure of Doctor Doolittle), moved to Warner Brothers, and eventually branched out by starting his own company.

Richard’s first film was 1959’s Compulsion, which was based on the trial of Leopold and Loeb (Loeb was another Richard; I profiled him a while ago). Zanuck also produced Jaws and the Academy-Award winning Driving Miss Daisy. In more recent years, Zanuck did a lot of work with Tim Burton, producing six of Burton’s films: Planet of the Apes, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Alice in Wonderland, and Dark Shadows. Zanuck died of a heart attack at age 77.

Next we have a young actor (born in 1986) – Richard Madden. Richard Madden is most famous for playing Robb Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones. I really can’t do more than simply state that fact because I do not watch Game of Thrones. (As a medievalist, I’ve had several people ask me if I do. Presumably, these people are masochists, as it is generally bad news bears to ask a historian about their thoughts on any sort of vaguely historical bit of pop culture).

Anyway, Madden is Scottish, from the village of Elderslie (fairly near Glasgow). According to the almighty Wikipedia, Elderslie is the “disputed” birthplace of William Wallace, better known as “Mel Gibson in Braveheart.” (Do not get me started on Braveheart. Or really any other medieval historian, for that matter. You do not have time to sit through all the bitching that will ensue).

Richard has also been praised for his style and good looks. He was named Most Stylish Male at the Scottish Style Awards in October (not sure on the year) and Esquire included him in its list of Hottest Stars in 2010. I guess he is pretty cute. Is Robb Stark a major character on Game of Thrones?

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