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

(1951-07-12) July 12, 1951 (age 72)
Alma mater University of Southern California
Occupation Producer, Author
Years active 1978–present
Corki Corman
(m. 1982; div. 1992)
Gigi Levangie
(m. 1997; div. 2007)
Veronica Smiley
(m. 2016)
Children 4
Relatives Jack Dylan Grazer (nephew)

Brian Thomas Grazer (born July 12, 1951) is an American film and television producer and writer. He founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986 with Ron Howard. The films they produced have grossed over $15 billion. Grazer was personally nominated for four Academy Awards for Splash (1984), Apollo 13 (1995), A Beautiful Mind (2001), and Frost/Nixon (2008). His films and TV series have been nominated for 47 Academy Awards and 217 Emmy Awards.

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

Early life

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

Grazer's father was Catholic and his mother is Jewish. His parents divorced when he was in high school. 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.'"

While in school, Grazer struggled with dyslexia. Grazer got through school by reading other students' papers and arguing his grades with his teachers.

His nephew is actor Jack Dylan Grazer.


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. He then attended USC Law School for one year, but quit in 1975 to pursue a life in Hollywood.


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.

He produced his first feature-film, Night Shift, in 1982, directed by Howard. 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. Grazer went on to became an independent producer, teaming up with Tri-Star Pictures to set up plans for a film to star Richard Pryor, and had a continuing relationship with The Walt Disney Studios, and has plans to develop projects for Paramount Pictures.

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.

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

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.

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. 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".

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.

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.

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, 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.

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. In 2019, Grazer released his second book Face To Face: The Art of Human Connection.

Personal life

Grazer has been married three 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)). In April 2014, Grazer became engaged to Veronica Smiley, chief marketing officer of SBE, a hotel management company. They married on February 20, 2016.

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




  • Night Shift (1982)
  • Splash (1984)
  • Real Genius (1985)
  • Spies Like Us (1985)
  • Armed and Dangerous (1986)
  • Like Father Like Son (1987)
  • Parenthood (1989)
  • Kindergarten Cop (1990)
  • My Girl (1991)
  • Far and Away (1992)
  • Housesitter (1992)
  • Boomerang (1992)
  • For Love or Money (1993)
  • My Girl 2 (1994)
  • Greedy (1994)
  • The Paper (1994)
  • The Cowboy Way (1994)
  • Apollo 13 (1995)
  • Sgt. Bilko (1996)
  • Fear (1996)
  • The Nutty Professor (1996)
  • The Chamber (1996)
  • Ransom (1996)
  • Liar Liar (1997)
  • Inventing the Abbotts (1997)
  • Mercury Rising (1998)
  • Psycho (1998)
  • EDtv (1999)
  • Life (1999)
  • Bowfinger (1999)
  • Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000)
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
  • A Beautiful Mind (2001)
  • Undercover Brother (2002)
  • Blue Crush (2002)
  • 8 Mile (2002)
  • Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
  • The Cat in the Hat (2003)
  • The Missing (2003)
  • Friday Night Lights (2004)
  • Cinderella Man (2005)
  • Flightplan (2005)
  • Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)
  • Inside Man (2006)
  • The Da Vinci Code (2006)
  • American Gangster (2007)
  • Changeling (2008)
  • Frost/Nixon (2008)
  • Angels & Demons (2009)
  • Robin Hood (2010)
  • The Dilemma (2011)
  • Restless (2011)
  • Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
  • Tower Heist (2011)
  • J. Edgar (2011)
  • Rush (2013)
  • Get on Up (2014)
  • The Good Lie (2014)
  • In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
  • Pelé: Birth of a Legend (2016)
  • Lowriders (2016)
  • Inferno (2016)
  • American Made (2017)
  • The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)
  • Pavarotti (2019)
  • Dads (2019)
  • Rebuilding Paradise (2020)
  • Breakthrough: Virus Fighters (2020)
  • Hillbilly Elegy (2020)
  • Tick, Tick... Boom! (2021)
  • Thirteen Lives (2022)

Executive producer

  • Cry-Baby (1990)
  • The Doors (1991)
  • Closet Land (1991)
  • Backdraft (1991)
  • CB4 (1993)
  • Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey! (2009) (Direct-to-video)
  • Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle (2015) (Direct-to-video)
  • Rock the Kasbah (2015)
  • Cop and a Half: New Recruit (2017) (Direct-to-video)
  • Backdraft 2 (2019) (Direct-to-video)
  • Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (2019)
  • Curious George: Royal Monkey (2019) (Direct-to-video)
  • Breakthrough: Virus Fighters (2020)
  • Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel (2021)
  • Julia (2021)

Story writer

  • Splash (1984)
  • Armed and Dangerous (1986)
  • Housesitter (1992)
Music department
Year Film Role Notes
1995 Apollo 13 Executive music producer
Year Film Notes
2015 The Haunting of Pearson Place Inspired by


Executive producer

Year Title Notes
1985−86 Shadow Chasers
1987−88 Ohara
1988 Smart Guys
Poison TV movie
Mutts TV movie
1997 Hiller and Diller
1999 Mulholland Dr. TV pilot
2000 Thirty TV movie
1998−2000 Sports Night
2000 Wonderland
Rat Bastard TV movie
1999−2001 The PJs
2001 The Beast
Silicon Follies TV movie
1998−2002 Felicity
2002 B.S. TV movie
2003 The Snobs TV movie
The Break TV movie
Miss Match
2004 The Big House
2005 Queen B TV movie
Fertile Ground TV movie
2005−06 The Inside
2006 Beyond TV pilot
2007 24: Day Six - Debrief
Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office TV movie
2006−08 Shark
2008 24: Redemption TV movie
2009 Maggie Hill TV movie
2001−10 24
2009−11 Lie to Me
2006−11 Friday Night Lights
2011 Friends with Benefits
The ... Club
2010−12 Parenthood
2012 The Great Escape
Susan 313 TV movie
2013 How to Live with Your Parents
(For the Rest of Your Life)
2014 Those Who Kill
Gang Related
24: Live Another Day
2006−2015 Curious George
2015 The Bastard Executioner
... America TV movie
Problem Child TV pilot
Nerd Herd TV movie
The Clan of the Cave Bear TV pilot
2016 Chance
2016−17 24: Legacy
2015−17 Breakthrough
2017 Shots Fired
2017−18 Genius
2016−18 Mars
2003−19 Arrested Development
2015−19 Empire
2019 Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10 TV short
2019–2021 Why Women Kill
2019 Wu-Tang: An American Saga
2020 68 Whiskey
Filthy Rich
2021 Swagger (TV series)
Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol
The Ms. Pat Show
Genius: Aretha
2022 Under the Banner of Heaven
Light & Magic
Willow Upcoming Disney+ series


Year Title Notes
1978 Zuma Beach TV movie
Thou Shalt Not Commit ... TV movie
1988 Poison
1998 From the Earth to the Moon
1999 Student Affairs TV movie
2005 The WIN Awards TV special
2006 Treasure Hunters Co-producer
2007 Entourage
2012 84th Academy Awards TV special;
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

  • 1998 – Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries for From the Earth to the Moon
  • 2001 – Producers Guild of America's David O. Selznick Lifetime Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures
  • 2003 – ShoWest Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2004 – Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series for Arrested Development
  • 2006 – Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series for 24
  • 2007 – Named one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World"
  • 2008 – Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Animated Program for Curious George
  • 2009 – Producers Guild of America Milestone Award, together with Ron Howard
  • 2009 – New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Big Apple Award, together with Ron Howard
  • 2010 – Simon Wiesenthal Center Humanitarian Award, together with Ron Howard
  • 2010 – Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Animated Program for Curious George
  • 2011 – MPSE 2011 Filmmaker Award
  • 2017 – Grammy Award for Best Music Film for The Beatles: Eight Days a Week
  • 2019 – Atlantic Council Global Citizen Award

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Brian Grazer para niños

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