Influential film producer and writer of “Star Wars” Alan Ladd, Jr. has died at 84

ron howard, alan ladd jr, and george lucas
Credit: RebelForceRadio

Veteran of the film industry and Oscar winner Alan Ladd, Jr. died yesterday. He was 84.

Ladd was best known for writing Star Wars, after he was commissioned by George Lucas. He was also known for the 1995 film Braveheart about the 13-century Scottish warrior, William Wallace. Ladd also served in executive roles at FOX and MGM/United Artists.

Braveheart @ the Fischer Theatre - Danville Area Visitor's Bureau

Credit: Paramount

Ladd’s daughter, Amanda Ladd-Jones, who played the director role in the 2017 documentary about her father, titled Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies, took to social media yesterday to announce her father’s passing and to share her sentiments with his fans.

FILE - Mel Gibson, right, accepts the award for Best Picture for "Braveheart" at the 68th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Monday, March 25, 1996. Looking on are co-producers Alan Ladd Jr., left, and Bruce Davey. (AP Photo/Eric Draper, File)

Credit: ABC News

“With the heaviest of hearts, we announce that on March 2, 2022, Alan Ladd, Jr. died peacefully at home surrounded by his family,” she wrote. “Words cannot express how deeply he will be missed. His impact on films and filmmaking will live on in his absence.”

In addition to Star Wars and Braveheart, Ladd was known for his work on films like AlienBlade RunnerThe Omen, All That Jazz, Norma Rae, Chariots of FireThelma & Louise, and Young Frankenstein, in which he played the roles of producer and/or studio head.

The Loyalty of Laddie: Alan Ladd Jr. Gambled on George Lucas and We All Won  - Star Wars News Net

Credit: StarWarsNewsNet

Ladd was a talent agent for actors like Judy Garland, Robert Redford, and Warren Beatty. But he worked hard and made it all the way to the top, finally being named FOX Studios President in 1976. Shortly thereafter, he became fascinated with a film that was yet to be released, titled American Graffiti by a young director named George Lucas. Ladd set out to meet with Lucas and hear his ideas for other projects.

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Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

One of those “projects” was for a “character-driven outer space epic,” according to Deadline, and in spite of the fact that Lucas’s idea was very new and nothing like it had been done before, Ladd relished the idea and brought Lucas on to write that epic that we now know as Star Wars.

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“Laddie was one of the few people that actually said, ‘I trust the artist,'” Lucas said in the “Laddie” documentary.

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Alan Ladd, Jr. and George Lucas/Credit: The Guardian

“My biggest contribution to Star Wars was keeping my mouth shut and standing by the picture,” Ladd once told Variety.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!