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

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

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.

Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies review – Star Wars film boss gets his  name up in lights | Movies | The Guardian

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

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!