From the Inside Flap: Darryl Zanuck-one of the most dynamic and powerful figures during Hollywood's golden years-enthralled American audiences for over five decades with his uncanny instinct for knowing what moviegoers wanted. Along with the handful of powerful moguls such as Harry Cohn, Sam Goldwyn, Louis B Mayer, and David Selznick, Zanuck is largely responsible for carving the preeminent place film has in our culture, creating Hollywood as not merely a place, but a state of mind. But it is Zanuck alone who stands out for his gifts as a consummate and instinctive cinematic genius. From his position as production head of Warner Brothers at age twenty-three, and as the founder of 20th Century-Fox, Zanuck masterminded every aspect of his films with his uncanny sense for storyline, casting, editing, and directing, never content to be merely a front office figurehead. Short, cocky, arrogant and ruthless, the very caricature of a movie tycoon with his every-present cigar, sunglasses, and starlet by his side, Zanuck was responsible for making The Jazz Singer speak, as well as for many of Hollywood's most controversial and enduring films, including The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, Pinky, Gentleman's Agreement, and The Longest Day. Strangely enough, Zanuck's is a story that has never before been fully revealed. Now, drawing on his extensive knowledge of Hollywood from his many years as film journalist, renowned biographer Leonard Mosley candidly chronicles Zanuck's turbulent, dramatic life and the effect he had on those around him. Abandoned by his mother at an early age, Zanuck spent the rest of his life in feverish conquest of women and competition with men. His legendary and inexhaustible sexual appetite made Zanuck's casting couch the most used in the business, and his compulsion to bed every starlet in his studio resulted in an eighteen-year estrangement from his patient wife and former Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty, Virginia Fox. His repeated attempts to launch his young mistresses to stardom resulted in humiliating failure. But Zanuck's egotistical nature was most felt by his three children, including his son Richard who speaks frankly in this biography of his father publicly and brutally firing him from his position as president of 20th Century-Fox. From silent films through Hollywood's heyday to the modern screen Darryl Zanuck has left an indelible mark on the history of film. Zanuck: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood's Last Tycoon brings to life an incredible American success story, the story of Hollywood as well-a story that not even Darryl Zanuck could have invented.