Laura Ziskin makes history with PGA Visionary Award

Laura Ziskin is a woman used to breaking the glass ceiling. The one-time head of Fox 2000 was the first woman to solo as Oscarcast producer in 2001; she also produced the 2006 edition of the awards. In her day job, she is an acclaimed producer, overseeing the lucrative “Spider-Man” franchise and other popcorn pictures as well as more serious fare.

Back in 2005, Ziskin was feted by her fellow producers with the David O. Selznick award for her lifetime of achievement. Now, for her work as one of the founders of the Stand Up to Cancer initiative, she is to be recognized with the PGA Visionary Award. Ziskin is the first producer to receive both of these distinctions.

As PGA Awards chair Paula Wagner said in making the announcement Wednesday, “Laura Ziskin is not only an exceptionally talented producer but also an avid humanitarian with an inspirational drive to make a difference in the fight against cancer. Through the Stand Up to Cancer initiative, Laura has played a pivotal role in raising funds, awareness and support for continued research to find a cure. We are proud to recognize her for her many strides and exceptional success to encourage hope and change.”

An ever-gracious Ziskin, who is a cancer survivor, said, “I am thrilled to be recognized with this Visionary Award that I share with my colleagues and my co-founders at Stand Up to Cancer. We realized that we had the potential to make cancer the first tier issue it needs to be and to impact how cancer is treated by using our skills as producers and quite literally ‘putting on a show.’ Stand Up to Cancer is my most important production and I am so touched and proud that the PGA is honoring us for it.”

Photo: Laura Ziskin with Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams and Katie Couric at the 2010 Stand Up 2 Cancer Show (SU2C)

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