Nancy Bernstein dies at 55; producer on 'Lord of the Rings,' 'X-Men'

Nancy Bernstein, who produced the computer-animated fantasy film “Rise of the Guardians” and contributed to Hollywood blockbusters such as “X-Men” and “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings,” has died at the age of 55.

Bernstein, who died Friday, had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. She helped found the Call to Cure Fund at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“She was a special person who was determined to make a difference for all patients,” Dr. Stephen Gruber, director of the Norris cancer center, said in a statement.

A respected visual effects producer, Bernstein had worked on a lengthy list of films, including “What Dreams May Come” and “I, Robot.” She also worked on “A Beautiful Mind” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” as well as “X-Men” and the first installment of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

In 2005, Bernstein went to work for DreamWorks to oversee its animation production.

“Rise of the Guardians,” which was released in 2012, was a slightly dark take on William Joyce’s series of children’s books. A 3D animation fantasy, the movie was nominated for a Golden Globe and earned favorable reviews, though it was deemed a financial disappointment.

Bernstein was born Sept. 10, 1960, and grew up in New York before moving to Los Angeles. She is survived by her partner, Cheryl; her daughter, Ruby; a brother, Scott; and her parents.

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