Tom Sherak
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Tom Sherak | 1945-2014

Tom Sherak
Tom Sherak, who served in key posts at 20th Century Fox and was head of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 2009 to 2012, has died at 68. Over his career, Sherak, who died after a long battle with prostate cancer, held high-ranking marketing and production jobs at Fox and eventually rose to chairman of the domestic film group. He was instrumental in movies such as “Die Hard,” “The Fly,” “Wall Street” and “Independence Day,” and at the time of his death had served as Los Angeles’ film czar.

In the above photo, Tom Sherak stands before a gallery of past presidents of the academy at its Beverly Hills headquarters on July 10, 2012, when he was the outgoing president of the academy. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
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Tom Sherak, in his AMPAS office in Beverly Hills.

Sept. 27, 2013, on taking on the role of director of the Mayor’s Entertainment Industry and Production Office (under Mayor Eric Garcetti, for a salary of $1 a year):

“The idea is to be able to give back because I’ve been blessed by this wonderful industry,” Sherak said. “We have to figure out how to keep jobs here and keep people working in California.” (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
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Tom Sherak at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences office.

July 25, 2012, on leaving his position as the motion picture academy president:

“The bottom line is I’m a ham. Getting up at 2 a.m. to do the Oscar nominations on ABC, I was here before anyone else. I couldn’t wait to get here. It was like I was a kid again.” (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
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Tom Sherak after the announcement of the 84th Academy Award nominees in Beverly Hills on Jan. 24, 2012.

July 27, 2013, before the elections for new academy board president (Rob Friedman vs. Cheryl Boone Isaacs):

“Most of the people on the board can be president. I don’t think you have to be a brain surgeon. You have to have good common sense and guide the organization in the way the board wants it to be guided. You don’t take over and do what you want.” (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
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Actress Jennifer Lawrence and academy President Tom Sherak announce Oscar nominees on Jan. 24, 2012.

June 29, 2012, on the academy making progress on diversity:

“We’ve been trying to figure out ways how we as the academy can deal with diversity. And I think we are getting there. We give scholarships. We give internships. How do we increase that? It’s about getting them into the business. There is no question in my mind that once they are in this business and start loving it the way the people in this business love it, they will become academy members. You have to earn it. And I think that will happen over time. It’s not going to happen overnight.” (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
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Tom Sherak, left, and actor Jonah Hill at the 84th Academy Awards luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 6, 2012.

Nov. 15, 2009, on making the 2009 Oscars more fun:

“That statuette means a lot. It is the granddaddy of all the other shows, but people are now seeing stars and celebrities every day of the week on television or dressed up. It used to be a reason why you waited for the Academy Awards. We have to come up with a way to make that night fun for people of all ages — those who have been watching it for 30 years and those who have been watching it for five years.” (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
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Anne Sweeney, president of Disney-ABC Television Group, with Sherak at an Alzheimer’s Assn. fundraiser in Beverly Hills on March 16, 2011.

Nov. 15, 2009, on his decision to broaden the 2009 Oscar race:

“We need to not be afraid to try things. We need to be positive. The people who are against the idea say, ‘What if it doesn’t work?’ Then we won’t do it again.” (Alex J. Berliner / ABImages)
Tom Sherak
Academy President Tom Sherak, center, is joined by the producers of 2011’s Oscar ceremony, Don Mischer, left, and Bruce Cohen, at a news conference on Feb. 27, 2011. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Tom Sherak
Sherak, center, is joined by the producers of 2011’s Oscar ceremony, Bruce Cohen, left, and Don Mischer, at the 83rd Oscar nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills on Feb. 7, 2011. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
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Sherak is joined by 2009 Oscar winner Mo’Nique as they announce the nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards on Jan. 25, 2011 in Beverly Hills. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
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Anne Hathaway and Sherak announce the best picture nominees for the Oscars on Feb. 2, 2010, in Beverly Hills. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
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Tom Sherak on Oct. 29, 2009, soon after being named president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
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Jeffrey Katzenberg, left, Sherak and executive producer Joe Roth attend the premiere after-party for “Daddy Day Care” on May 4, 2003.  (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
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Tom Sherak, left, with media executives Peter Chernin and Rupert Murdoch at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Dinner of Champions fundraiser on Sept. 15, 1997, in Los Angeles. (Alex Berliner / Berliner Studio)
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Sherak conducts an auction at a charity fundraiser at Universal Studios on Sept. 28, 2000. (Eric Charbonneau / Berliner Studios )
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