Alan Ladd Jr., the legendary film executive who greenlit Star Wars and produced such films as Braveheart and Blade Runner, has died at the age of 84.

    Via Variety, his daughter Amanda Ladd-Jones confirmed the news in a Facebook post. “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.”

    Born October 22nd, 1937, Ladd Jr. grew up in the shadow of his famous father, the actor Alan Ladd (Shane). While he never became a household name like his dad, his mark on the film industry is undeniable.

    Ladd Jr. began his career as an agent, working with such luminaries as Robert Redford and Judy Garland. In 1973 he joined 20th Century Fox as VP of Production, before quickly working his way up to head of Production and then President. In addition to facing down the Fox board when they wanted to pull the plug on Star Wars, Ladd’s tenure brought about Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise, Mel Brooks’ Silent Movie and Young Frankenstein, and prestige classics including All That Jazz and Breaking Away.


    He left Fox in 1979 to form The Ladd Company. The new project had its first hit distributing Chariots of Fire for Warner Bros., and it followed that by producing some of the most indelible films of the 1980s, including Blade Runner, two Police Academy movies, and Sergio Leone’s epic Once Upon a Time in America. Despite these successes, the company was saddled with debt, and Ladd left for MGM.