This is part of a new series I’d like to introduce, in which I’ll pay tribute to industry veterans who may not be as well-known as your typical Hollywood stars. Kicking things off is a man responsible for some of my favorite movies of all-time.
Tom Rothman is an influential entertainment studio executive who has a long string of money-making and award-winning films to his credit. Since mid-2013 he has been chairman of TriStar Productions, a company that he started for Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) to produce films for SPE as well as programming for Sony Pictures Television.
Rothman served as Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment from 2000 until January 1, 2013. He had first joined the company in 1994, when he launched Fox Searchlight, a specialty division of the studio. In the years he headed Fox, among the projects he produced were ”Life of Pi,” the “X-Men” franchise and the “Ice Age” series. “Titanic” and “Avatar” are the top two grossing films of all time were made under his leadership. “Slumdog Millionaire” won the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture in 2008.
The television programs initiated under his leadership at Fox include “Modern Family,” “Glee” and “Homeland.” While he was at Fox, all four of the major film production divisions of the company were headed by women. The Fox brands, which include Blue Sky animation, that he managed during his tenure still account for annual worldwide revenues of more than eight billion dollars.
His other former positions include head of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, President of Worldwide Production for the Samuel Goldwyn Company, Executive Vice President at Columbia Pictures and head of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
He has been producing motion pictures and television shows since 1986, when he joined Columbia. In his career, other films he has produced include Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” “Black Swan,” “Juno,” “the Devil Wears Prada” and “Borat.” While at Goldwyn, which he joined in 1989, he recognized and promoted the talents of up-and-coming directors Ang Lee, Anthony Minghella and Kenneth Branaugh.
Born in Baltimore in 1954, Rothman graduated from Brown University in 1976, and from Columbia Law School in 1980. He is married to Jessica Harper, an author, singer and actress. The couple have two daughters.
He is a member of the Board of the Corporation of Brown University. He is also a member of the National Council on the Arts. Over the years he has been active in many philanthropic causes, including The Jewish Home for the Aging and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Currently, he is producing Steven Spielberg’s film “Robopocalypse.”