At 64, I sometimes think, “Geri, you’re in the last quarter of your life.” While this isn’t the most uplifting thought of my day, I realize it’s a completely meaningless and self-centered notion when I read about a woman dying at 61, seven years after being diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. Such is the case with Laura Ziskin, a successful Hollywood producer, whose credits include Pretty Woman, Spider-Man and What About Bob?
A self-made woman in a cut-throat industry, Laura leaves behind a daughter, husband, two brothers, a sister and her mother.
It is always chilling to think about how our lives can change in an instant, as it undoubtedly did for Laura when she got the ghastly news at 54. Here I am, at 64, and I haven’t been diagnosed with anything life threatening. How lucky am I ?
My heart goes out to Laura’s family. Many of her movies gave us a great deal of joy and laughter. Executive producer of Pretty Woman when she was only 40, she had this to say: “I didn’t want a movie whose message would be that some nice guy will come along and give you nice clothes and lots of money and make you happy.” That’s why she demanded an ending to the movie in which Vivian and Edward completely change each other, according to her obit in today’s New York Times.
I hope Laura found joy and laughter during her last years and that she also found comfort in thinking about the legacies she was leaving behind.