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Tom Rothman


Tom Rothman

Thomas Rothman
Born Thomas Edgar Rothman
(1954-11-21) November 21, 1954 (age 59)
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Occupation Media executive
Religion Judaism[1]
Spouse(s) Jessica Harper (m. 1989)
Children 2 daughters
Family John Rothman (brother)

Thomas Edgar "Tom" Rothman (born November 21, 1954) is an American film executive.[2][3] He was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Filmed Entertainment with Jim Gianopulos until his resignation on September 14, 2012, effective January 1.[3][4] Rothman began at Fox in 1994 as the founder and President of Fox Searchlight and served the company for 18 years.[5] Under his leadership, Fox had the best profit margins of any movie studio.[6]

During Rothman's tenure, Fox films were nominated for over 150 Oscars and won three Best Picture Awards.[7] The company also earned over $30 billion in the box office and made the two highest grossing films of all time, Titanic and Avatar.[8][9][10][11] Rothman also hosted Fox Legacy, a television series in which he provided background and behind-the-scenes information regarding the making of films.[6]

Early life and education

Rothman was born in Baltimore, Maryland.[12] In 1976, Rothman graduated from Brown University with Honors in English and American Literature, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and was an All New England selection in Division 1 Lacrosse.[11][13]

In 1977, he worked as an English Teacher at the Salisbury School in Connecticut and coached varsity soccer.[11] He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1980 as a James Kent Scholar, the school's highest academic honor.[9][11][14] In 1981, he served on The United States Court of Appeals Second Circuit as a law clerk for the Honorable Walter Mansfield.[11][13][14] From 1982 to 1986, he worked as an attorney at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.[11][13][15]

Film career

  • In 1989, he served as president of Worldwide Production for the Samuel Goldwyn Company.[10][11][14] He supervised landmark independent films such as Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Longtime Companion, Truly Madly Deeply, Wild At Heart, and The Madness of King George.[9][10][13] He discovered and championed numerous young filmmakers who went on to become successful, including Ang Lee, Anthony Minghella,and Kenneth Branagh.[9][10][13] During this time, the company's films won the Palme d'Or at Cannes three times.[17]
  • For 18 years, Rothman worked at Fox Filmed Entertainment.[10][14][16]
  • In 1994, Rothman founded and was the first President of Fox Searchlight, one of the first specialty film divisions linked to a major studio.[13][14][16] Fox Searchlight went on to distribute multiple Oscar winning films, including Slumdog Millionaire, which won the Best Picture Oscar in 2008.[10][16]
  • From 1996-1998, Rothman was president of production for Twentieth Century Fox where he oversaw the majority of the company’s film development and production.[13][16]
  • From 1998-2000, Rothman was president of Twentieth Century Fox Film Group.[10][13][14][16]
  • From 2000-2012, Tom Rothman was chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment (FFE).[3] FFE includes 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight,Blue Sky Animation, and Twentieth Century Fox Television.[3][10][13][14] During this time, the studio was nominated for over 150 Academy Awards, won three Best Picture Oscars, earned over $30 billion in worldwide box office sales.[10][14][16] Fox had the best profit margins of any movie studio.[6] Some of the films produced over Rothman's tenure include: Lincoln, Life of Pi, Descendants, Cast Away, Master and Commander, Black Swan, Walk the Line, Juno, The Devil Wears Prada, The X-Men series, the Ice Age series, Rio, and several others.[18] Under Rothman’s leadership, Fox produced Modern Family, Glee, and Homeland.
  • From 2007-2010, Tom Rothman hosted Fox Legacy, a television series in which he provided background and behind-the-scenes information regarding the making of films.[6]
  • In September 2012, Tom Rothman resigned as chairman and chief executive of Fox Filmed Entertainment.[4] That same month, Steven Spielberg announced that Rothman would produce Spielberg’s Robopocalypse, for DreamWorks.[19]

Awards and recognition

  • In 1995, the first Fox Searchlight movie The Brothers McMullen won The Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.[8]
  • In 1997, Titanic was nominated for a record 14 Academy Awards and won Best Picture and 10 other Academy Awards.[21]
  • In 1998, Columbia University awarded Rothman the Arthur B. Krim Award for outstanding leadership in his work.
  • In 2003, Premiere’s Power List ranked Tom Rothman #7.[22]
  • In 2004, The Saturn Rings, an award presented annually by The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, awarded Tom Rothman The Life Career Award.[23]
  • In 2004, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society honored Tom Rothman at its 30th Annual Dinner of Champions.[24]
  • In 2005, Variety awarded Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos the Showman of the Year Award.[25]
  • In 2009, Mentor L.A. honored Tom Rothman for his commitment to public education.[26]
  • In 2011, The Gotham Independent Film Awards awarded Rothman the Industry Tribute, which is the lifetime achievement award for independent film.[16]
  • In the fall of 2012, MSN Entertainment listed the fact that Tom Rothman left 20th Century Fox as one of the “Biggest Movie Bummers of 2012”.[27]


Rothman is active in the nonprofit arts and education arenas.[9][11][12] He is a member of the Board of the Corporation of Brown University, where he serves on the Academic Affairs Committee.[11][12] He has worked as a teacher and fundraiser for Mentor L.A. Partner Schools.[11][12] Rothman is an emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the Sundance Institute, which he served for 20 years, and the American Film Institute, a top film graduate school.[9][12] Tom Rothman has been involved in fundraising activities for The Jewish Home for the Aging, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the American Jewish Committee.[12] He serves on the board of New York’s Art Therapy Outreach Center (ATOC), an organization that uses art therapy to help at risk groups.[12] He serves on the Board of Trustees for California Institute of the Arts.[29]

Personal life

Rothman is married to actress, singer, and author Jessica Harper. The couple has two daughters.[11][12] Rothman is the brother of actor John Rothman.[30][31]


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
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