New York City, New York, United States
Laurence Mark has worked in a variety of fields in the movie business, beginning in publicity, working his way up to the executive suite and eventually heading his own production company. Mark entered showbiz as a trainee at United Artists and eventually became a publicist. He later joined the marketing department at Paramount Pictures, rising to the position of executive director of publicity for the motion picture division in NYC. After several promotions, Mark became vice president of production, overseeing such features as the James L Brooks' Oscar-winning "Terms of Endearment" and the Eddie Murphy hit "Trading Places" (both 1983). He subsequently joined 20th Century Fox as executive vice president of production. Among the features under his watch were David Croenenberg's remake of "The Fly" (1986) and Brooks' Oscar-nominated "Broadcast News" (1987). In 1986, Mark formed Laurence Mark Productions, headquartered at Fox. He went on to produce or executive produce such features as the thriller "Black Widow" (1987) and Mike Nichols' comedy "Working Girl" (1988). Mark moved his company to Walt Disney Studios in 1989 where he had less success with "True Colors" (1991) and the disastrous "Cutthroat Island" (1995). He did score somewhat with the Whoopi Goldberg vehicle "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" (1993) but it took Tom Cruise and Cameron Crowe's "Jerry Maguire" (1996) to give him a bona fide box-office and critical hit. The film earned more than $100 million and won five Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture. He shared that nomination with Crowe, James L Brooks and Richard Sakai. Mark reteamed with the latter two the following year for Brooks' highly anticipated "As Good As It Gets," which featured Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear. In 1998, he finally saw the realization of a long-nurtured project, the screen adaptation of Stephen McCauley's novel "The Object of My Affection."