January 8, 1940
New York City, New York, United States
Executive, Publicity director, Staff writer, Wire service contact
Experienced executive who has worked successfully with many of Hollywood's major studios, most often in the areas of marketing and publicity. Starting out with Twentieth Century-Fox as a staff writer and contact person, Ganis later held positions with Columbia, Seven Arts and Warner Brothers, where he finally achieved executive status in 1977. Along the way he had more direct contact with filmmaking via production and publicity work on such films as "There Was a Crooked Man" (1970) and "Mame" (1973). Ganis later left Warner Brothers for a position at Lucasfilm where he was responsible for marketing "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980), "Return of the Jedi" (1983) and the first two installments of the "Indiana Jones" trilogy. He achieved his greatest clout as president of the Paramount Motion Picture Group where he helped launch "Top Gun" (1986) and "Fatal Attraction" (1987), and in a senior position as part of Columbia's overall management team. The position at Columbia closed a circle of sorts for Ganis, given that nearly three decades earlier he had worked for the studio as a contact man. From March 1992 until July 1996, Ganis served as executive vice president of Columbia Pictures and president of both marketing and distribution for Columbia. Next he formed a lucrative association with comedian Adam Sandler, producing the comic's hit films "Big Daddy" (1999) and "Mr. Deeds" (2002), as well as teaming with Sandler to produce the films "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" (1999) and "The Master of Disguise" (2002). In 2005 Ganis was elected to his first term as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.