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Alumni Gazette: Richard Fischoff ’68

Behind the ScenesA veteran film producer shares insight into some of his major box office hits.Interview by Jim Mandelaro

Richard Fischoff ’68 didn’t star in Kramer vs. Kramer, Sleepless in Seattle, The Big Chill, or Fatal Attraction. But the Hollywood executive played a role in each movie as it made its way from script to screen.

Now an independent producer living in Los Angeles, the New York City native has been shepherding films for nearly four decades.

A history major at Rochester, he planned to become an attorney. But for a minor in film, he took courses at the George Eastman House, where he watched a lot of movies.

He left law behind and became an acquisitions editor at Simon & Schuster and Warner Books. There, he began reading screenplays and manuscripts with an eye toward turning the material into major motion pictures.

As the guest last fall of the Dr. Matthew E. and Ruth Harmon Fairbank Alumni Lectureship Fund, Fischoff presented the annual Fairbank lecture at Rochester. As he talked about his career, he shared behind-the-scenes tidbits about some of his memorable movies.

For more of the conversation with Fischoff, visit