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Jerry Zucker (film director)


Jerry Zucker (film director)

Jerry Zucker
Born (1950-03-11) March 11, 1950
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Occupation Film director, film producer, screenwriter
Spouse(s) Janet (Krausz) Zucker (1987–present; 2 children)

Jerry G. Zucker (born March 11, 1950) is an American film director known for his role in directing comedy spoof films such as Airplane! and Naked Gun, and the drama film Ghost.[1]


  • Life and career 1
  • Filmography 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Life and career

Zucker was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Charlotte A. (Lefstein) (d. 2007) and Burton C. Zucker, who was a real estate developer.[2][3] He graduated from Shorewood High School.[4]

Zucker's early career work started with Jim Abrahams and brother David Zucker. The trio performed in Madison, Wisconsin as a sketch and comedy troupe called "Kentucky Fried Theater". From there the three went on and together co-directed Airplane! in 1980 and then went on to do Top Secret! in 1984, and Ruthless People in 1986. In 1990, he lent his directorial skills to the dramatic genre with Ghost, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. Recent directorial efforts of Zucker's include the 2001 film Rat Race.

Zucker's films have been ranked among the greatest comedies of all time: Airplane! was ranked at the top of Entertainment Weekly's list of best comedy films and AFI listed it as #10; Top Secret! made Entertainment Weekly's Top 100 list.[5]

Like his brother David Zucker, Jerry often cast his mother, Charlotte (who died in 2007), and his sister, Susan Breslau, in small roles in his films. Along with Jim Abrahams, the Zuckers constitute the "ZAZ" team of directors.


Year Film Director Producer Writer
1977 The Kentucky Fried Movie
1980 Airplane!
1984 Top Secret!
1986 Ruthless People
1988 Naked Gun
1990 Ghost
1991 Naked Gun 2½
1994 Naked Gun 33⅓
1995 First Knight
2001 Rat Race
2010 Fair Game
2011 Friends with Benefits


  1. ^ "Jerry Zucker-Biography". Yahoo! Movies. 
  2. ^ David Zucker Biography (1947-)
  3. ^
  4. ^ "25 years and still laughing: 'Airplane!' maintains its cruising altitude with a non-stop zany attitude", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 11, 2005. Accessed September 17, 2007. "The event is in honor of the volunteer service and philanthropy of Louise Abrahams Yaffe and her son Jim Abrahams, who wrote and directed "Airplane!" with fellow Shorewood High School and University of Wisconsin–Madison graduates David and Jerry Zucker."
  5. ^ Kaltenbach, Chris (August 22, 2001). "'"Jerry Zucker Still Flies High on 'Airplane!. Los Angeles Times. 

External links

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