Joe Wizan


Joe Wizan, producer, former 20th Century Fox executive and longtime Malibu resident, died March 21 at an assisted living facility in Westlake Village due to complications from an illness. He was 76.

Wizan was born Jan. 7, 1935 in Monterrey, Mexico and grew up in Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights neighborhood. He attended the University of California Los Angeles and served in the United States Army National Guard.

Wizan began his career working in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency during the 1950s. He then worked as a successful talent agent and served as vice president specializing in film packaging at Creative Management Associates before beginning work as an independent producer in 1970.

Wizan worked briefly as president of production at CBS Theatrical Films before becoming president of 20th Century Fox’s motion picture division in 1983. He produced many films including “And Justice For All,” “The Last American Hero” and “Along Came a Spider,” among others. During his year and a half at Fox, Wizan green-lighted films such as “Romancing the Stone,” “Bachelor Party” and Revenge of the Nerds.”

In 1999, Wizan created and hosted a talk radio show called “Inside the Movies” on KRLA Sundays from three to five in the evening. The show was later renamed “A List” and moved to Fridays from four to six. The show hosted numerous members of the entertainment industry including Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, Sharon Stone and Sydney Pollack.

Wizan enjoyed both the film industry and the Malibu life.

“Joe absolutely loved Malibu,” his wife, Melanie, said.

Wizan is survived by his wife, Melanie, his children Steve and Robin Wizan, his sister Paulette Blumenthal, his stepchildren Tyler and Colby Trivette, his two grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be private.