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Hollywood Dynasties

By Steven Farber and Marc Green

The following excerpt is from Farber and Green's Hollywood Dynasties, a biography of famous Hollywood families, from the Zanucks, Mayers, and Selznicks to the Douglases and Fondas. There was only a short paragraph pertaining to Planet of the Apes.


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Having been consigned to the uncomfortable role of elder statesman for almost a decade, Darryl Zanuck died in Palm Springs in 1979 at the age of seventy-seven. Though he had already given most of his money to his wife in a property settlement when he left for Europe in 1956, he still left a sizable estate of his own, including his 200,000 shares in the Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation. The bulk went to his wife, his son and two daughters, and his twelve grandchildren. There was also a small bequest to Genevieve Gilles, the last of his European mistresses.

Gilles's Hollywood career had faded quickly after 1971, by which time her mentor had been kicked upstairs at Twentieth Century-Fox and her own Fox contract was cancelled by the new command, lest it prove "embarrassing" to the company. (A similar fate befell Richard Zanuck's second wife, Linda Harrison, a.k.a. Augusta Summerland. She appeared in Planet of the Apes for Fox while her husband was production head, and she had a featured role in the Bracken's World TV series -- about the behind-the-scenes intrigue at a motion picture studio -- which was also made at Fox. Her contract was terminated around the same time as Gilles's, and the same reason was cited.)