Hollywood Pays Tribute To Prolific Producer Craig Zadan

Zadan’s notable TV credits stretch back to the ’90s, when he and Meron brought to the small screen music-infused TV movies like “Cinderella” starring Whitney Houston and “Annie.” In recent years, Zadan and Meron ushered in a new era of musical television with live musicals for NBC, including “The Wiz” and “The Sound of Music.”
Their latest effort, “Jesus Christ Superstar in Concert,” was nominated for 13 Emmy awards last month.
John Legend, who starred in the production, called Zadan “a wonderful producer and a lovely man” in a statement on Twitter.
Zadan and Meron were also behind NBC’s cult favorite musical drama, “Smash.”
The star of that series, Debra Messing, remembered her time on the show as “one of the most meaningful professional experiences in my career” in a tribute to Zadan posted to Instagram.
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I just found out that Craig Zadan has passed on. He and his producing partner @neilmeron are responsible for one of the most meaningful professional experiences in my career. They brought the magic of Broadway to prime time television with SMASH, and for 2 years I felt like I was living in a dream. They brought accomplished actors, real Broadway dancers and singers, Tony winning lyricist/score writers, Steven Spielberg, and Pulitzer Prize nominee Theresa Reback together with a pure love and drive to bring Broadway to all those who can’t afford, or travel to see a show in NYC. I loved it. And I loved Craig for his passion, and heart, and absolute belief in the endeavor. A kind, talented man who’d never really imagined would ever stop creating. RIP.

A post shared by Debra Messing (@therealdebramessing) on

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“They brought the magic of Broadway to prime time television with SMASH, and for 2 years I felt like I was living in a dream.” she wrote. “I loved it. And I loved Craig for his passion, and heart, and absolute belief in the endeavor.”
Zadan and Meron also produced films like “Chicago,” the remakes of “Hairspray” and “Footloose,” and three Oscars telecasts in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
“I’m stunned and saddened the unexpected passing of Craig Zadan,” actor Neil Patrick Harris wrote on Twitter. “He’s been a friend my entire adult life, championed me to host the Oscars, brought musical theatre back to TV. A wonderful, kind spirit.”
“He had music and dance in his soul,” actor Kevin Bacon added. “And when people are dancing and singing the world is a better place. RIP Craig and Cut Loose!”
Zadan and Meron had a number of projects in the works with NBC at the time of Zadan’s death, including live productions of “Bye Bye Birdie” with Jennifer Lopez and “Hair.”

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