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Tom Sherak, the former President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, died today after battling prostate cancer. He was 68 years old.
In September of 2013, Sherak was appointed as the city’s first Film Czar by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, according to Deadline. Sherak’s job was to increase the number of films and TV shows produced in Hollywood and to reduce the amount of runaway productions, or projects that are intended for filming in the U.S. but end up being shot in another country.
As the president of the academy from 2009 to 2012, Sherak implemented a number of changes, the Los Angeles Times reported. While he was president, the maximum number of best picture nominees grew from five to ten. Sherak also advocated the creation of an academy museum, slated to open in 2017.
Prior to his presidency, Sherak rose through the ranks at Fox, eventually becoming the company’s domestic film group chairman in the ‘80s and ‘90s. He oversaw the release and distribution of classics like The Fly, Die Hard and Wall Street.