BiographyJerry 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.
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. He graduated from Shorewood High School.
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.
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.
The Kentucky Fried Movie
Naked Gun 2½
Naked Gun 33⅓
Friends with Benefits