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Pollack Colleague in Talks for Top United Artists Job

November 06, 1996|CLAUDIA ELLER

Lindsay Doran, longtime producing partner of director Sydney Pollack, is in serious negotiations to become the new head of MGM's United Artists movie unit, replacing outgoing President John Calley.

Sources close to the talks said MGM and Doran are still trying to work out financial aspects of the deal, which could be resolved this week.

The hiring would reunite Doran with MGM Chairman Frank Mancuso, for whom she worked as a senior executive at Paramount Pictures before joining Pollack's Mirage Enterprises in 1989.

Doran, who served as president of Mirage, announced three weeks ago that she was parting ways with Pollack after a seven-year partnership. Pollack's daughter Rebecca Pollack is a top executive at UA.

Doran and Pollack collaborated on a number of movies, including "The Firm," "Sabrina" and "Dead Again."

Last year, Doran produced the highly acclaimed adaptation of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility," which won two Golden Globes (best picture and screenplay) and an Oscar (screenplay). Mirage co-produced the film with Columbia Pictures.

While she was a senior vice president at Paramount, Doran was the executive responsible for the development of "Ghost" and the John Hughes movies "Pretty in Pink," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."

If she takes the job, Doran will be faced with the challenge of cranking up the number of movies in production at MGM. Movie making stalled during the months-long process of selling the firm. In July, Mancuso's management team, backed by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, completed the purchase.

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