On Richard Zanuck

Marisa steps away from the drama and mourns the loss of her father-in-law.

This week it's time to step aside from attempts at humor and poking fun at the foibles of RHOBH to focus on what really matters: Family.

Watching this episode was extremely difficult, as I was immediately brought back to July 13, 2012 in vivid detail. Dean and I were in the car on our way to the airport to fly to Paris when the distress call came. By the time we arrived at my father-in-law's home ten minutes later it was too late. A sudden massive heart attack had claimed Dick's life at 77.

The evening prior, Dick, Dean, and I had enjoyed a wonderful dinner in Beverly Hills. It was like the hundreds of dinners we had shared before but tonight the topic was Paris, a place beloved by Dick, where Dean and I spent our honeymoon and were now headed on this new adventure for the show. He was so excited for us and recommended places and sites to take the 'Wives in our free time. Dean made him pronounce (or in Dick's case mispronounce) the name of the French dessert "mille-feuille" over and over which always made us laugh. Dick spoke of his recent trip to the south of France with his wife Lili where they had swam together every day in Mediterranean. He asked about how we thought our kids were doing at sleep away camp and then it was time to go home. We walked to his car, I hugged him goodnight and he and Dean gave each other their traditional low five. Right as we headed off, Dean turned around and gave his father a second low five, which I had never seen him do before. We walked home that evening to the most beautiful crimson sky.

The next morning life turned on a dime.

Most people knew Richard Zanuck as a legendary figure in the film business. I had the great blessing to know the man, husband, father, grandfather, and friend that he was for 16 years. At age 21, he became the father figure I had always hoped for in my life. He accepted me as I was and treated me like one of his own. Dean and I were with Dick and Lili all the time, from vacations, to premieres to Sunday dinners. Through this, I was exposed to amazing places, people, and experiences but most important of all, to a patriarch whose incredible character and love of family have helped shape who I am today.

I loved this man and was so fortunate to have experienced him.


All Posts About: Marisa Zanuck

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