Thomas Rothman

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Thomas Rothman
Born Thomas Edgar Rothman
(1954-11-21) November 21, 1954 (age 60)
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Occupation Media executive
Religion Judaism[1]
Spouse(s) Jessica Harper (m. 1989)
Children 2 daughters
Family John Rothman (brother)

Thomas Edgar "Tom" Rothman (born November 21, 1954) is an American film executive and was recently named Chairman of a new joint venture with Sony Pictures to make films and television under the TriStar banner called TriStar Productions.[2][3][4] He was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Filmed Entertainment with Jim Gianopulos until his resignation on September 14, 2012, effective January 1.[4][5] Rothman began at Fox in 1994 as the founder and President of Fox Searchlight and served the company for 18 years.[6] Under his leadership, Fox had the best profit margins of any film studio.[7]

During Rothman's tenure, Fox films were nominated for over 150 Oscars and won three Best Picture Awards.[8] The company also earned over $30 billion in the box office and made the two highest grossing films of all time, Titanic and Avatar.[9][10][11][12] Rothman also hosted Fox Legacy, a television series in which he provided background and behind-the-scenes information regarding the making of films.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Rothman was born in Baltimore, Maryland to Jewish parents.[13] In 1976, Rothman graduated from Brown University with Honors in English and American Literature, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and was an All New England selection in Division 1 Lacrosse.[12][14]

In 1977, he worked as an English Teacher at the Salisbury School in Connecticut and coached varsity soccer.[12] He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1980 as a James Kent Scholar, the school's highest academic honor.[10][12][15] In 1981, he served on The United States Court of Appeals Second Circuit as a law clerk for the Honorable Walter Mansfield.[12][14][15] From 1982 to 1986, he worked as an attorney at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.[12][14][16]

Film career[edit]

  • In 1989, he served as president of Worldwide Production for the Samuel Goldwyn Company.[11][12][15] He supervised landmark independent films such as Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Longtime Companion, Truly Madly Deeply, Wild At Heart, and The Madness of King George.[10][11][14] He discovered and championed numerous young filmmakers who went on to become successful, including Ang Lee, Anthony Minghella,and Kenneth Branagh.[10][11][14] During this time, the company's films won the Palme d'Or at Cannes three times.[18]
  • For 18 years, Rothman worked at Fox Filmed Entertainment.[11][15][17]
  • In 1994, Rothman founded and was the first President of Fox Searchlight, one of the first specialty film divisions linked to a major studio.[14][15][17] Fox Searchlight went on to distribute multiple Oscar winning films, including Slumdog Millionaire, which won the Best Picture Oscar in 2008.[11][17]
  • From 1996-1998, Rothman was president of production for Twentieth Century Fox where he oversaw the majority of the company’s film development and production.[14][17]
  • From 1998-2000, Rothman was president of Twentieth Century Fox Film Group.[11][14][15][17]
  • From 2007-2010, Tom Rothman hosted Fox Legacy, a television series in which he provided background and behind-the-scenes information regarding the making of films.[7]
  • In September 2012, Tom Rothman resigned as chairman and chief executive of Fox Filmed Entertainment.[5] That same month, Steven Spielberg announced that Rothman would produce Spielberg’s Robopocalypse, for DreamWorks.[20]
  • In February 2015, it was announced that Rothman will replace Amy Pascal as chairman of Sony Pictures' Motion Picture Group. Rothman will continue to oversee the properties he greenlit at TriStar.[22]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • In 1995, the first Fox Searchlight movie The Brothers McMullen won The Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.[9]
  • In 1997, Titanic was nominated for a record 14 Academy Awards and won Best Picture and 10 other Academy Awards.[23]
  • In 1998, Columbia University awarded Rothman the Arthur B. Krim Award for outstanding leadership in his work.
  • In 2003, Premiere’s Power List ranked Tom Rothman #7.[24]
  • In 2004, The Saturn Rings, an award presented annually by The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, awarded Tom Rothman The Life Career Award.[25]
  • In 2004, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society honored Tom Rothman at its 30th Annual Dinner of Champions.[26]
  • In 2005, Variety awarded Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos the Showman of the Year Award.[27]
  • In 2009, Mentor L.A. honored Tom Rothman for his commitment to public education.[28]
  • In 2011, The Gotham Independent Film Awards awarded Rothman the Industry Tribute, which is the lifetime achievement award for independent film.[17]
  • In the fall of 2012, MSN Entertainment listed the fact that Tom Rothman left 20th Century Fox as one of the “Biggest Movie Bummers of 2012”.[29]


Rothman is active in the nonprofit arts and education arenas.[10][12][13] In December 2013, President Obama nominated Rothman to serve on the 18-member National Council on the Arts. The Council advises on the National Endowment for the Arts’s policies and programs and makes recommendations on grant applications.[31] He is a member of the Board of the Corporation of Brown University, where he serves on the Academic Affairs Committee.[12][13] He has worked as a teacher and fundraiser for Mentor L.A. Partner Schools.[12][13] Rothman is an emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the Sundance Institute, which he served for 20 years, and the American Film Institute, a top film graduate school.[10][13] Tom Rothman has been involved in fundraising activities for The Jewish Home for the Aging, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the American Jewish Committee.[13] He serves on the board of New York’s Art Therapy Outreach Center (ATOC), an organization that uses art therapy to help at risk groups.[13] He serves on the Board of Trustees for California Institute of the Arts.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Rothman is married to actress, singer, and author Jessica Harper. The couple has two daughters.[12][13] Rothman is the brother of actor John Rothman.[33][34]


  1. ^ MICHAEL AUSHENKER (July 4, 2002). "Meet the Parents". Retrieved August 16, 2013. It never came in the sectarian way," Rothman, 47, says of his parents' Jewishness. "It was a question of humanity. My parents didn't distinguish between Jewish causes and non-Jewish causes. 
  2. ^ MICHAEL CIEPLY (August 1, 2013). "Sony Hires Rothman to Head Revived TriStar Unit". New York Times. Retrieved 7 Jan 2014. 
  3. ^ "Co-chair and CEO of 20th Century Fox Resigns". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d TAD FRIEND (June 25, 2012). "FUNNY IS MONEY, Ben Stiller and the dilemma of modern stardom.". New Yorker. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b BROOKS BARNES AND MICHAEL CIEPLY (September 14, 2012). "Rothman Exits as Head of Fox Film Division". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Lyons, Charles (November 29, 2011). "Gotham Awards + 9". IndieWire. 
  7. ^ a b c d Barnes, Brooke (June 7, 2008), Rare Hollywood Type: Camera-Ready Executive, The New York Times 
  8. ^ a b "Sundance Institute Announces Jury Members for 2013 Sundance Film Festival.". Sundance. Dec 19, 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Anthony Breznican (January 25, 2013). "Sundance 2013: Juror Tom Rothman on the legacy of indie film and the future of robot revolution". Inside Movies. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Jeff Labrecque (Dec 19, 2012). "Ed Burns, Tom Rothman headline Sundance Film Festival juries". Inside Movies. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Chris Kaltenbach (Dec 2, 2007). "Growing up Rothman meant that a connection to performing was almost inevitable". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Hugh Hart. "The Player". Brown Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h "Board of Directors". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Executive Profile: Thomas E. Rothman". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i IAN DALY. "TOM ROTHMAN The Blockbuster". Columbia Law School. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Anthony Kaufman (November 24, 2011). "Tribute honors Rothman’s indie pic roots". Variety. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h BRIAN BROOKS (August 1, 2011). "Fox's Tom Rothman to Receive Gotham Awards Tribute". Indie Wire. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "SAMUEL GOLDWYN, Jr.Writing Awards". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "Tom Rothman to Step Down as Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment at the End of the Year". Newscorp. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  20. ^ Rachel Abrams (September 24, 2012). "Rothman to produce Spielberg’s ‘Robopocalypse". Variety. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "Thomas E. Rothman". Macro Axis. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ Adam Rosenberg (February 2, 2010). "Nine 'Avatar' Oscar Nominations Fall Short Of The 14 For 'Titanic,' But What Does That Mean?". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Biography for Tom Rothman". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "A LOOKAT THE 2002 28TH ANNUAL SATURN AWARDS" (PDF). Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  26. ^ "30th Annual Dinner of Champions". Jack on the Web. March 30, 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  27. ^ "Best in Showman". Variety. October 10, 2005. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  28. ^ "L.A.'s Promise Gala". L.A.'s Promise. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  29. ^ "Movies Year in Review". Movies MSN. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  30. ^ "Tom Rothman.(CONGRATS)(Dorothy and Sherill C. Corwin Human Relations Award for Tom Rothman)(Brief article)". February 24, 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  31. ^ BROOKS BARNES (December 13, 2013). "Obama Nominates Hollywood Exec to Arts Council". New York Times. Retrieved 7 Jan 2014. 
  32. ^ "Board of Trustees". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  33. ^ Tom Rothman: A Hollywood executive and TV host, International Herald Tribune 
  34. ^ New York Times 

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