February 9, 1960
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Hollywood producer Todd Black has worked on a number of hit films since his career took off in the early 1990s, notably the odd-couple drama "Wrestling Ernest Hemingway" and the Will & Jaden Smith father-son feature "The Pursuit of Happyness." After completing a theater degree at the University of Southern California, Black moved into the world of casting, but quickly began to make his mark as a film producer alongside Joe Wizan on TV movies and comedies in the very early 1990s. He had his first notable success with "Wrestling Ernest Hemingway," where Irish alcoholic Richard Harris and Cuban barber Robert Duvall form an unlikely bond. From there, Black landed a position as president of motion picture production at Sony's Mandalay Entertainment, where he produced standard Hollywood fare through the '90s. He hit his stride with the 2002 drama "Antwone Fisher," directed by and starring Denzel Washington, which was a major success and led to work with Will Smith and Italian director Gabriele Muccino on the sweet family film "The Pursuit of Happyness." That team collaborated again two years later on the mortality drama "Seven Pounds." Meanwhile, Black, now working with heavyweight producer Steve Tisch, produced the inspirational classroom drama "The Great Debaters," again with Washington behind the camera, and the prophetic sci-fi thriller "Knowing" with Nicolas Cage.