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Flashback Friday: Craig Zadan Gave Bette Midler Her "Turn" as Mama Rose

Remembering the late producer with one of his first stage-to-screen musicals.

The worlds of film, television, and theater lost one of their greatest champions this week in Craig Zadan, who, together with his producing partner Neil Meron, made a career of sharing his love of musical theater with every corner of the country.

From the Oscar-winning film adaptation of Chicago, to the Broadway-themed NBC series Smash, to the wave of live televised musicals that now includes The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, Hairspray, and Jesus Christ Superstar — Zadan has given millions of Americans their first intoxicating taste of Broadway.

Just ask the '90s children whose introduction to Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, and Jule Styne's Gypsy came from the 1993 small-screen version starring the one-and-only Bette Midler (who plays her final performance in Broadway's Hello, Dolly! this Saturday). The TV movie was Zadan's first time sitting in the executive producer chair, but fortunately for us, his turn wasn't nearly over.