Allison Shearmur, the 1985 College graduate who helped to produce various high-profile Hollywood films such as the “Star Wars” franchise, the “Hunger Games” series and the 1999 comedy “American Pie,” died on Jan. 19.
Shearmur, who was 54 years old, died at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles after battling lung cancer, the New York Daily News reported.
The Penn graduate had charted an illustrious career in Hollywood. After working as a producer at Disney and Paramount Pictures, Shearmur was appointed as the President of Production at Lionsgate Films in 2008. At Lionsgate, she produced the first two movies in the "Hunger Games" series as well as more recently, the Star Wars movie, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," which grossed over $1 billion worldwide.
Shearmur formerly visited Penn in 2012 as a guest speaker at Media and Entertainment Week, organized by the Undergraduate Media and Entertainment Club and the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. At the event, she told students that because there was no Cinema Studies major at Penn in the 1980s, she mainly got her education in film by spending time at Philadelphia’s Ritz Theater.
Sheamur reportedly developed her interest in film production after winning a contest held by Penn's Career Services that gave her the chance to go for lunch with award-winning film producer Stanley Jaffe. Shearmur eventually became an assistant to Jaffe, the New York Daily News reported.
Shearmur is survived by her husband Ed Shearmur, daughter Imogen, and son Anthony.
"It is the hope that my daughter will navigate a world where success is based solely on the power of one's ideas, character and strength of will rather than acquiesce to an outmoded set of assumptions about gender," she said. "It is one world, and we all work in it."
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