OK, so now we know what ex-studio moguls do: they blog on HuffPo. If Sherry Lansing’s doing it, can ousted Viacomer Tom Freston be far behind? Sherry opines about turning 60. But there are some interesting Hollywood revelations as well. “I’ve always had this great fear that time would run out and life would have passed me by. I realized that I didn’t want to die at my desk. I wanted to do something else and began to wonder: Am I defined by my job and if so, what kind of a person am I? Is this really what I want to say with my life? Of course, I loved the movies and the movie business. I ran Fox for over three and a half years, produced movies for ten years, and then ran Paramount Pictures for over twelve years. I loved my job, but at a certain point it became repetitive. The highs weren’t as high, and the lows weren’t as low. So I asked myself: What is it that really gives me pleasure? The answer is giving back.” She claims she “retired” from the entertainment business and committed herself to a career in philanthropy. In 2005, she formed The Sherry Lansing Foundation dedicated to cancer research and education. She serves on the board of the Jimmy Carter Center and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which disburses $3 billion in funds for stem cell research. She’s a regent of the University of California and chair of its Health Services Committee. With a partner, Civic Ventures, she’s starting a movement, Primetime, for those sixty and older to retire and give something back to the community. “The funny thing is that I’m busier than I’ve ever been. I honestly can tell you that this is the happiest time of my life. It doesn’t take anything away from what I was before; I still love movies, I still love my old friends. But now I have so many new friends, and I’m constantly learning new things. The big difference is that I control my own days and set my own agenda; I don’t do anything that I don’t want to.” Turns out Sherry’s blogging is an excerpt from Arianna Huffington’s new book, On Becoming Fearless.
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