Film and TV producer Alison Greenspan died peacefully in the early morning hours of June 27 at the age of 48 after a long battle with cancer. Greenspan was surrounded by family, her husband, Jason Michaels, said.
For the past several years, Greenspan was a partner at Doug Robinson’s Sony Pictures Television-based Doug Robinson Productions, where she developed and served as an executive producer on the praised drama series, For Life, which aired on ABC for two seasons. She continued to work up until her death.
“Alison was a tenacious producer, who loved nurturing and protecting the artists she worked with,” Robinson said. “The only thing she loved more than her work was her family, her husband Jason and her beautiful son Stevie. I consider myself lucky to have had her as my friend and partner. …She will be missed by all of us who were fortunate enough to have known her.”
Earlier in her career, Greenspan was an executive at Denise Di Novi’s production company, working on a slew of projects, starting with the 2002’s A Walk to Remember. She was a producer/executive producer on a dozen of movies/TV pilots with Di Novi, from the 2003 What a Girl Wants and two Wonderful World of Disney films, Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime, through the two The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Ramona and Beezus (2010), Monte Carlo (2011), The Lucky One (2012), If I Stay (2014) and the 2017 Unforgettable to the upcoming The Selection at Netflix.
“Alison was simply the best, at everything,” Di Novi said. “A brilliant, tenacious producer. A fiercely loyal and generous friend . The most tender, loving wife and mother. I was blessed to work with her by my side for so many years; she is loved by so many and will be remembered as a shining light in this business.”
Born Alison Sheryl Greenspan in Washington, D.C., Alison’s creativity and academic strength was apparent from an early age. In 1994, Alison graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in American history and political science. While at Penn, Alison was a proud member of the Penn “Bloomers,” an all-female original sketch and musical comedy group. It was this experience that ignited her passion and fueled her to pursue a career in the entertainment business. Following graduation, Alison moved to Los Angeles and began her career at CAA as an assistant to Jack Rapke. When Rapke departed CAA to form his production company, Imagemovers, with Robert Zemekis, he took Alison with him and promoted her from assistant to executive.
In addition to her passion for movies and television, Alison loved to travel, she adored good food and wine, tap dance, tango, pilates, an inexplicably joyful participation in any impromptu Club Med dance. She also loved music, especially R&B and anything Billy Joel. Always by her side — and then in her heart after his passing — was her beloved poodle, Rusty.
Above all, her greatest joys came from her roles as mother and wife, the closeness of her family and her friends. She is survived by her husband, Jason; her son, Stevie; her mother, Ann; and her sister, Melissa.
“Our hearts go out to Jason, Stevie and her entire family and friends. Alison was an amazing human with a magnetic personality and she will be truly missed by her entire Sony family,” Sony Pictures Television said in a statement.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial gift in memory of Alison Greenspan to support the UCLA Sarcoma Program at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancers Center. Donations may be directed to the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, Attn: Melissa Brody, 8-950 Factor Bldg, Box 951780, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1780; http://www.cancer.ucla.edu/donate.
Services will be held at 12:30 p.m. Friday, July 2, at at Mount Sinai Simi Valley.