Robert and Leslie Zemeckis

NET WORTH: $60 million, estimated

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Film Director, Writer and Producer

FUNDING AREAS: Arts & Culture, Education & Youth, Health & Human Services, Jewish Causes, Global 

OVERVIEW: Robert Zemeckis and his wife Leslie do their grantmaking through the Robert Zemeckis Charitable Foundation, which gave away around $173,000 in a past year. The couple's foundation grantmaking supports arts and health organizations. Los Angeles and Santa Barbara are key regions.

BACKGROUND:  Robert Zemeckis was born in Chicago in 1952. He graduated from USC where his film won a Student Academy Award. Zemeckis had early success with the Michael Douglas adventure comedy Romancing the Stone. He followed with the hugely successful Back to the Future trilogy and won an Academy Award for Best Director for Forrest Gump in 1994. He also helmed the Tom Hanks film Cast Away.


ARTS & CULTURE: In addition to Zemeckis' enormous success in entertainment, his wife Leslie is also an actress, author, and documentary filmmaker. Given these forces, it is no surprise that the arts are a component of the family's giving. Grantees include Geffen Playhouse, Grammy Museum, Santa Barbara Zoo, and Santa Barbara Public Library. The couple live in the Santa Barbara area.

EDUCATION & YOUTH: Zemeckis supports Crane Country Day School in Santa Barbara. USC is home to the Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts, created with a $5 million gift from the couple in 1999. Grantees include the Ghetto Film School.

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: Grantees include Breast Cancer Resource Center, JRDF, City of Hope, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Food Bank of Santa Barbara County, Michael J. Fox Foundation, and Planned Parenthood.

OTHER: The Zemeckis couple support American Jewish Committee and USC Shoah Foundation. They have also supported organizations that work on a global level, such as Heifer International.

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the couple to stick with these interests, with an eye towards the West Coast.


Robert Zemeckis Charitable Foundation
1880 Century Park East, #1600
Los Angeles, CA 90067