Last evening's sad news of the passing of 56-year-old Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has reverberated throughout the streets of Hollywood, the famed town in which the visionary had an enormous impact and left an indelible mark.
Jobs was a major power player in the entertainment world, still serving on Disney’s board of directors in his later days, where he continued to be integral in guiding Disney and Pixar's animation decisions.
The inimitable icon is responsible for changing the landscape of the movie business. In 1986 he purchased a technology company, The Graphics Group, from a division of Lucasfilm Ltd. for $10 million. The company underwent a name change and emerged as Pixar.
After years of failure as a specialty computer firm, a deal was worked out with Disney to produce a number of computer-animated films. The first movie, "Toy Story," the computer-animated Pixar film of 1995, was a financial and critically acclaimed success. Jobs is credited as an executive producer.
Pixar became a powerhouse of quality feature films under the direction of an additional creative visionary, John Lasseter, with titles that include "A Bug's Life," "Monsters, Inc.," "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles," "Cars," "Ratatouille," "WALL-E," "Up," "Toy Story 2," and " Toy Story 3."
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences actually came up with a new award for Pixar's high-quality content, the Best Animated Feature. "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles," "Ratatouille," "WALL-E," "Up," and "Toy Story 3" all brought Oscars to Jobs's company.
After Bob Iger replaced Michael Eisner as Disney chief, Pixar was acquired by Disney for an estimated $7.4 billion, making Jobs the largest single shareholder of a Hollywood institution.
Heartfelt tributes in the form of statements, comments, and tweets have been pouring onto the Internet from the Hollywood community as cataloged by Us Weekly and media outlets around the world.
"Steve Jobs was the greatest inventor since Thomas Edison. He put the world at our fingertips," noted filmmaker Steven Spielberg.
Fellow moviemaker George Lucas said, “The magic of Steve was that while others simply accepted the status quo, he saw the true potential in everything he touched and never compromised on that vision. He leaves behind an incredible family and a legacy that will continue to speak to people for years to come.”
"I never thought I could be so busted up about the loss of someone I never met. #stevejobs. Sending love & light to everyone @Apple & the entire Jobs family. Today we lost a Giant who will be missed even by those who didn't know him," actor Ashton Kutcher tweeted.
"Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. Your genius will live on for generations to come...," actor Neil Patrick Harris shared.
Television host Ellen DeGeneres tweeted, “He was an amazing man with an incredible vision. He changed the world.”
"Sad about Steve Jobs. On par with Henry Ford, Carnegie and Edison," actor Alec Baldwin said
"Thank you, Steve Jobs, for all of the fun and amazing ways you made our lives better....Sent from my iPhone," comic Jimmy Fallon fondly quipped.
Actor Charlize Theron stated simply, "RIP Steve Jobs, a true visionary."
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