A 1982 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Stacey Snider received a J.D.degree from UCLA Law School in 1985. She began her career working in the mailroom of the Triad Agency. She then became an assistant at Simpson-Bruckheimer Productions.
In December of 1986, Stacey Snider became the director of development at Guber-Peters Co. at Warner Brothers. The 26-year old UCLA law school graduate was smart and beautiful. She'd been a rommate and close friend of Wendy Finerman, Mark Canton's wife, while an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania.
Snider was "a dutiful worker with good taste in material, eager to please," writes Hit & Run. "Snider became the closest thing Guber had to a protegee. He was headed for the top, and she hitched her wagon to his and went along for an eight-year old ride... Snider and Mark Canton became intimate friends." (pg. 124)
Snider was regarded by many of her peers as a dilettante, more interested in shopping than filmmaking. She was thought to have succeeded on her charm and looks.
In 1990, Snider was named executive vice president of Guber-Peters Entertainment Company, now owned by Sony. "Stacey Snider was supposed to be running GPEC, but she attended Columbia production meetings and functioned as Guber's confidante. Although competent, she was referred to as Peter's "geisha" by other employees." (Hit & Run, pg. 260)
A Columbia executive told Hit & Run: "Everything was flowing to Stacey because she had Peter's ear." (pg. 260)
In January 1992, Snider became the highest ranking female executive at a Hollywood studio when she was named president of production at TriStar. Mark Platt was TriStar's new president. Snider and Platt supplanted Mike Medavoy.
Snider gave birth to two girls during the 1990s. Regarding the conflict between work and raising kids, Snider says: "As long as I have to lock myself in the bathroom to make phone calls like a hostage while my kids are playing in the other room, I'll question my choices."
Snider became CEO of Universal Pictures in November, 1999.
From E! Online in February, 2002: Universal honcho Stacey Snider is now fed up with the Beautiful bashing, going on record Thursday to condemn what she called unethical tactics by Oscar competitors to slam Ron Howard's semi-biopic of schizophrenic Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash Jr.
"There's been a shocking absence of self-restraint," Snider told the Hollywood Reporter Thursday during the ShoWest convention in Las Vegas. "Lines that should be clear to all of us have recklessly been crossed. Filmmakers who have done honest work that was never engineered to win an award now are having to defend their intentions."
JESS CAGLE writes in the 7/29/02 issue of Time magazine: If you had to cast an actress to play the Universal chairman, your best bet would be Reese Witherspoon, who specializes in characters at once attractive and very direct. At 41, Snider is the youngest of the three power brokers. Like many other younger women working in Hollywood, she resists being labeled a “female executive” or drawing attention to her gender. (For that reason, she declined to be interviewed for this story.)
Unlike Pascal, who cites the late Columbia studio chief Dawn Steel as a mentor, Snider—like Lansing—learned the business from some of its toughest male players. “Both of them suckled at the teats of wolves, and they emerged with their humanity intact,” says an industry executive who knows both women.
After receiving her law degree at UCLA, Snider worked as a secretary in the testosterone-fueled offices of Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, the producers of Beverly Hills Cop and Top Gun. In 1992 the controversial Sony duo of Jon Peters and Peter Guber gave Snider her first executive position. A more genteel influence was former Universal exec Marc Platt, known for his sure hand with talent. By all accounts, Snider is maneuvering gracefully through the turmoil within Vivendi-Universal and getting along nicely with newly installed corporate watchdog Barry Diller.
Snider is wary of expensive stars; her ace marketing team specializes in selling such inexpensive concept movies as the upcoming surfer flick Blue Crush. Among the most literate of studio bosses, she usually refrains from pandering; she argued—successfully—against a climactic courtroom scene in Erin Brockovich, worried that it would have rung false.
Ken Auletta writes in the 12/16/02 issue of The New Yorker: "To the petite Snider, [Harvey Weinstein] was a fearsome sight - his eyes dark and glowering, his fleshy face unshaved, his belly jutting forward half a foot or so ahead of his body. He jabbed a finger at Snider's face and screamed, "You're going down for this!""
Harvey blamed Stacey for the story that he was behind a whispering campaign to impugn A Beautiful Mind.