Queen Lat­i­fah: ‘Be­fore In­clu­sion Was a Talk­ing Point, Craig Al­ways Broke Bar­ri­ers’

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It is so rare that some­one with such im­mea­sur­able talent also has such an in­cred­i­ble soul. For ev­ery­thing he ac­com­plished, there was no ego, no pre­tense — just com­plete pas­sion and positive en­ergy.

I have col­lab­o­rated with a num­ber of dif­fer­ent peo­ple over the years, but my friend­ship and work re­la­tion­ship with Craig spanned over decades. We col­lab­o­rated with one on an­other on “Chicago,”“hair­spray,” “Steel Mag­no­lias” and “The Wiz,” not to men­tion the Emmy-nom­i­nated “Flint” project. He al­ways had such an in­cred­i­ble and pre­cise view of what he wanted but at the same time was so syn­er­gis­tic.

Be­fore di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion was a talk­ing point, Craig (along with Neil Meron) al­ways broke the bar­ri­ers and made room for ev­ery­one. His vi­sion had no bound­aries. He was so sup­port­ive of me from the first time he and Neil and Rob [Mar­shall] cast me in “Chicago” — we were in­stant friends and his loy­alty to me and my part­ner Shakim [Com­pere] never faded. In fact it’s not of­ten you work for some­one as an ac­tor and go on to col­lab­o­rate as pro­duc­ing part­ners, but we did.

His love of mu­sic and theater was con­ta­gious and the way he could bring that zest across pretty much any medium was mind-blow­ing. He left no stone un­turned. He suc­cess­fully en­ter­tained on Broad­way, on film and on tele­vi­sion. That kind of talent is rare.

I can say in a busi­ness with a lot of dis­ap­point­ing peo­ple, Craig had never ever let me down. I will miss him so much.

Queen Lat­i­fah most re­cently worked with Zadan on Life­time’s “Flint,” which has been nom­i­nated for 13 Emmy Awards.

[Zadan] was lifted and changed by the mag­i­cal com­mu­nal ex­pe­ri­ence of watch­ing a liv­ing, breath­ing story un­fold in real time.” De­bra Mess­ing

Mu­sic Man Among Zadan’s many cred­its are NBC’S re­cent string of live mu­si­cals and three Os­car tele­casts.

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