20th Century Fox's blockbuster hit movie Titanic will soon become one of the Top Five biggest box office hits in the world ever. It could even displace Independence Day, the second most successful movie ever with a worldwide box office gross exceeding $800 million. The keystone to both movies--and dozens more hits--has been Bill Mechanic, '73, chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, Beverly Hills, CA, since 1996. Under Mechanic's leadership, Fox has enjoyed such other major hits as Mrs. Doubtfire, Speed, True Lies, Waiting To Exhale, and the Star Wars Trilogy. Fox's Anastasia recently became the most successful non-Disney animated film ever, while The Full Monty, produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures, was the most successful independent film of 1997. "I feel good about what we've done," says Mechanic with modesty. "Titanic is on pace to be one of the Top Five of all time, and could even end up challenging Jurassic Park for No. 1." As the movie's top executive, Bill makes the financial decision, selects the creative team, and oversees the film's production, distribution and marketing. A native of Detroit, Bill chose to attend MSU over the University of Michigan "because I loved the environment," he says. "MSU was a great place for learning and growing up, and ultimately, it set me up on the course for my career." Bill was a film critic for the State News--recruited by screenwriter Jack Epps, Jr. (see Fall 1990, p. 12), '72--and, in his words, "That led to some independent criticism, which led to film school at USC (University of Southern California)." After starting a Pay-TV operation, he became vice president of Paramount Pictures. After moving to Disney in 1984, he pioneered the marketing of video sales, leading to 15 of the 20 all-time best-seeling videos. In 1994 he became president of Fox, where he launched a string of creative successes. Later this year, look for his latest movies--Hope Floats, with Sandra Bullock, the X-Files Movie, and Dr. Doolittle with Eddie Murphy. Spartan fans can look forward to future movies co-produced with Magic Johnson, as well as FOX-TV's "The Magic Hour." "MSU gave me a great education in a great environment," he sums up. "From that point on, it was all determination."