Stacey Goldsborough Snider came of age in the 1970s, when names like Scorsese, Coppola and Spielberg touched off a renaissance in American film. But, back then, movies didn’t really interest her.
So what did? “Rock music had an enormous influence on me,” says Snider, who is now principal partner, co-chairman and CEO of DreamWorks Studios. “Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Allman Brothers, Bruce Springsteen. My friends and I saw them at the Spectrum. We also saw Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne and Carole King in Ardmore.”
While Snider loved loud concerts, she also cherished the quiet of Quaker meetings held at Friends’ Central School, where she graduated in 1978. “Meeting for worship was group focused, and Quakerism wasn’t preached in any way,” she says. “I learned from an early age to be meditative and contemplative. Those are important skills I’ve carried with me my whole life.”
Reading was another of Snider’s loves. “There’s a window seat on the third-floor landing of the Friends’ Central library, and I would be there with a book between classes,” Snider says. “I can still remember sitting there, hoping to finish a few more pages before I had to go to my next class.”
All that nosing around in books paid off for Snider.
“I can recognize a great idea and a great screenplay, both of which every movie needs,” she says.
And Snider would know. In 1991, she became the highest-ranking female executive at a Hollywood studio when she was named president of production at TriStar. Eight years later, she was CEO of Universal Pictures. Then, in 2006, she joined Spielberg in creating DreamWorks.
And what film is she most proud of working on?