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Hollywood's first female studio boss (finally!) tells all in a new biography that charts her rise to power and the epic battles (Glenn Close refused to film the ending) behind the classic thriller.In early 2005, Sherry Lansing sent shock waves through Hollywood when she stepped down as chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, bringing an end to one of the most storied careers in entertainment.Her decision to leave Paramount at age 60 (after greenlighting such classics as Forrest Gump, Braveheart and Titanic) and create a nonprofit foundation was only the latest twist in Lansing's roller-coaster life.The Chicago native had gone from being an 8-year-old overwhelmed with guilt at her father's death, to a teacher in South Central L.A., to an aspiring actress who landed a lead role opposite John Wayne in 1970's Rio Lobo, to a young woman who hated acting so much it made her physically sick. Changing careers, she became a script reader at $5 an hour and rose to become the first female head of a studio when she was named president of 20th Century Fox in 1980.She went on to become a major film producer (Indecent Proposal, The Accused) before running Paramount for 12 years.Despite many offers, she has never told her remarkable story in a book — until now. Here, in an exclusive excerpt from his upcoming biography Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker, THR's executive features editor Stephen Galloway picks up her story in 1983, just after Lansing had left Fox to produce.Terminate the Bitch With Extreme PrejudiceOn Jan. 4, 1983, with great fanfare, the industry's trade publications announced the formation of Jaffe-Lansing Prods., partnering well-known producer Stanley Jaffe and Sherry Lansing for the first time. Flush with excitement, Lansing settled into her oak-paneled offices in Paramount's Lucille Ball Building. It was here that Howard Hughes had once held court, and here that her new life as a producer would begin, just days after she'd stepped down as president of Fox after a three-year run that had left her feeling battered and bruised.At last, she was living her dream — or so she thought. "When you're running a studio, you're largely reactive," she said. "You walk into the office. There are 60 calls. There are constant fires to put out. But you're usually not creating anything from scratch. A producer has to come up with ideas. If you're not active, nothing gets done."