In 1979, Doran finally returned to her roots, moving back to L.A. and joining Avco Embassy Pictures, as assistant to the director of creative affairs. Soon promoted to story executive, she worked on such films as "Take This Job and Shove It" and "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" (both 1981) and "Swamp Thing" (1982). When her studio became Embassy Pictures, Doran was named vice president of creative affairs, developing and producing such films as Rob Reiner's "This is Spinal Tap" (1984) and "The Sure Thing" (1985). Doran joined Paramount in 1985, as senior vice president of production. There, she nurtured such talents as John Hughes, helping him get "Pretty in Pink" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (both 1986) produced. Having hit the glass ceiling at Paramount after four years, Doran was lured away by Sydney Pollack in 1989; she joined Mirage that year as president, one of the few women to hold that position at a major company. Working closely with Pollack and other producers, she has been responsible for such films as Kenneth Branagh's noir mystery "Dead Again" (1991), the road comedy "Leaving Normal" (1992), the Sydney Pollack-directed thriller "The Firm" (1993), Emma Thompson's literate, enjoyable "Sense and Sensibility" (1995) and the 1995 remake of the 1954 romance "Sabrina." Doran has a few Mirage TV shows to her credit as well, including "A Private Matter" (HBO, 1992), and the detective series "Fallen Angels" (Showtime, 1993-95). In 1996, Doran was tapped to become president of United Artists.