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John M. Stahl
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Filmmaker
    (January 21, 1886-January 12, 1950)
    Born in Baku, Azerbaijan
    Birth name was Jacob Morris Strelitsky
    Directed 'Imitation of Life (1934),' 'Magnificent Obsession (1935),' 'Keys of the Kingdom (1944),' 'Leave Her to Heaven (1945),' 'Foxes of Harrow (1947),' and 'The Walls of Jericho (1948)'
    Produced 'Parnell (1937),' 'Letter of Introduction (1938),' 'When Tomorrow Comes (1939),' and 'Our Wife (1941)'
    As a Tiffany Pictures exec, he ran serial shorts of chimps lip-syncing to voice actors (the studio folded shortly afterward in 1932).
    He tried to make a name for himself as an MGM producer, but failed after 'Parnell' became the studio's biggest flop to date.
    He was known for being a harsh taskmaster on-set.
    He reportedly made Peggy Cummins cry on the set of Forever Amber after saying she looked like a little girl dressed in her mother's clothes.
    He was pulled from Amber and replaced by Otto Preminger after Fox opted to start from scratch and replace Cummins with Linda Darnell.
    He allegedly treated child actor Darryl Hickman horribly while shooting Leave Her to Heaven - until he received word that the studio execs had seen his 'drowning scene' in the rushes and loved it.
    According to Hickman, he then turned his negative attention to leading man Cornel Wilde. On the last day of filming, Wilde walked up to him to say 'I won't forget this. I won't forget the way you've treated me.'
    He was born to a poor Jewish family that emigrated from Russia to the United States.
    He was hired by Louis B. Mayer and was on the team that founded MGM.
    He guided Gregory Peck and Gene Tierney to their first Oscar nominations.
    He was one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (1927).
    'Leave Her to Heaven' turned out to be a surprise hit for Fox and was the studio's biggest moneymaker in years.
    He was known for taking on risky and topical projects, most famously 'Imitation of Life' (the first Hollywood film to tackle contemporary racism).
    He insisted on casting an authentic African-American actress to play the mixed-race daughter who passed for white in 'Imitation,' choosing Fredi Washington for the part - a bold choice in 1930's Hollywood.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


    For 2020, as of last week, Out of 11 Votes: 45.45% Annoying
 
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