THALBERG, IRVING GRANT

THALBERG, IRVING GRANT (1899–1936), U.S. film producer and executive. Born in New York, Thalberg joined Universal Pictures soon after leaving high school and was the studio's general manager at 24, when he produced The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923). A year later he was Louis B. Mayer's right-hand man, and soon after the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer merger in 1924 he became the company's production chief. He produced Ben-Hur in 1926. Thalberg guided MGM in its transition from the silent screen to sound, breaking box-office records with the pioneering musical Broadway Melody (1929). He was responsible for some of the most celebrated films of his time, such as Greed (1924); The Big Parade (1925); Mata Hari (1931); Grand Hotel (1932); Strange Interlude (1932); Bombshell (1933); The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934); The Merry Widow (1934); China Seas (1935); Mutiny on the Bounty (1935); San Francisco (1936); Camille (1936); Romeo and Juliet (Oscar nomination for Best Picture, 1936); several marx brothers comedies ; and the much-acclaimed The Good Earth (Oscar nomination for Best Picture, 1937). He brought many performers to fame, among them John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, and Norma Shearer, whom he married in 1927 on her conversion to Judaism. (She returned to Christianity in 1942.) Thalberg was one of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, established in 1927. Others were Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Harold Lloyd, Cecil B. DeMille, Louis B. Mayer, and the Warner brothers, Harry and Jack. Thalberg's final project for MGM was Marie Antoinette (1938), which was in the early stages of production at the time of his death. The title role went to Shearer, who took a keen interest in the film and considered it an ode to her husband. Dubbed "the boy wonder" early in his career, Thalberg died of pneumonia at age 37. Although he produced almost 90 films, Thalberg did not permit his name to appear in any of the film credits, believing that "credit you give yourself is not worth having." After his death, credit was awarded him in the form of the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. Created by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the annual award is presented to acknowledge "creative producers, whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production." -BIBLIOGRAPHY: B. Thomas, Thalberg: Life and Legend (1969). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Samuel, Mayer and Thalberg: The Make-Believe Saints (1975); R. Flamini, Thalberg: The Last Tycoon and the World of MGM (1994). (G. Eric Hauck / Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Thalberg,Irving Grant — Thal·berg (thôlʹbŭrg , thŏlʹ ), Irving Grant. 1899 1936. American film producer. By age 25 he had become vice president of Metro Goldwyn Mayer, where he supervised production for such classic films as The Big Parade (1925) and Mutiny on the… …   Universalium

  • Thalberg, Irving Grant — (1899–1936)    US film producer. The production chief for Metro Goldwyn Mayer, New York born Thalberg was responsible for a number of celebrated films, including Ben Hur (1926), The Barretts of Wim pole Street (1934), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Thalberg, Irving — ▪ American motion picture executive in full  Irving Grant Thalberg  born May 30, 1899, Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S. died September 14, 1936, Santa Monica, Calif.       American film executive called the “boy wonder of Hollywood” who, as the production… …   Universalium

  • Thalberg — is a surname of Germanic origin; it can be literally translated as town [in the] valley :* Sigismond Thalberg * Irving Grant Thalberg * Irving Thalberg Jr. * The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award …   Wikipedia

  • Grant — /grant, grahnt/, n. 1. Cary (Archibald Leach), 1904 86, U.S. actor, born in England. 2. Heber Jedediah /hee beuhr jed i duy euh/, 1856 1945, U.S. president of the Mormon Church 1918 45. 3. Ulysses S(impson) 1822 85, 18th president of the U.S.… …   Universalium

  • Irving Thalberg — Infobox Actor name =Irving Thalberg birthname =Irving Grant Thalberg birthdate =May 30, 1899 location =Brooklyn, New York, USA deathdate = Death date and age|1936|9|14|1899|5|30 deathplace =Santa Monica, California, USA yearsactive = 1921 1936… …   Wikipedia

  • Irving — /err ving/, n. 1. Sir Henry (John Henry Brodribb), 1838 1905, English actor. 2. Washington, 1783 1859, U.S. essayist, story writer, and historian. 3. a city in NE Texas, near Dallas. 109,943. 4. a male given name. * * * I City (pop., 2000:… …   Universalium

  • grant — grantable, adj. grantedly, adv. granter, n. /grant, grahnt/, v.t. 1. to bestow or confer, esp. by a formal act: to grant a charter. 2. to give or accord: to grant permission. 3. to agree or accede to: to grant a request. 4. to admit or concede;… …   Universalium

  • Irving Thalberg — en compagnie de sa femme, l actrice Norma Shearer en 1929 Données clés Nom d …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Irving Thalberg — en 1929 Nombre real Irving Grant Thalberg Nacimiento 30 de mayo de 1899 …   Wikipedia Español

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