Influence + Success = Greatest
Albert R. Broccoli
Albert Romolo Broccoli was born in Astoria, Queens (New York City) on April 5th, 1909. His mother and father, Cristina and Giovanni Broccoli, raised young Albert in New York on the family farm. The family was in the vegetable business, and Albert claimed one of his uncles brought the first broccoli seeds into the United States in the 1870's...
“ Ethan and Joel count as one. hence 11 producers in the top ten list. ” - John Richardson
Famed for his relentless ambition, bad temper and genius for publicity, Samuel Goldwyn became Hollywood's leading "independent" producer -- largely because none of his partners could tolerate him for long. Born Shmuel (or Schmuel) Gelbfisz, probably in 1879, in the Jewish section of Warsaw, he was the eldest of six children of a struggling used-furniture dealer...
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and Eileen Hitchcock (born 1892)...
Born in Russia in 1904, Lewton moved with his mother and sister to Berlin in 1906, then to USA in 1909. He wrote for newspapers, magazines, novels, pornography, etc.- often using pseudonyms to disguise their origin (the name Val Lewton
was one such pseudonym, used first for some novels in the 1930's...
David O. Selznick
David O. Selznick
was a son of the silent movie producer Lewis J. Selznick
. David studied at Columbia University until his father lost his fortune in the 1920s. David started work as an MGM script reader, shortly followed by becoming an assistant to Harry Rapf
. He left MGM to work at Paramount then RKO...
Preston Sturges' own life is as unlikely as some of the plots of his best work. He was born into a wealthy family. As a boy he helped out on stage productions for his mother's friend, Isadora Duncan
(the scarf that strangled her was made by his mother's company, Maison Desti). He served in the U.S...
Thalberg was born in New York City of German immigrant parents. He had a bad heart, having contracted rheumatic fever as a teenager and was plagued with other ailments all of his life. He was quite intelligent with a thirst for knowledge but, convinced that he would never see thirty, he skipped college and became...
Hal B. Wallis
Legendary producer Hal B. Wallis was born in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles when he was in his early 20s. He got a job managing a theater owned by Warner Bros., and his success at the job caught the eye of studio head Jack L. Warner
, who gave him a job in the studio's publicity department. Within a few months Wallis had worked his way up to head of the department...
Darryl F. Zanuck
Darryl F. Zanuck was undoubtedly one of the most remarkable men ever to become a Hollywood mogul. He rose through the ranks of the studio hierarchy on sheer will, overcoming every obstacle that confronted him. He had a near total lack of a formal education, no inherited fortune, shared no religious background with his employers and had no inside family connections to open any special doors...