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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameArthur Grossman

Mini Bio (1)

Producer, songwriter and author, brother to Ralph Freed, Walter and Ruth Freed. He was educated at the Phillips Exeter Academy, and became associated with Gus Edwards musical acts. He performed in vaudeville with Louis Silvers, with whom he wrote revues for New York restaurants. During World War I, he staged military shows, then managed a theatre, eventually producing his own musical shows, finally joining MGM under contract. His Academy Award winning films include An American in Paris (1951), _Gigi(1958)_ and Irving Thalberg Awards. In 1964, he became President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Joining ASCAP in 1924, his chief musical collaborator was Nacio Herb Brown, and also included Gus Arnheim, Al Hoffman and Harry Warren.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Hup234!

Spouse (1)

Renée Klein (14 March 1923 - 12 April 1973) (his death) (1 child)

Trivia (8)

Arthur Freed was the legendary producer of many memorable classic movie musicals during the Golden Age of MGM, many featuring his own his compositions. He relied heavily on the talents of his cast and crew ("The Freed Unit"), since he lacked the ability to visualize a movie scene before it was made. Freed was spoofed by Millard Mitchell as film producer R.F. Simpson in Singin' in the Rain (1952). Many clips from Arthur Freed's films were celebrated in the very popular films That's Entertainment! (1974), That's Entertainment, Part II (1976), and That's Entertainment! III (1994).
Brother of Ralph Freed and Patty Fisher.
Singin' in the Rain (1952) was successfully adapted as a West End (London stage) musical in 2000 and was awarded Outstanding Musical Production in 2001 at the Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards.
President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1963 to 1967
Father of Barbara Saltzman.
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972.
The MGM Jerome Kern (27 January 1885-11 November 1945, age 60), biographical movie musical "Till the Clouds Roll By" featured Angela Lansbury (b. 16 October 1925) performing as a London music hall soubrette, swinging in a London vaudeville music hall production number. All of Angela Lansbury's previous MGM musical films had her singing voice performances ghost dubbed. Angela convinced producer Arthur Freed, (9 September 1894-12 April 1973, age 78), that she should do her own singing, as a London music hall soubrette, a light lyric soprano with a very youthful voice. Coloratura and soubrette are very closely related. A coloratura will have the flexibility and a few more usable notes on top, while a soubrette is required to have low A's. Angela's London music hall "swing" number was choreographed by Hermes Pan, (10 December 1909-19 September 1990, age 80), with a ton of dancing chorus boys. Angela, born in 1925, twenty years old in 1945 when the sequence was filmed. Judy Garland at age 22 (10 June 1922-23 June 1969) performed her production numbers, directed and staged by her new husband Vincente Minnelli (28 February 1903-25 July 1986). There is only one MGM stage on the lot where the theatre scenes were always filmed. The stage, located in the middle of the MGM lot, is on the main MGM street dividing the lot in half. The elephant doors on this filming stage, centered in the sound stage exterior/interior wall, is raised off the MGM main street approximately five feet off the street ground level. Incidental, when rains occurred, ironically, this MGM main street was a conduit for a flash river flooding because of the street's down hill grade, from the main MGM gate to the studio's back lot gate. This MGM film stage was the interior back wall of the raised theatre stage, where any and all MGM musical "stage production numbers" were filmed. All scenery had to be loaded into the stage off trucks, where scenery was usually built in the studio carpenter shop and mill. The stage had a complete counterweight pin rail system, with arbor pipes for stage lighting fixtures, hanging drops, scenery, drapery legs and borders, stage lighting, etc. The stage was 30' deep, with the front of the stage apron dropping into an orchestra pit. This interior four foot high raised stage floor with a centered stage pit, a floor pit cover, removable to configure for filming requirements of production numbers. In front of the footlights stage apron was another pit, with a floor pit cover, allowing for the orchestra size area configuration as required, including allowances for a prompter's box position center stage, and for a conductor center podium position. The theatre's raised four feet high stage" had a stage pit for water sequences if needed. Normally studio lighting was carbon arc fixtures. Electric "stage lights" were used as set dressing on the stage arbor pipes, with carbon arc lamps hung on scaffolding over the set, actually lighting the production number. The other part-half of the stage was raised one foot off ground level, where a theatre audience area could be installed. The stage configuration had a frame for the stage proscenium, which could be re-configured scenically, to represent different styles of theatre prosceniums. The sides of the stage were wide enough for European style theatre box seating, with a rear balcony over the raked main audience area, usually built for the theatre (stage) audience floor. Otherwise, the actual stage floor was level. The audience arm chair seats were all arranged on rails for easy access to strike for camera positions. This also allowed aisles to be configured, either a center aisle down the middle, or two aisles dividing the center seats and side seat flanks. The "studio theatre" never had an overhead ceiling. Should a ceiling be seen in the finished film, this was accomplished with a matt shot. Chandeliers could be hung for set dressing the theatre audience area. Every MGM musical production number, supposedly in a theatre, showing an audience, with an orchestra, was filmed on this stage. When no film musical production numbers were being required for the stage's filming schedule, other productions used the stage for normal stage sets required for dramatic and comedy subject films. Stage scaffolding installed over the stage set were hung from the stage ceiling rafters.
Daughter: Mrs. Barbara Saltzman.

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