|Born||in Warsaw, Poland, Russian Empire [now Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland]|
|Died||in Los Angeles, California, USA (heart failure)|
|Birth Name||Schmuel Gelbfisz|
Mini Bio (1)
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. In 1895 he made his way to England, where relatives Anglicized his name to Samuel Goldfish. There he begged (or stole) enough money for a ticket in steerage across the Atlantic. He reached the US, probably via Canada, in 1898. He gravitated to Gloversville, New York, in the Adirondack foothills, which was then the capital of the US leather glove industry; he became one of the country's most successful glove salesmen. After moving his base of operations to Manhattan and marrying the sister of Jesse L. Lasky, who was then a theatrical producer, Goldfish convinced Lasky and Cecil B. DeMille to go into film production. The new company's first film, The Squaw Man (1914), was one of the first features made in Hollywood; the company later became the nucleus of what would later become Paramount Pictures. As his marriage fell apart, Goldfish dissolved his partnership with Lasky. His next enterprise was the Goldwyn Co., founded in 1916 and named for himself and his partners, brothers Edgar Selwyn and Archibald Selwyn--Goldfish liked the name so much he took it for his own. The Goldwyn Co.'s stars included Mabel Normand, Madge Kennedy and Will Rogers, but its most famous legacy was its "Leo the Lion" trademark, which was adopted by its successor company, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Goldwyn himself was ousted from his own company before the merger, which was why his name became part of MGM even though he himself had nothing to do with the company. After his firing Goldwyn would have nothing to do with partners and went into independent production on his own, and for 35 years was the boss and sole proprietor of his own production company, a mini-studio specializing in expensive "quality" films, distributed initially by United Artists and later by RKO. His contract actors at various times included Vilma Bánky, Ronald Colman, Eddie Cantor, Gary Cooper, David Niven and Danny Kaye. In some cases, Goldwyn collected substantial fees for "lending" his stars to other producers. Touted by publicists for his "Goldwyn touch" and loathed by many of his hirelings for his habit of ordering films recast, rewritten and recut, Goldwyn is best remembered for his films that teamed director William Wyler and cinematographer Gregg Toland.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: David S. Smith
|Frances Howard||(23 April 1925 - 31 January 1974) (his death) (1 child)|
|Blanche Lasky||(8 May 1910 - 23 September 1915) (divorced) (1 child)|