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Mark Hellinger Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (12) | Personal Quotes (2) | Salary (2)

Overview (2)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Hollywood, California, USA  (heart attack)

Mini Bio (1)

Mark Hellinger made his name as a New York theater critic and as one of the first of the nationally known "Broadway columnists", a craft which his friend Walter Winchell was the most famous practitioner. Born on March 21, 1903, Hellinger was the embodiment of the hard-boiled, hard-living, hard-drinking journalist that became a stereotype of the early talkies. Fittingly, he married Gladys Glad, a beautiful cast member of the Ziegfeld Follies, a series of lavish Broadway revues by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. that glorified the American girl.

Hellinger, like the other great Broadway columnist and raconteur 'Damon Runyon', was a purveyor of stories of New York's demimonde, filled with wise-guy jargon. His stories were different from Runyon's, which relied on mythic archetypes, as they featured realistic depictions of actual people. Many of Hellinger's characters were composites of people he met on the Broadway beat.

The realistic cant of Hellinger's stories, as well as their Broadway background, made him a natural for the movies. He contributed to the screenplay of Night Court (1932), and Frank Capra's Broadway Bill (1934) was based on one of his stories. His story "The World Moves On" was adapted for the screen as The Roaring Twenties (1939) directed by Raoul Walsh and starring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. It was a crime tale whose characters were all based on actual criminals and their fellow travelers during the wide-open era of Prohibition. The success of the film led Warner Brothers to make Hellinger an associate producer.

Although successful, Hellinger grew increasingly unhappy at Warner Brothers over screen credit (specifically on Bogie's It All Came True (1940)) and assorted personal and professional conflicts with Jack L. Warner. 20th Century Fox's Darryl F. Zanuck hired Hellinger away from Warner Brothers in 1941, making him a real producer. Hellinger returned to Warner Brothers before striking out as an independent at Universal, where he produced three seminal and classics of film noir: The Killers (1946) (based on a short-story by fellow newspaperman Ernest Hemingway most recently glossed in David Cronenberg's A History of Violence (2005)), the prison drama Brute Force (1947) (1947), and the paradigmatic Big City police drama, The Naked City (1948) (1948), for which Hellinger also voiced the narration.

On December 21, 1947 just as Hellinger was entering into a new independent production company (one of the partners was Humphrey Bogart) he died suddenly at the age of 44. He was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York. A Broadway Theatre in New York was named for him from 1949 - 1989. The theater has been renamed the Times Square Church.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

Gladys Glad (11 July 1926 - 21 December 1947) (his death)

Trivia (12)

Mark Hellinger was one of the first Broadway columnists. He was hired at the New York Daily News about Nov. 1923. About December 1929, he went to work for William Randolph Hearst's New York Daily Mirror.
Specialized in the sentimental, as a writer.
As a newspaperman, reportedly had 18,000,000 readers.
A New York Theatre, built in 1930 at Broadway and 51st Street and originally named the Hollywood Theatre, was renamed the Mark Hellinger Theatre on January 22, 1949. Among the successful Broadway shows that played there were "My Fair Lady", "The Sound of Music", "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" and "Jesus Christ Superstar". In 1989, the theatre was sold and is now the Times Square Church.
Researched real crimes to have material for his chronicles and stories for filmmakers, and was helped by such friends as Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Siegel and Dutch Schultz, who left him an armored car--a white Rolls-Royce--in his will.
From 1943 to 1945 he was a war correspondent in the Pacific.
Richard Brooks' novel "The Producer" is based on Hellinger's life.
His parents were Paul (? - 1936) and Millie Hellinger (? - 1935). His father was a prosperous real estate lawyer. He also had a younger brother, Monroe Bert Hellinger (1913-1939), who, like Mark Hellinger, died at an early age from heart disease. Mark Hellinger's wife, Gladys Glad (her real name), was a former Ziegfeld girl who gave up performing when they married.
In 1938, his annual salary as a producer at Warner Bros. was $130,000. By 1945, it had risen to $200,000.
At age 15, was expelled from high school and never went back to finish it.
Had suffered a severe heart attack early in 1947.
Survived by his wife, Gladys Glad, and two adopted children: Mark, 6, and Gladys, 5.

Personal Quotes (2)

Every murder turns on a bright hot light, and a lot of people...have to walk out of the shadows.
[upon seeing the first rushes of Burt Lancaster, an ex-circus acrobat from Union City, New Jersey, in The Killers (1946)] So help me, may all my actors be acrobats!

Salary (2)

Broadway Bill (1934) $8,000
Walking Down Broadway (1938) $15,000

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