B.P. Schulberg Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (6)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
Died in Key Biscayne, Florida, USA
Birth NameBenjamin Percival Schulberg
Nickname Ben

Mini Bio (1)

One of the most powerful men in Hollywood during the 1920's, Benjamin Percival Schulberg began his career as a reporter on the streets of New York. He had his first fling with the film industry after being hired as an assistant editor for a movie magazine. This work later enticed him to write several screenplays of his own, having joined the publicity department of a small studio, William Swanson's Rex (which, in June 1912, was absorbed into Universal). Schulberg then moved on to Famous Players as head of publicity, and, in 1919, founded his own production company, Preferred Pictures. Having secured a prestige signing of the actor Lon Chaney, Schulberg first hit the big time with the oriental drama Shadows (1922). However, his greatest coup as an independent producer was to discover and promote the 'It Girl', 18-year old red-head Clara Bow, who became the definitive 'jazzbaby' of the 1920's. Having acquired the right for the risqué novel by Percy Marks about jazz and flappers, he starred Clara in The Plastic Age (1925). In the same picture, he also introduced an unknown actor named Luis Alonso, who was destined for stardom under the name Gilbert Roland.

Unable to compete with the majors, Preferred Pictures filed for bankruptcy in 1925. However, the immense box-office success of "The Plastic Age" prompted Adolph Zukor at Paramount to offer Schulberg the position of head of the West Coast studios (while William LeBaron presided over the Eastern unit) and vice-president in charge of production, working directly under Jesse L. Lasky. Moving to Paramount, he took his company and Clara Bow with him. During his tenure between 1925 and 1932, Schulberg became one of the most popular and creative producers in the business. He was instrumental in making Paramount the leading film company in Hollywood during the 20's, by recruiting top directors, like Josef von Sternberg, Ernst Lubitsch and William A. Wellman. He was also in the forefront of technical innovation and helped the studio make a smooth transition from silent to sound films. Alas, Clara Bow, whom he had touted as the 'Anna Held of the Talkies', failed to make the grade, despite attempts to change her image. As a result, she left Paramount in 1931. The following year, Schulberg himself was ousted from his position during a studio-wide purge, which also claimed Lasky and head of sales Sidney Kent.

Schulberg continued on as an independent producer, with Paramount's B-unit and with Columbia, but with little financial or artistic success. Among the films he made during this period, only a few stand out, notably the comedy Three Cornered Moon (1933) and the crime drama Meet Nero Wolfe (1936), which first introduced the corpulent, sedentary detective in the shape of actor Edward Arnold. Disenchanted, Schulberg retired in 1943, lamenting an 'indifferent and forgetful industry'.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (2)

Helen McHale Keebler (20 October 1939 - 25 February 1957) ( his death)
Adeline Jaffe (14 June 1933 - 29 April 1938) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trivia (6)

President of Paramount Pictures in the 1930s.
Father of Budd Schulberg, Stuart Schulberg and Sonya Schulberg.
Grandfather of Stephan Schulberg, David Schulberg, Benn Schulberg, Jessica Schulberg and Victoria Schulberg.
Co-founder/President of Preferred Pictures Inc., a production company formed in 1922.
Paramount Pictures' Director's Building was renamed the Schulberg Building in his honor.
He was posthumously awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1500 Vine Street in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on MGM studio chief Louis B. Mayer] Czar of the rushes.

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

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