Louis B. Mayer

Louis MayerMayerLouis B. Mayer PicturesMayer PicturesLouis B. Mayer FoundationLouis B. Mayer ProductionsL. B. MayerLouis B. [MayerLouis B. Mayer Conservation CenterLouis B. Meyer
Louis Burt Mayer (July 12, 1884 – October 29, 1957) was an American film producer and co-founder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios (MGM) in 1924.wikipedia
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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

MGMMGM Studiosmgm.com
Louis Burt Mayer (July 12, 1884 – October 29, 1957) was an American film producer and co-founder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios (MGM) in 1924.
MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and Louis B. Mayer Pictures.

Irving Thalberg

ThalbergIrving G. ThalbergIrving Thalberg Award
After expanding and moving to Los Angeles, he teamed with film producer Irving Thalberg, and they developed hundreds of high quality story-based films, noted for their wholesome and lush entertainment. In late 1922, Mayer was introduced to Irving Thalberg, then working for Universal Pictures.
In Los Angeles, he partnered with Louis B. Mayer's new studio and, after it merged with two other studios, helped create Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

AcademyAMPASthe Academy
Mayer was a staunch conservative, at one time the chairman of California's Republican party. In 1927 he was one of the founders of AMPAS, famous for its annual Academy Awards.
The notion of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) began with Louis B. Mayer, head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).

Metro Pictures

MetroMetro Pictures CorporationMetro Pictures Corp.
Mayer partnered with Richard A. Rowland in 1916 to create Metro Pictures Corporation, a talent booking agency, in New York City.
Metro Pictures was founded as a film distribution company in February 1915 by a number of "exchange men" with Richard A. Rowland as president, George Grombacker as vice-president and Louis B. Mayer as secretary.

Richard A. Rowland

Richard Rowland
Mayer partnered with Richard A. Rowland in 1916 to create Metro Pictures Corporation, a talent booking agency, in New York City.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Rowland was the head of Metro Pictures Corporation from 1915 to 1920, a studio he founded in 1915 along with Louis B. Mayer.

Greta Garbo

Garbo[Greta] GarboG. Garbo
That goal began with their early silent films, when stars such as Greta Garbo, Mayer's discovery, acted on lush settings with spectacular camera work. During MGM's growth period, Mayer traveled often, and among his personal discoveries were Greta Garbo, Hedy Lamarr, Norma Shearer and Greer Garson.
Her performance caught the attention of Louis B. Mayer, chief executive of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), who brought her to Hollywood in 1925.

Irene Mayer Selznick

IreneIrene Gladys MayerIrene Mayer
Years later, Mayer's daughter, Irene Mayer Selznick, found it hard to believe that anyone "so boyish could be so important."
She was born in Brooklyn, the younger of two sisters born to film producer Louis B. Mayer and his first wife, Margaret Shenberg.

B. P. Schulberg

B.P. SchulbergBen Schulberg Ben Schulberg
A partnership was set up with B. P. Schulberg to make the Mayer-Schulberg Studio.
In an era when the film industry was filled with conservative studio executives, B. P. Schulberg was a "New Deal" liberal, described by Moving Pictures magazine as "a political liberal in the reactionary world of Mayer and Hearst."

Universal Pictures

UniversalUniversal StudiosUniversal Film Manufacturing Company
In late 1922, Mayer was introduced to Irving Thalberg, then working for Universal Pictures.
Promoted to studio chief, Thalberg was giving Universal's product a touch of class, but MGM's head of production Louis B. Mayer lured Thalberg away from Universal with a promise of better pay.

Hedy Lamarr

Lamarr, HedyHedley LamarrHedy Kiesler
Garbo laughed in Ninotchka, Goodbye, Mr. Chips won an Oscar, and was nominated for seven, and Hedy Lamarr, another of Mayer's personal discoveries, made her film debut. During MGM's growth period, Mayer traveled often, and among his personal discoveries were Greta Garbo, Hedy Lamarr, Norma Shearer and Greer Garson.
Traveling to London, she met Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio head Louis B. Mayer, who offered her a movie contract in Hollywood.

Loews Cineplex Entertainment

Loew's Inc.LoewLoews
Mayer's big breakthrough, however, was in April 1924 when Marcus Loew, owner of the Loew's chain, merged Metro Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn's Goldwyn Pictures Corporation, and Mayer Pictures into Metro-Goldwyn.
To provide quality films for his theaters, Loew founded Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) in 1924, by merging the earlier firms Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and Louis B. Mayer Productions.

Joan Crawford

CrawfordJoanLucille LeSueur
Joan Crawford was also concerned, feeling that with Thalberg gone, the concept of the quality "big" picture "pretty much went out the window."
MGM publicity head Pete Smith recognized her ability to become a major star, but felt her name sounded fake; he told studio head Louis B. Mayer that her last name, LeSueur, reminded him of a sewer.

Mario Lanza

He also signed up dancing team Marge and Gower Champion and discovered Mario Lanza, then a young tenor from Philadelphia, who Mayer hoped to turn into a "singing Clark Gable".
Lanza began studying to be a professional singer at the age of 16. After appearing at the Hollywood Bowl in 1947, Lanza signed a seven-year film contract with Louis B. Mayer, the head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, who saw his performance and was impressed by his singing.

Luise Rainer

Some actors were affected, such as Luise Rainer, winner of Hollywood's first back-to-back Oscars, who felt that the death of Thalberg marked the death of her career: "Had it not been that he died, I think I may have stayed much longer in films."
Biographer Charles Higham notes that MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer and story editor Samuel Marx had seen footage of Rainer before she came to Hollywood, and both felt she had the looks, charm, and especially a "certain tender vulnerability" that Mayer admired in female stars.

David O. Selznick

SelznickDavid SelznickDavid
He ousted Thalberg as production chief in 1932, while Thalberg was recovering from a heart attack, and replaced him with producer David O. Selznick.
In 1933 he returned to MGM where his father-in-law, Louis B. Mayer, was studio CEO.

Nicholas Schenck

NicholasMrs. Nicholas Schenck
He was named head of studio operations and a Loew's vice president, based in Los Angeles, reporting to Loew's longtime right-hand man Nicholas Schenck.
He bought a studio headed by independent producer Louis B. Mayer in 1924, merging the Loew's Hollywood interests into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with Mayer as studio chief.

Mickey Rooney

Fryman EnterprisesMickey McGuire
While Mickey Rooney, another young actor, and someone who co-starred with Elizabeth when she was 12, formed the opposite impression: "He was the daddy of everybody and vitally interested in everybody. They always talk badly about Mayer, but he was really a wonderful guy ... he listened and you listened."
At the peak of his career between the ages of 15 and 25, he made 43 films, which made him one of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's most consistently successful actors and a favorite of MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer.

Nathan H. Gordon

Within a few years, he owned all five of Haverhill's theaters, and, with Nathan H. Gordon, created the Gordon-Mayer partnership that controlled the largest theater chain in New England.
Secondarily, Gordon and Louis Mayer formed the Gordon-Mayer Theatrical Company, which booked talent for his theatres and distributed Metro's pictures.

Gone with the Wind (film)

Gone with the Wind1939 film1939 film adaptation
1939 was an especially "golden" year: besides distributing Gone with the Wind, MGM released The Wizard of Oz, Babes in Arms, At the Circus, and The Women.
Before publication of the novel, several Hollywood executives and studios declined to create a film based on it, including Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Pandro Berman at RKO Pictures, and David O. Selznick of Selznick International Pictures.

Norma Shearer

NormaNorma Shearer,Norma Thalberg
During MGM's growth period, Mayer traveled often, and among his personal discoveries were Greta Garbo, Hedy Lamarr, Norma Shearer and Greer Garson.
In January 1923, Shearer received an offer from Louis B. Mayer Pictures, a studio in Northeast Los Angeles that was run by a small-time producer, Louis B. Mayer.

Saint John, New Brunswick

Saint JohnSt. JohnSaint John, NB
Mayer was born in the Russian Empire and grew up poor in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.
The city has been a traditional hub for the arts, boasting many notable artists, actors and musicians, including Walter Pidgeon, Donald Sutherland, James Bohee, Louis B. Mayer, Fred Ross and Miller Brittain.

Ann Rutherford

"Anywhere from sixteen to eighteen pictures were being shot at one time", remembers actress Ann Rutherford.
MGM boss Louis Mayer originally refused the loan because he considered the role too minor, but Rutherford passionately appealed to him to change his mind.

Greer Garson

Garson
During MGM's growth period, Mayer traveled often, and among his personal discoveries were Greta Garbo, Hedy Lamarr, Norma Shearer and Greer Garson.
Louis B. Mayer discovered Garson while he was in London looking for new talent.

Esther Williams

He relied on his instinct and intuition, said actress Esther Williams.
MGM's head, Louis B. Mayer, had been looking for a female sports star for the studio to compete with Fox's figure skating star, Sonja Henie.

Judy Garland

GarlandDorothyEthel Gumm
One of Rooney's repeat costars in Andy Hardy and other films was Judy Garland, with whom he made nine films.
In September 1935, Louis B. Mayer asked songwriter Burton Lane to go to the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles to watch the Garland Sisters' vaudeville act and to report to him.