Harold Hecht

Producer, Dancer, Choreographer
With partner Burt Lancaster, one of the first Hollywood producers to break away from the traditional studio system and to handle every aspect of film production on an independent basis. Hecht first came to Hollywood as ... Read more »
Born: 06/01/1907 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Producer (25)

French Open 2001 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Segment Producer

Wimbledon '99 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Producer

The 1995 U.S. Open Tennis Championships 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Associate Producer

The Way West 1966 (Movie)

(Producer)

Cat Ballou 1964 (Movie)

(Producer)

Flight From Ashiya 1964 (Movie)

(Producer)

Wild and Wonderful 1964 (Movie)

(Producer)

Birdman of Alcatraz 1962 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Taras Bulba 1962 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Young Savages 1961 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Unforgiven 1960 (Movie)

(Producer)

Run Silent, Run Deep 1958 (Movie)

(Producer)

Separate Tables 1958 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Devil's Disciple 1958 (Movie)

(Producer)

Sweet Smell of Success 1957 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Bachelor Party 1957 (Movie)

(Producer)

Trapeze 1956 (Movie)

(Producer)

Marty 1955 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Kentuckian 1955 (Movie)

(Producer)

Apache 1954 (Movie)

(Producer)

Vera Cruz 1954 (Movie)

(Producer)

His Majesty O'Keefe 1953 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Crimson Pirate 1952 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Flame and the Arrow 1950 (Movie)

(Producer)

Kiss the Blood off My Hands (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

With partner Burt Lancaster, one of the first Hollywood producers to break away from the traditional studio system and to handle every aspect of film production on an independent basis. Hecht first came to Hollywood as a dance director on several features of the early 1930s including the Marx Bros. college romp, "Horsefeathers" (1932) and the Mae West classic "She Done Him Wrong" (1933). He had previously performed on the New York stage as an actor and a dancer. Hecht began studying at the prestigious American Laboratory Theater at 16 and appeared in various local classical productions during his five-year stint there. He went on to dance with the Metropolitan Opera and Martha Graham companies.

Hecht left Hollywood for a time to join the Federal Theater Project in 1934. He returned to Tinseltown as an agent and, in this capacity, "discovered" the young Burt Lancaster in a NY show and brought him West. The pair formed Harold Hecht-Norma Productions in 1948 (renamed Hecht-Lancaster Productions in 1954 and finally Hecht-Lancaster-Hill Productions after the addition of partner James Hill) and produced "Kiss the Blood Off My Hands" (1948), a so-so noir starring Lancaster and Joan Fontaine. Their subsequent collaborations included "The Crimson Pirate" (1952), "Apache" and "Vera Cruz" (both 1954). Hecht won a 1955 Best Picture Oscar as the producer of "Marty", a modest and moving adaptation of the celebrated TV play by Paddy Chayevsky. His last production of note was the well-received Western comedy "Cat Ballou" (1965) starring Jane Fonda and the Oscar-winning Lee Marvin.

EDUCATION

American Laboratory Theater

studied for five years

Milestones

1962

Dissolved Hecht-Lancaster-Hill Productions

1954

Changed company name to Hecht-Lancaster Productions; later joined by James Hill

1948

Feature debut as executive producer, "Kiss the Blood Off My Hands"

1948

Formed Harold Hecht-Norma Productions with Lancaster

1934

Joined the Federal Theater Project

1923

Joined the American Laboratory Theater at 16 to study drama; appeared on the NY stage in various classical productions (date approximate)

Became a dance director for Hollywood films in the early 1930s; worked on "Horsefeathers" (1932) and "She Done Him Wrong" (1933)

Returned to Hollywood as an agent

"Discovered" Burt Lancaster on the NY stage

Danced with the Metropolitan Opera and Martha Graham companies

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