Irving Thalberg

Executive, Secretary
From the early 1920s until his premature death in 1936, producer and studio executive Irving G. Thalberg walked the line between commerce and art in transforming the Hollywood system and shifting the balance of power ... Read more »
Born: 05/30/1899 in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Filmography

Producer (17)

Camille 1936 (Movie)

(Producer)

Mutiny on the Bounty 1935 (Movie)

(Producer)

Romeo and Juliet 1935 (Movie)

(Producer)

Anna Christie 1929 (Movie)

(Producer)

London After Midnight (Movie)

(Producer)

No More Ladies (Movie)

(Producer)

Rip Tide (Movie)

(Producer)

Smilin' Through (Movie)

(Producer)

The Barretts of Wimpole Street (Movie)

(Producer)

The Guardsman (Movie)

(Producer)

The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (Movie)

(Producer)

The Mask of Fu Manchu (Movie)

(Producer)

The Road to Mandalay (Movie)

(Producer)

The Tower of Lies (Movie)

(Producer)

The Unholy Three (Movie)

(Producer)

Trader Horn (Movie)

(Producer)

Where East Is East (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

From the early 1920s until his premature death in 1936, producer and studio executive Irving G. Thalberg walked the line between commerce and art in transforming the Hollywood system and shifting the balance of power from directors to the studios. Thalberg had his start with Carl Laemmle's Universal Studios, where he took a heavy-handed approach to guiding hits like "Foolish Wives" (1922) and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1923) through production, famously clashing with director Erich von Stroheim on the former. In 1924, Thalberg left Universal for newly-formed rival MGM, where he thrived under head Louis B. Mayer with "The Big Parade" (1925), "The Divorcee" (1930) and "Grand Hotel" (1932). Regarded by the American film industry with a mixture of respect, awe, envy and fear, Thalberg was deemed a "Boy Wonder," until suffering a heart attack in 1932 that led to his departure from MGM. He returned as a producer the following year and went on to make massive hits like "The Barretts of Wimpole Street" (1934), "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935) and "A Night at the Opera" (1935), as well sharing his life with MGM's grand dame, actress Norma Shearer, who had married him in 1927. Though he died young, Thalberg remained eternal. His obsession with quality films and unwavering faith in public opinion turned him into a paragon of the studio factory system and an exemplar of public taste, all of which cemented his place as a Hollywood legend.

Relationships

Norma Shearer Actor

Wife
Married from September 29, 1927 until his death on September 14, 1936 of lobar pneumonia

Katherine Stirling

Daughter
born June 13, 1935 owned the Explorers Bookshop in Aspen, CO as of September 1991 married to Bill Stirling, mayor of Aspen

Irving Thalberg

Son
born August 25, 1930 taught at Cornell for many years died of cancer in 1987 at age 57

Milestones

1924

Made vice president and supervisor of production at newly-formed MGM

1923

Became vice president and head of production at Louis B. Mayer Pictures

1918

Became secretary at Universal Film Manufacturing

Made production manager at Universal City (Hollywood)

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