The director of nearly 50 films, Richard Fleischer enjoyed an incredibly diverse career helming B-movie thrillers, effects-laden spectaculars, and star-studded epics. The son of animation innovator Max Fleischer, he began his filmmaking journey at RKO where his documentary short "Design for Death" (1947) earned him an Oscar as producer. He would be forever remembered for crafting one of cinema's greatest film noirs with "The Narrow Margin" (1952) and giving Walt Disney his first live-action hit with the big-budget adaptation of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (1954). He spent much of the following decade oscillating between true-crime stories and sweeping adventures with films like "The Girl on the Red Velvet Swing" (1955), "The Vikings" (1958), "Compulsion" (1959) and "Fantastic Voyage" (1966). Eventually, expensive disappoints like "Doctor Doolittle" (1967) and "Tora! Tora! Tora!" (1970) began to weaken his once unshakable stature with the studios of the day. Fleischer's later output consisted largely of a combination of cult-favorite genre films and outright embarrassments, "The New Centurions" (1972), "Soylent Green" (1973), "Mandingo" (1975) and "The Jazz Singer" (1980), among them. Well known in the industry for his ability to deal with such difficult personalities as Kirk Douglas, Orson Welles and Rex Harrison, Fleischer related some of the juiciest tales in his 1993 autobiography, Just Tell Me When to Cry. While never a household name, Fleischer nonetheless oversaw some of the most enjoyable cinematic offerings of the 20th Century.