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Isadore "Dore" Schary (August 31, 1905, Newark, New Jersey - July 7, 1980, New York City) was an American motion picture director, writer, and producer, and playwright. He graduated from Central High School in Newark, New Jersey (class of 1923).

Schary had his first success as a writer when a play he wrote, Too Many Heroes, ran on Broadway for 16 performances in the fall of 1937. He worked in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California and in 1938 won the Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Story as co-writer of the screenplay for Boys Town. He was with RKO Pictures when in 1948 he became chief of production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios.

Schary and studio chief and founder Louis B. Mayer were constantly at odds over philosophy; Mayer favoring splashy, wholesome entertainment and Schary leaning toward what Mayer derided as "message pictures". The glory days of MGM as well as other studios were coming to an end due to United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. (1948), a Supreme Court decision that severed the connection between film studios and the theaters that showed their films.[citation needed]

In addition, the new phenomenon of television was beginning to take its toll on the big screen. The MGM corporate office in New York decided that Schary might be able to turn the tide. In 1951, Mayer was ousted and Schary installed as president, serving until 1956. MGM swimming star Esther Williams would later state in her 1999 autobiography The Million Dollar Mermaid that Schary was rude, cruel, and as imperious as Mayer had been. She found it appropriate that Schary was fired on Thanksgiving Day, since he was a "turkey".[citation needed]

However, on the show This is Your Life, host Ralph Edwards stated that there has never been a show where more stars came out to honor a guest.[citation needed] Following his departure from MGM, he wrote the Broadway play, Sunrise at Campobello. The play won five Tony Awards. He wrote and produced the motion picture of the same name in 1960. He also had a brief role in the film, playing a convention delegate from Connecticut.[citation needed]

Contents

Politics

Although one of the studio executives who formulated the 1947 Waldorf Statement, he became an outspoken opponent of the witch-hunt for communists conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee that resulted in the Hollywood Blacklist. A liberal activist, he served as National Chairman of the B'nai B'rith's Anti-Defamation League and as New York City Commissioner for Cultural Affairs.[citation needed]

Personal life

Schary is the father of novelist and memoirist Jill Robinson.[1]

Legacy

To honor his memory, the Anti-Defamation League established the Dore Schary Awards in 1982.

Death

Dore Schary died in 1980, aged 74, and was interred in the Hebrew Cemetery, West Long Branch, New Jersey.

In popular culture

  • He is referenced at the very end of Stan Freberg's album satirizing American history, where his name is rhymed with "revolutionary".[citation needed]
  • In I Love Lucy, Ricky Ricardo is seen calling Dore Schary's office from his Hollywood hotel room. In fact, Schary was supposed to have appeared as "himself" in a 1955 episode. At the last minute, though, he bowed out, and Philip Ober, Vivian Vance's husband at the time, portrayed "Dore Schary" instead.[citation needed]

References

  1. ^ [1]
  • Schary, Dore (1979). Heyday: An autobiography. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0316772704. 

External links

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