Wednesday, January 7, 2009


On this date in 1873, Adolph Zukor, who became one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, was born in Hungary.

Paramount Pictures began its operations in 1912 as the Famous Players Film Company, and was founded by Adolph Zukor (1873-1976). Adolph Zukor was born in in Austria-Hungary and came to New York when he was 15 years old. He started in the fur business in Chicago where he entered the new film entertainment business by buying a nickelodeon in 1903. Two years later, Zukor had a business partner named Marcus Loew. Shortly thereafter, Zukor became the treasurer for Loew's growing chain of movie theaters.

With profits from a film distribution deal, Zukor branched out on his own to found the Famous Players studio. It was Zukor who then hired Famous Players' key to success, a young actress named Mary Pickford. She was soon known as "America's Sweetheart." In 1916 Famous Players merged with Jesse L. Lasky's Feature Play Company to form Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. (Lasky's partners were Samuel Goldfish [later Goldwyn] and Cecil B. DeMille.) After several more name changes, mergers, management shuffles, and a bankruptcy, the newly reorganized Paramount Pictures, Inc. emerged in 1935. In the 1930s and '40s, Paramount was known for its big stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Ray Milland, Marlene Dietrich, Maurice Chevalier, and the Marx brothers.

Zukor was portrayed by Leonardo Cimino in a TV movie about the tragic life of Frances Farmer called "Will There Really Be A Morning"? . I have no pictures from that movie to show you Cimino as Zukor, but here's a side-by-side comparison of them both:
Toby O'B

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