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Joe Pasternak

Joe Pasternak

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Also Known As: Joseph Pasternak, Joseph Pasternak, Josef A. Pasternack Died: September 13, 1991
Born: September 19, 1901 Cause of Death: Parkinson's disease
Birth Place: Hungary Profession: producer, fourth assistant director, second assistant director, associate producer, waiter, factory worker, busboy

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Hungarian immigrant who came to America in his teens and worked his way up through the ranks to become an assistant director at Paramount in 1923. After producing several successful films in Europe, Pasternak revived the flagging fortunes of Universal with a series of hit musicals starring Deanna Durbin in the mid-1930s. He is also credited with discovering Judy Garland, who later starred in his musicals "Presenting Lily Mars" (1943), "In the Good Old Summertime" (1949) and "Summer Stock" (1950). Pasternak also cast Mario Lanza in "The Toast of New Orleans" (1950) and "The Great Caruso" (1951), and rejuvenated the career of Marlene Dietrich with "Destry Rides Again" (1939). In 1945 Pasternak fought MGM for permission to film the now classic live-action/animated sequence in "Anchors Aweigh", in which Gene Kelly dances with the cartoon mouse, Jerry (at a cost of $150,000). Over a 40-year career, Pasternak was responsible for 105 films, mostly family-oriented, frothy fare which earned a total of some $400 million. He headed one of MGM's three musical "units" in the 1940s and, in 1960, produced the influential adolescent-romance-on-the-beach film, "Where the Boys Are".

Hungarian immigrant who came to America in his teens and worked his way up through the ranks to become an assistant director at Paramount in 1923. After producing several successful films in Europe, Pasternak revived the flagging fortunes of Universal with a series of hit musicals starring Deanna Durbin in the mid-1930s. He is also credited with discovering Judy Garland, who later starred in his musicals "Presenting Lily Mars" (1943), "In the Good Old Summertime" (1949) and "Summer Stock" (1950). Pasternak also cast Mario Lanza in "The Toast of New Orleans" (1950) and "The Great Caruso" (1951), and rejuvenated the career of Marlene Dietrich with "Destry Rides Again" (1939).

In 1945 Pasternak fought MGM for permission to film the now classic live-action/animated sequence in "Anchors Aweigh", in which Gene Kelly dances with the cartoon mouse, Jerry (at a cost of $150,000).

Over a 40-year career, Pasternak was responsible for 105 films, mostly family-oriented, frothy fare which earned a total of some $400 million. He headed one of MGM's three musical "units" in the 1940s and, in 1960, produced the influential adolescent-romance-on-the-beach film, "Where the Boys Are".

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Love Me or Leave Me (1955) Film producer
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1921:
Emigrated to USA; first worked in a factory, punching holes in leather belts
:
Began studio career as a busboy at Paramount's Astoria studio in Queens, NY; worked his way up to waiter, actor and fourth assistant director
1923:
Became a second assistant director at Paramount
1926:
Joined Universal in Hollywood; wrote and directed first two-reel comedy with El Brendel, "Help Yourself" which helped him advance to asssistant director
1928:
Appointed manager of Universal's operations in Berlin and as an associate producer (under European production supervisor Paul Kohner) earned $1,500 per week
1929:
First film, "Das Schweigen im Walde" (made in Germany)
1933:
Fled Germany (later family members died in concentration camps)
:
Made films in Vienna and Budapest
1936:
Called back to the USA in the mid-1930s when Universal faced bankruptcy
1937:
Helped save the studio with his first US production, the Deana Durbin hit musical, "Three Smart Girls"
1941:
Moved to MGM where he stayed for the remainer of his career
1964:
Produced three Oscar telecasts
1968:
Produced last film, "The Sweet Ride"
:
Career ended by Parkinson's disease in the late 1960s
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Pasternak once said that his boyhood dream was "to have my own bathroom." --quoted in his obituary in The New York Times, September 18, 1991.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Margaret Flander. Secretary. Divorced; was his German secretary.
wife:
Dorothy Darrel. Former actor. Married 1941.

Family close complete family listing

sister:
Lanca Kardos.
son:
Michael Pasternak. Disk jockey.
son:
Peter Pasternak. Works in music business.
son:
Jeffrey Pasternak.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Easy the Hard Way"

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