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Pandro S. Berman
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    (March 28, 1905-June 13, 1996)
    Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Studio executive at RKO and later MGM
    Produced 'Top Hat (1935),' 'Swing Time (1936),' 'Stage Door (1937),' 'Gunga Din (1939),' 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939),' 'Ziegfeld Girl (1941),' ''National Velvet (1944),' 'The Picture of Dorian Grey (1945),' 'Ivanhoe (1952),' 'Blackboard Jungle (1955),' and 'Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)'
    He got his start after producer William LeBaron walked off production of 'The Gay Diplomat,' resulting in his being bumped up from working in the cutting room to 'take over.'
    Although studio head at RKO, he was often cut out of the decision-making loop, something that would be unheard of at bigger name counterparts.
    The undermining of his authority got to be so bad that he eventually pulled a Johnny Unitas - leaving RKO for a lucrative offer from MGM as one of Louie B. Mayer's 'college of cardinals.'
    When he screened 'Butterfield 8' for Elizabeth Taylor, she stood up afterward and wrote on the wall with lipstick 'Piece. Of. Shit.' She would go on to win her first Oscar for the film.
    He pulled one last move to 20th-Century Fox in 1965 - it had disastrous results, with his biggest credit being the flop, 'Justine,' George Cukor's last film.
    Perhaps appropriately, his final film production credit was a project called 'MOVE' - made in 1970.
    He got his start apprenticing at Universal Studios, where his father was general manager.
    He pulled RKO out of a financial hole, mainly through the Astaire-Rogers musical comedies; a teaming he initially conceived.
    He was an early advocate for Katharine Hepburn, who became a star and won her first Oscar under his tenure.
    He was one of the few to survive the general firing of staff after the ascendancy of David O. Selznick at RKO. He would survive similar corporate shakeups at MGM.
    As studio chief, he signed an agreement with Walt Disney for distribution of his studio's animated films, beginning with the first full length animate feature, 1937's 'Snow White.' The move proved lucrative when 'Snow White' became an instant smash hit.
    He had a key part in helping to transition Lana Turner and Elizabeth Taylor - both former child stars - into mature movie roles which secured them 'star'-level status.
    He ushered in the Rock n' Roll era by producing two seminal films for the period - 'Blackboard Jungle' and 'Jailhouse Rock.'
    Six of the films whose production he supervised went on to receive Academy Award nominations for Best Picture (which given the studio's comparatively small size is no small feat).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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