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Merian Caldwell Cooper (October 24, 1893 – April 21, 1973) was an American aviator, United States
United States
Air Force and Polish Air Force officer, adventurer, screenwriter, film director, and producer. Cooper was the founder of the Kościuszko Squadron
Kościuszko Squadron
during the Polish–Soviet War and was a Soviet prisoner of war for a time. He was a notable movie producer, and got his start with film as part of the Explorers Club, traveling the world and documenting adventures. He was a member of the board of directors of Pan American Airways, but his love of film always took priority. During his film career, he worked for companies such as Pioneer Pictures, RKO
RKO
Pictures, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He is also credited as co-inventor of the Cinerama
Cinerama
film projection process. Cooper's most famous film was the 1933 movie King Kong. He was awarded an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement in 1952 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Early military service

2.1 Georgia National Guard 2.2 World War I 2.3 Kościuszko Squadron

3 Career

3.1 Cooper and Schoedsack 3.2 Pan American Airways 3.3 King Kong 3.4 Pioneer Pictures, Selznick International Pictures, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 3.5 World War II 3.6 Argosy Pictures
Argosy Pictures
and Cinerama

4 Awards 5 Personal life 6 Selected filmography 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

9.1 Archival materials

Early life[edit] Merian Caldwell Cooper was born in Jacksonville, Florida, to the lawyer John C. Cooper and the former Mary Caldwell.[1] He was the youngest of three children. At age six, Cooper decided that he wanted to be an explorer after hearing stories from the book Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa.[2]:10,14 He was educated at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and graduated in 1911.[2]:19[3] After graduation, Cooper received a prestigious appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy,[2]:19 but was expelled during his senior year for "hell raising and for championing air power".[4] In 1916, Cooper worked for the Minneapolis Daily News as a reporter, where he met Delos Lovelace.[5] In the next few years, he also worked at the Des Moines Register-Leader and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.[2]:22 Early military service[edit] Georgia National Guard[edit] In 1916, Cooper joined the Georgia National Guard to help chase Pancho Villa in Mexico.[6] He was called home in March 1917. He worked for the El Paso Herald on a 30-day leave of absence. After returning to his service, Cooper was appointed lieutenant; however, he turned down the appointment hoping to participate in combat. Instead, he went to the Military Aeronautics School in Atlanta
Atlanta
to learn to fly. Cooper graduated from the school as the top in his class.[2]:24–25 World War I[edit]

Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
in Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
uniform

In October 1917, Cooper went to France
France
with the 201st Squadron. He attended flying school in Issoudun. While flying with his friend, Cooper hit his head and was knocked out during a 200-foot plunge. After the incident, Cooper suffered from shock and had to relearn how to fly. Cooper requested to go to Clermont-Ferrand
Clermont-Ferrand
to be trained as a bomber pilot. He became a pilot on the 20th Aero Squadron (which later became the 1st Day Bombardment Group).[2]:26–27 Cooper served as a DH-4 bomber pilot with the United States
United States
Army Air Service during World War I.[7] On September 26, 1918, his plane was shot down. The plane caught fire, and Cooper spun the plane to suck the flames out. Cooper survived, although he suffered burns, injured his hands, and was presumed dead. German soldiers saw his plane's incredible landing and took him to a prisoner reserve hospital.[2]:8,38–41

Death statement from when Cooper was presumed dead in 1918

Captain Cooper remained in the Air Service after the war; he helped with Herbert Hoover's American Food Administration that provided aid in Poland. He later became the head of the Poland division.[8] Kościuszko Squadron[edit] From late 1919 until the 1921 Treaty of Riga, Cooper was a member of a volunteer American flight squadron, the Kościuszko Squadron, which supported the Polish Army
Polish Army
in the Polish-Soviet War.[6] On July 13, 1920, his plane was shot down and he spent nearly nine months in a Soviet prisoner of war camp[8] where the writer Isaac Babel interviewed him.[9] He escaped just before the war was over and made it to Latvia. For his valor he was decorated by Polish commander-in-chief Józef Piłsudski
Józef Piłsudski
with the highest Polish military decoration, the Virtuti Militari.[8]

Cooper at the Latvian Border after escaping the Soviet POW camp

During his time as a POW, Cooper wrote an autobiography: Things Men Die For.[6] The manuscript was published by G. P. Putnam's Sons
G. P. Putnam's Sons
in New York (the Knickerbocker Press) in 1927. However, in 1928 Cooper regretted releasing certain details about "Nina" (probably Małgorzata Słomczyńska) with whom he had had relations outside of wedlock. Cooper then asked Dagmar Matson, who had the manuscript, to buy all the copies of the book possible. Matson found almost all 5,000 copies that had been printed. The books were destroyed, while Cooper and Matson each kept a copy.[6][10] An interbellum Polish film directed by Leonard Buczkowski, Gwiaździsta eskadra (The Starry Squadron), was inspired by Cooper's experiences as a Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
officer. The film was made with the cooperation of the Polish army and was the most expensive Polish film prior to World War II. After World War II, all copies of the film found in Poland were destroyed by the Soviets.[11] Career[edit] Cooper and Schoedsack[edit] After returning from overseas in 1921, Cooper got a job working the night shift at The New York Times. He was commissioned to write articles for Asia magazine. Cooper was able to travel with Ernest Schoedsack on a sea voyage on the Wisdom II. As part of the journey, he traveled to Abyssinia, or the Ethiopian Empire, where he met their prince regent, Ras Tefari, later known as Emperor Haile Selassie I. The ship left Abyssinia in February 1923. On their way home, the crew narrowly missed being attacked by pirates, and the ship was burned down.[2]:81–83,95–104 His three-part series for Asia was published in 1923.[2]:106 After returning home, Cooper researched for the American Geographical Society. In 1924, Cooper joined Schoedsack and Marguerite Harrison
Marguerite Harrison
who had embarked on an expedition that would be turned into the film Grass (1925).[2]:111 They returned later the same year. Cooper became a member of the Explorers Club of New York in January 1925 and was asked to give lectures and attend events due to his extensive traveling. Grass was acquired by Paramount Pictures. This first film of Cooper and Schoedsack gained the attention of Jesse Lasky, who commissioned the duo for their second film, Chang (1927). They also produced the film The Four Feathers,[2]:132–137,162 which was filmed among the fighting tribes of the Sudan. These films combined real footage with staged sequences.[7] Pan American Airways[edit] Between 1926 and 1927, Cooper discussed the plans for Pan American Airways with John Hambleton, which was formed during 1927.[2]:180 Cooper was a member of the board of directors of Pan American Airways.[12] During his tenure at Pan Am, the company established the first regularly scheduled transatlantic service.[8] While he was on the board, Cooper did not devote his full attention to the organization; he took time in 1929 and 1930 to work on the script for King Kong. By 1931, he was back in Hollywood.[2]:182,183 He resigned from the board of directors in 1935, following health complications.[2]:258 King Kong[edit] Main article: King Kong (1933 film) See also: King Kong § Legal rights Cooper had said that he thought of King Kong after he had a dream that a giant gorilla was terrorizing New York City. When he woke, he recorded the idea and used it for the film.[13] He was going to have a giant gorilla fight a Komodo dragon
Komodo dragon
or other animal, but found that the technique of interlacing that he wanted to use would not provide realistic results.[2]:194

King Kong movie poster

Cooper needed a production studio for the film, but recognized the great cost of the movie, especially during the Great Depression. Cooper helped David Selznick
David Selznick
get a job at RKO
RKO
Pictures, which was struggling financially. Selznick became the vice president of RKO
RKO
and asked Cooper to join him in September 1931, although he had only produced 3 films thus far in his career.[2]:202–203 Cooper began working as an executive assistant at age thirty-eight.[14]:74 He officially pitched the idea for King Kong in December 1931. Shortly after, he began to scope out actors and build full-scale sets, although the screenplay was not yet complete.[2]:207–208 The screenplay was delivered to Cooper in January 1932. Schoedsack contributed to the film, focusing on shooting scenes for the boat sequences and in native villages, leaving Cooper to shoot the jungle scenes. In February 1933, the title for the film was registered for copyright.[2]:218–223 Throughout filming there were creative battles. Critics at RKO
RKO
argued that the film should begin with Kong. Cooper believed that a film should begin with a "slow dramatic buildup that would establish everything from characters to mood ..." so that the action of the film could "naturally, relentlessly, roll on out of its own creative movement," and thus chose to not begin the film with a shot of Kong. The iconic scene in which Kong is on top of the Empire State Building
Empire State Building
was almost called off by Cooper for legal reasons, but was kept in the film because RKO
RKO
bought the rights to The Lost World.[2]:229,231 Overlapping with the production of King Kong was the making of The Most Dangerous Game, which began in May 1932. Cooper once again worked with Schoedsack to produce the film.[2]:214 In the 1933 version of King Kong, Cooper and co-director Ernest B. Schoedsack appear at the end, piloting the plane that finally finishes off Kong. Cooper had reportedly said, "We should kill the sonofabitch ourselves."[15] Cooper personally cut a scene in King Kong in which four sailors are shaken off a rope bridge by Kong, fall into a ravine, and are eaten alive by giant spiders. According to Hollywood folklore, the decision was made after previews in January 1933, during which audience members either fled the theater in terror or talked about the ghastly scene throughout the remainder of the movie. However, more objective sources maintain that the scene merely slowed the film's pace. Legend has it that Cooper kept a print of the cut footage as a memento, although it has never been found.[16] In 1963, Cooper argued unsuccessfully that he should own the rights to King Kong; later in 1976, judges ruled that Cooper owned the rights to King Kong outside the movie and its sequel.[2]:362; 387 Selznick left RKO
RKO
before the release of King Kong, and Cooper served as production head from 1933 to 1934 with Pan Berman as his executive assistant.[14] In the 2005 remake of King Kong, upon learning that Fay Wray
Fay Wray
was not available because she was making a film at RKO, Carl Denham
Carl Denham
(Jack Black) replies, "Cooper, huh? I might have known."[17] Pioneer Pictures, Selznick International Pictures, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer[edit] Cooper helped the Whitney cousins form Pioneer Pictures
Pioneer Pictures
in 1933, while he was still working for RKO.[2]:254 He was named vice president in charge of production for Pioneer Pictures
Pioneer Pictures
in 1934.[18] He would use Pioneer Pictures
Pioneer Pictures
to test his technicolor innovations. The company contracted with RKO
RKO
in order to fulfill Cooper's obligations to the company, including She and The Last Days of Pompeii. Cooper later referred to She as the "worst picture I ever made."[2]:259,263 After these disappointments, Pioneer Pictures
Pioneer Pictures
released a short film in three-strip technicolor called La Cucaracha which was well received. The film won an Academy Award in 1934. Pioneer released the first full-length technicolor film, Becky Sharp
Becky Sharp
in 1935.[2]:267–269 Cooper helped to advocate and pave the way for the ground-breaking technology of technicolor,[8] as well as the widescreen process called Cinerama.[19] Selznick formed Selznick International Pictures in 1935, and Pioneer Pictures merged with it in June 1936.[2]:269,274 Cooper became the vice president of Selznick International Pictures that same year.[1] Cooper did not stay long; he resigned in 1937 due to disagreements over the film Stagecoach.[2]:275 After resigning from Selznick International, Cooper went to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(MGM) in June 1937. Cooper's most successful film at MGM was War Eagles. The film was postponed during World War II, and Cooper returned to the Air Force. The film was abandoned, however, and never finished.[2]:276–281 World War II[edit] Cooper re-enlisted and was commissioned a colonel in the U.S. Army Air Forces.[8][20] He served with Col. Robert L. Scott
Robert L. Scott
in India. He worked as logistics liaison for the Doolittle Raid. Thereafter, Cooper and Scott worked with Col. Caleb V. Haynes
Caleb V. Haynes
at Dinjan
Dinjan
Airfield. They all were involved in setting up the Assam-Burma-China Ferrying Command. This marked the beginnings of The Hump
The Hump
Airlift. Colonel Cooper later served in China as chief of staff for General Claire Chennault
Claire Chennault
of the China Air Task Force, which was the precursor of the Fourteenth Air Force.[20] On 25 October 1942 a CATF raid consisting of 12 B-25s and 7 P-40s, led by Colonel Cooper, successfully bombed the Kowloon Docks at Hong Kong[21]. He served then from 1943 to 1945 in the Southwest Pacific as chief of staff for the Fifth Air Force's Bomber Command.[22] At the end of the war, he was promoted to brigadier general. For his contributions, he was also aboard the USS Missouri to witness Japan's surrender.[8] Argosy Pictures
Argosy Pictures
and Cinerama[edit] Cooper and his friend and frequent collaborator, noted director John Ford, formed Argosy Productions in 1946[23] and produced such notable films such as Wagon Master
Wagon Master
(1950),[24]:112 Ford's Fort Apache (1948), and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.[23] Cooper's films at Argosy reflected his patriotism and his vision of America.[2]:321 Argosy negotiated a contract with RKO
RKO
in 1946 to make four pictures. Cooper was able to make Grass a complete picture. Argosy also produced Mighty Joe Young, which brought in Schoedsack as director. Cooper visited the set of the film every day to check on progress.[2]:335,340–342 Cooper left Argosy Pictures
Argosy Pictures
to pursue the process of Cinerama.[2]:350 He became the vice president of Cinerama
Cinerama
Productions in the 1950s. He was also elected a board member. After failing to convince other board members to finance skilled technicians, Cooper left Cinerama
Cinerama
with Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney
Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney
to form C.V. Whitney Productions. Cooper continued to outline movies to be shot in Cinerama. C.V. Whitney Productions only produced a few films.[2]:355–358 Cooper was the executive producer for The Searchers (1956), again directed by Ford.[24]:117 Awards[edit]

Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6525 Hollywood Blvd., with first name misspelled

For his military service in Poland, Cooper was awarded the Silver Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari
Order of Virtuti Militari
(presented by Piłsudski), and Poland's Cross of Valour.[6] In 1927 Cooper was one of 19 prominent Americans who were given the title of "Honorary Scouts" by the Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America
for "... achievements in outdoor activity, exploration and worthwhile adventure ... of such an exceptional character as to capture the imagination of boys". The other honorees were Roy Chapman Andrews, Robert Bartlett, Frederick Russell Burnham, Richard E. Byrd, George Kruck Cherrie, James L. Clark, Lincoln Ellsworth, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, George Bird Grinnell, Charles Lindbergh, Donald Baxter MacMillan, Clifford H. Pope, George Palmer Putnam, Kermit Roosevelt, Carl Rungius, Stewart Edward White, and Orville Wright.[25] In 1949 Mighty Joe Young won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, which was presented to Willis O'Brien, the man responsible for the film's special effects.[26][27] Cooper was awarded an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement in 1952.[28] His film The Quiet Man
The Quiet Man
was nominated for Best Picture that year, but lost to Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth.[29] Cooper has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, though his first name is misspelled "Meriam".[30] Personal life[edit] Cooper was the father of Polish translator and writer Maciej Słomczyński.[6] He married film actress Dorothy Jordan on May 27, 1933.[1] They kept their marriage a secret from Hollywood for a month before it was reported by journalists. He suffered a heart attack later that year.[2]:252,255 In the 1950s he supported Joseph McCarthy in his crusade to root out Communists in Hollywood and Washington, D.C.[31] Cooper founded Advanced Projects in his later life and served as the chairman of the board. He wanted to explore new technologies like 3-D color television productions.[2]:374 Cooper died of cancer on April 21, 1973,[1] in San Diego.[8] His ashes were scattered at sea with full military honors.[2]:378 Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Director Producer Writer Cinematographer Executive producer Actor (Role) Notes

1925 Grass Yes Yes Yes Yes

Himself

1927 Chang Yes Yes Yes

Yes

1928 Gow the Head Hunter[citation needed]

Yes

1929 The Four Feathers Yes Yes

Yes

1931 Gow the Killer[citation needed]

Yes

1932 Roar of the Dragon

Yes

1933 Headline Shooter

Yes

Yes

1933 King Kong Yes Yes Yes

Pilot of plane that kills Kong Uncredited

1933 Flying Devils

Yes

1933 The Son of Kong

Yes

1935 She

Yes

References[edit]

^ a b c d James V. D'Arc and John N. Gillespie (2013). " Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
papers". Prepared for the L. Tom Perry Special
Special
Collections, Provo, UT. Retrieved 8 Jul 2016. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah Vaz, Mark Cotta (August 2005). Living dangerously The adventures of Merian C. Cooper, creator of King Kong. Villard. ISBN 978-1-4000-6276-8.  ^ "Notable Alumni". The Lawrenceville School. Retrieved 11 July 2016.  ^ Smith, Dinitia (August 13, 2005). "Getting That Monkey Off His Creator's Back". The New York Times.  ^ Lovelace, Delos; Wallace, Edgar (2005). King Kong. New York: Modern Library. ISBN 978-0-345-48496-3. Retrieved 14 November 2016.  ^ a b c d e f "Memoirs of King Kong Director and War Hero at Hoover". Hoover Institution. Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2016.  ^ a b West, James E. (1931). The Boy Scouts Book of True Adventure. New York: Putnam. OCLC 8484128.  ^ a b c d e f g h " Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
– Forgotten hero of two nations". American Polish Cooperation Society. Archived from the original on August 12, 2016. Retrieved July 11, 2016.  ^ Liukkonen, Petri. "Isaac Babel". Books and Writers (kirjasto.sci.fi). Finland: Kuusankoski
Kuusankoski
Public Library. Archived from the original on March 8, 2014.  ^ "Things Men Die For: About the Book". Open Library. Retrieved 13 July 2016.  ^ Snusz, Zbyszek. ""Gwiaździsta eskadra" – film kręcony z gigantycznym rozmachem w 1930 roku". Naszemiasto. Retrieved 8 July 2016.  ^ Schwartz, Rosalie (October 2004). Flying Down to Rio: Hollywood, Tourists, and Yankee Clippers. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-1-58544-421-2. Retrieved 8 July 2016.  ^ Krizanovich, Karen. "The big monkey with a big backstory: The Legend of King Kong". Picture Box Films. Retrieved 8 July 2016.  ^ a b Lasky, Betty (1984). RKO: The Biggest Little Major of Them All. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc. ISBN 0-13-781451-8.  ^ Wallace, Edgar; Cooper, Merian C. (2005). King Kong. Modern Library. p. xiii. ISBN 978-0-8129-7493-5. Retrieved 8 July 2016.  ^ Morton, Ray (2005). King Kong: the history of a movie icon from Fay Wray to Peter Jackson. New York, NY: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. ISBN 1-55783-669-8.  ^ Dawidziak, Mark (April 4, 2008). " Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies
celebrates the 75th anniversary of 'King Kong'". Cleveland.com. Archived from the original on October 11, 2016. Retrieved July 8, 2016.  ^ "Pioneer Plans Color Films". The Wall Street Journal. 5 Nov 1934.  ^ " Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
Productions Sunday, July 3". TCM. Retrieved 11 July 2016.  ^ a b "Colonel Merian C. Cooper". Ozatwar. Retrieved 11 July 2016.  ^ "WW2 Air Raids over Hong Kong & South China: View pages - Gwulo: Old Hong Kong". gwulo.com. Retrieved March 23, 2018.  ^ Rowan, Terry. Who's Who in Hollywood. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-329-07449-1. Retrieved 13 July 2016.  ^ a b "John Ford—Independent Profile". Hollywood Renegades. Cobblestone Entertainment. Retrieved 13 July 2016.  ^ a b Eckstein, Arthur M. (February 2004). The Searchers: Essays and Reflections on John Ford's Classic Western. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8143-3056-2. Retrieved 11 July 2016.  ^ "Around the World". Time. August 29, 1927. Retrieved October 24, 2007.  ^ "'Mighty Joe Young' (1949)". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 July 2016.  ^ Pitts, Michael R. (2014). RKO
RKO
radio pictures horror, science fiction and fantasy films, 1930–1956. Mcfarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-6047-2. Retrieved 14 November 2016.  ^ Rausch, Andrew J. (July 2002). The Hundred Greatest American Films: A Quiz Book. Citadel. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-8065-2337-8. Retrieved 8 July 2016.  ^ "1952 Academy Awards® Winners and History". AMC. Retrieved 8 July 2016.  ^ Conradt, Stacy. "6 Misspellings on the Hollywood Walk of Fame". mental_floss. Retrieved 8 July 2016.  ^ Vaz, M. Living Dangerously: The Adventures of Merian C. Cooper, Creator of King Kong. Villard (2005), pp. 386–91.

Further reading[edit]

Cooper, Merian C. (February 1928). "The Warfare of the Jungle Folk: Campaigning Against Tigers, Elephants, and Other Wild Animals in Northern Siam". National Geographic: 233–68.  Cisek, Janusz (2002). Kosciuszko, We Are Here!. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-1240-2. OCLC 49871871.  I'm King Kong!—The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
(2005), TCM documentary on Cooper, directed by Kevin Brownlow.

External links[edit]

World War I
World War I
portal World War II
World War II
portal

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Merian C. Cooper

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Merian C. Cooper.

Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
on IMDb Cooper's polish-soviet war mini-bio and pictures of Cooper as a teenager on JaxHistory.Com Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
at Find a Grave

Archival materials[edit]

Inventory of the Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
papers at the Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
correspondence and interview, MSS 2024 at L. Tom Perry Special
Special
Collections, Brigham Young University Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
papers, MSS 2008 at L. Tom Perry Special
Special
Collections, Brigham Young University Jack Polito correspondence with Merian C. Cooper, MSS 5904 at L. Tom Perry Special
Special
Collections, Brigham Young University

v t e

Academy Honorary Award

1928–1950

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
/ Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
(1928) Walt Disney
Walt Disney
(1932) Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
(1934) D. W. Griffith
D. W. Griffith
(1935) The March of Time
The March of Time
/ W. Howard Greene and Harold Rosson (1936) Edgar Bergen
Edgar Bergen
/ W. Howard Greene / Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art
Film Library / Mack Sennett
Mack Sennett
(1937) J. Arthur Ball / Walt Disney
Walt Disney
/ Deanna Durbin
Deanna Durbin
and Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
/ Gordon Jennings, Jan Domela, Devereaux Jennings, Irmin Roberts, Art Smith, Farciot Edouart, Loyal Griggs, Loren L. Ryder, Harry D. Mills, Louis Mesenkop, Walter Oberst / Oliver T. Marsh and Allen Davey / Harry Warner
Harry Warner
(1938) Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks
/ Judy Garland
Judy Garland
/ William Cameron Menzies / Motion Picture Relief Fund (Jean Hersholt, Ralph Morgan, Ralph Block, Conrad Nagel)/ Technicolor
Technicolor
Company (1939) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Nathan Levinson (1940) Walt Disney, William Garity, John N. A. Hawkins, and the RCA Manufacturing Company / Leopold Stokowski
Leopold Stokowski
and his associates / Rey Scott / British Ministry of Information (1941) Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer
/ Noël Coward
Noël Coward
/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(1942) George Pal
George Pal
(1943) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Margaret O'Brien
Margaret O'Brien
(1944) Republic Studio, Daniel J. Bloomberg, and the Republic Studio Sound Department / Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger
/ The House I Live In / Peggy Ann Garner (1945) Harold Russell
Harold Russell
/ Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
/ Ernst Lubitsch
Ernst Lubitsch
/ Claude Jarman Jr. (1946) James Baskett
James Baskett
/ Thomas Armat, William Nicholas Selig, Albert E. Smith, and George Kirke Spoor
George Kirke Spoor
/ Bill and Coo / Shoeshine (1947) Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger
/ Monsieur Vincent
Monsieur Vincent
/ Sid Grauman
Sid Grauman
/ Adolph Zukor
Adolph Zukor
(1948) Jean Hersholt
Jean Hersholt
/ Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
/ Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil B. DeMille
/ The Bicycle Thief (1949) Louis B. Mayer
Louis B. Mayer
/ George Murphy
George Murphy
/ The Walls of Malapaga (1950)

1951–1975

Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly
/ Rashomon
Rashomon
(1951) Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
/ Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Harold Lloyd
Harold Lloyd
/ George Mitchell / Joseph M. Schenck / Forbidden Games
Forbidden Games
(1952) 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation / Bell & Howell Company / Joseph Breen / Pete Smith (1953) Bausch & Lomb Optical Company / Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye
/ Kemp Niver / Greta Garbo / Jon Whiteley
Jon Whiteley
/ Vincent Winter / Gate of Hell (1954) Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1955) Eddie Cantor
Eddie Cantor
(1956) Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
/ Gilbert M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson / Charles Brackett / B. B. Kahane (1957) Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Chevalier
(1958) Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton
/ Lee de Forest
Lee de Forest
(1959) Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
/ Stan Laurel
Stan Laurel
/ Hayley Mills
Hayley Mills
(1960) William L. Hendricks / Fred L. Metzler / Jerome Robbins
Jerome Robbins
(1961) William J. Tuttle
William J. Tuttle
(1964) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
(1965) Yakima Canutt
Yakima Canutt
/ Y. Frank Freeman
Y. Frank Freeman
(1966) Arthur Freed (1967) John Chambers / Onna White (1968) Cary Grant
Cary Grant
(1969) Lillian Gish
Lillian Gish
/ Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(1970) Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
(1971) Charles S. Boren / Edward G. Robinson
Edward G. Robinson
(1972) Henri Langlois
Henri Langlois
/ Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx
(1973) Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks
/ Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir
(1974) Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford
(1975)

1976–2000

Margaret Booth (1977) Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
/ Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
/ King Vidor
King Vidor
/ Museum of Modern Art Department of Film (1978) Hal Elias / Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1979) Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
(1980) Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
(1981) Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
(1982) Hal Roach
Hal Roach
(1983) James Stewart
James Stewart
/ National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
(1984) Paul Newman
Paul Newman
/ Alex North (1985) Ralph Bellamy
Ralph Bellamy
(1986) Eastman Kodak
Kodak
Company / National Film Board of Canada
National Film Board of Canada
(1988) Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa
(1989) Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren
/ Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy
(1990) Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(1991) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1992) Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr
(1993) Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni
(1994) Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
/ Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones
(1995) Michael Kidd
Michael Kidd
(1996) Stanley Donen
Stanley Donen
(1997) Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan
(1998) Andrzej Wajda
Andrzej Wajda
(1999) Jack Cardiff
Jack Cardiff
/ Ernest Lehman (2000)

2001–present

Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
/ Robert Redford
Robert Redford
(2001) Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
(2002) Blake Edwards
Blake Edwards
(2003) Sidney Lumet
Sidney Lumet
(2004) Robert Altman
Robert Altman
(2005) Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
(2006) Robert F. Boyle (2007) Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
/ Roger Corman
Roger Corman
/ Gordon Willis
Gordon Willis
(2009) Kevin Brownlow / Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard
/ Eli Wallach
Eli Wallach
(2010) James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
/ Dick Smith (2011) D. A. Pennebaker
D. A. Pennebaker
/ Hal Needham
Hal Needham
/ George Stevens Jr.
George Stevens Jr.
(2012) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
/ Steve Martin
Steve Martin
/ Piero Tosi (2013) Jean-Claude Carrière
Jean-Claude Carrière
/ Hayao Miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki
/ Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara
(2014) Spike Lee
Spike Lee
/ Gena Rowlands
Gena Rowlands
(2015) Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
/ Lynn Stalmaster / Anne V. Coates / Frederick Wiseman (2016) Charles Burnett / Owen Roizman / Donald Sutherland
Donald Sutherland
/ Agnès Varda (2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 5122866 LCCN: no90010570 ISNI: 0000 0001 2118 8338 GND: 120909855 SUDOC: 067201938 BNF: cb139425882 (data) BIBSYS: 99016175 NLA: 35701224 NDL: 01019252 NKC: mzk2005313093 BNE: XX970142 CiNii: DA11758128 SN

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