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Joe Pasternak

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Joseph Herman "Joe" Pasternak September 19, 1901 – September 13, 1991 was an Hungarian-born American film producer in Hollywood


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 In the United States
  • 3 Death and tribute
  • 4 Partial filmography
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Early lifeedit

Born to a Jewish family in Szilágysomlyó, Austria-Hungary now Șimleu Silvaniei, Sălaj County, Romania, Pasternak was a successful film producer in Germany and Austria by the time he was 28 years old He worked for Universal Pictures in Europe, where he made German-language musicals for the international market He hit upon a successful formula, building light musical comedies around an adolescent soprano Franciska Gaal

Following the establishment of the Nazi regime, Pasternak emigrated to the United States

In the United Statesedit

Pasternak right receiving his star on Hollywood Boulevard from Johnny Grant with Gene Kelly on the left on July 29, 1991

At Universal's Hollywood studio in 1936 Pasternak cast 14-year-old Canadian singer Deanna Durbin in Three Smart Girls 1936 The film became a huge hit and reputedly saved Universal from bankruptcy Pasternak produced a string of Durbin musicals, and soon discovered another talented soprano, Gloria Jean who began her own series in 1939 Pasternak proved to be a real asset for the studio, generating a number of popular films, including Destry Rides Again 1939 and Seven Sinners 1940

In 1941 he moved to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he sat on the executive committee1 and was regarded one of the three most important persons in the company, alongside Louis B Mayer and Vice President Sam Katz2 At MGM he continued to produce operetta films, featuring the rich singing voices of Kathryn Grayson and Jane Powell, although his biggest MGM success came with The Great Caruso 1951, a vehicle for Mario Lanza

In the mid 1950s, Pasternak and Sam Katz set up the independent production company Euterpe,3 which, until Pasternak's retirement in 1968, produced 16 films distributed by MGM; among them musicals with Elvis Presley, Doris Day and Connie Francis456

His career as a film producer spanned 40 years and earned him two Oscar nominations and three Golden Globe Award nominations He retired in 1968, having produced more than ninety feature-length films as well as three Academy Award shows

Pasternak is the father of Michael Joseph Pasternak, the radio disk jockey known as Emperor Rosko; Jeff Pasternak, a playwright and songwriter; and Peter Pasternak, a music industry professional

Death and tributeedit

Joe Pasternak died in Beverly Hills, California from complications arising from Parkinson's disease six days shy of his 90th birthday He is interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Joe Pasternak has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1541 N Vine Street

Partial filmographyedit


  1. ^ Scott Eyman: Lion of Hollywood – The Life and Legend of Louis B Mayer, p363 Linked 2014-01-28
  2. ^ Larry Ceplair, Steven Englun: The Inquisition in Hollywood: Politics in the Film Community, 1930-1960, p312 Linked 2014-01-28
  3. ^ TCM: Gidget - production notes Linked 2014-01-28
  4. ^ AFI: Euterpe Productions, Inc Linked 2014-01-28
  5. ^ AFI: Euterpe, Inc Linked 2014-01-28
  6. ^ IMDb: Euterpe Linked 2014-01-28

External linksedit

  • Joe Pasternak on Internet Movie Database
  • Joe Pasternak at Find a Grave

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