Albert Lewis (producer)

Last updated
Albert Lewis
Albert Lewis 1946.jpg
Lewis on the set of The Show-Off in 1946
Born(1884-03-15)15 March 1884
Kolno, Poland, Russian Empire
Died5 April 1978(1978-04-05) (aged 94)
Beverly Hills, California, USA
NationalityPolish, American
OccupationStage and film producer
Known for Ready for Love

Albert E. Lewis (15 March 1884 – 5 April 1978) was a Polish-born Broadway and film producer. His family emigrated to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York when he was a boy. He became a vaudeville comedian, then started a partnership producing one-act plays for vaudeville. Around 1930 he moved to Hollywood and worked as a film producer with Paramount, RKO, and MGM until after World War II.


Early years

Albert E. Lewis was born on 15 March 1884 in Kolno, Poland, then part of the Russian Empire. [1] [lower-alpha 1] His parents were Nathan and Ida Lewis. [4] The family was Jewish. They settled in Manhattan's Lower East Side. [5] Albert E. Lewis attended public high school in New York City. He was an actor from 1909 to 1913. [4] He would perform "Dutch" comedy skits in vaudeville shows. [5]

In 1913 he became a member of the firm "Lewis & Gordon". [4] His partner, Max Gordon, was also from a Lower East Side family of Polish Jewish immigrants and had also performed a "Dutch" act in vaudeville. Their booking and production agency became known for creating high-quality single-act plays for inclusion in vaudeville programs, such as Eugene O'Neill's In the Zone. [5] This partnership produced the plays Welcome Stranger, Six Cylinder Love, The Nervous Wreck, Rain, Easy Come, Easy Go, Secrets and The Spider. [4] In 1925 Lewis produced and directed the original Broadway production of The Jazz Singer, starring George Jessel. [6] The Jazz Singer opened at the Fulton Theatre on 14 September 1925 and ran for 315 performances. It was the basis for the breakthrough talking picture The Jazz Singer (1927) starring Al Jolson. [7]

Film producer

Lewis was New York representative of Fox Film Corporation from 1922 to 1929. [4] By the late 1920s, vaudeville was dying, and the Lewis & Gordon partnership was dissolved. Lewis moved to Hollywood to work for William Fox, who had once partnered with Max's brother Cliff Gordon in vaudeville acts. [5] From 1930 to 1931, he was head of the story department at the Fox studio. In September 1932, he joined the production staff of Paramount in Hollywood. He was made an associate producer. He produced Torch Singer in 1933. [4] ]

In 1934 Lewis produced Ready for Love (1934) for Paramount Pictures. The film was directed by Marion Gering and starred Richard Arlen, Ida Lupino, Marjorie Rambeau and Trent Durkin. [8] He produced Come on Marines the same year, directed by Henry Hathaway, also starring Arlen and Lupino. [8] In 1937 Lewis produced Fight for Your Lady for RKO. The comedy was directed by Ben Stoloff, and starred John Boles, Jack Oakie, and Ida Lupino. Frank Nugent of The New York Times called the film "a fumbling, unoriginal and infantile farce [which] comes unpleasantly close to being the composite year's worst picture. [9] In 1942 Lewis and George Balanchine co-produced and co-directed Cabin in the Sky, a Broadway musical with an all-black cast. [10] Lewis was an associate producer of the film version directed by Vincente Minnelli that was released in 1943. [11] He was assigned to give Minnelli technical advice since this was the first film he was directing. [12] Lewis also helped with casting for the film, which was seen as a prestigious opportunity for black actors. [13]

Later career

Lewis' eldest son Arthur Lewis (1916–2006), collaborated with his father on the screenplay for Oh You Beautiful Doll (1949) and on the story for Golden Girl (1951). George Jessel, who had starred in The Jazz Singer, produced these two films. In 1952 Albert and Arthur Lewis produced the Broadway musical Three Wishes for Jamie . Arthur Lewis went on to a distinguished career producing film, TV, and stage shows. [6] Albert Lewis died on 5 April 1978 in Beverly Hills, California. [2] He was aged 93.


Lewis produced the following films:

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Betty Grable</span> American actress, pin-up girl (1916–1973)

Elizabeth Ruth Grable was an American actress, pin-up girl, dancer, model, and singer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joseph L. Mankiewicz</span> American film director, screenwriter, and producer (1909–1993)

Joseph Leo Mankiewicz was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. Mankiewicz had a long Hollywood career, and won both the Academy Award for Best Director and the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in consecutive years for A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950), the latter of which was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and won six.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ida Lupino</span> British/American actress (1918–1995)

Ida Lupino was an English-American actress, singer, director, writer, and producer. Throughout her 48-year career, she appeared in 59 films and directed eight, working primarily in the United States, where she became a citizen in 1948.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ann Sothern</span> American actress (1909–2001)

Ann Sothern was an American actress who worked on stage, radio, film, and television, in a career that spanned nearly six decades. Sothern began her career in the late 1920s in bit parts in films. In 1930, she made her Broadway stage debut and soon worked her way up to starring roles. In 1939, MGM cast her as Maisie Ravier, a brash yet lovable Brooklyn showgirl. The character, based on the Maisie short stories by Nell Martin, proved to be popular and spawned a successful film series and a network radio series.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Ryan</span> American actor (1909–1973)

Robert Bushnell Ryan was an American actor and activist. Known for his portrayals of hardened cops and ruthless villains, Ryan performed for over three decades. He received one nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film noir drama Crossfire (1947).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Louis Hayward</span> British actor born in South Africa

Louis Charles Hayward was a Johannesburg-born, British-American actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jack Oakie</span> American actor (1903–1978)

Jack Oakie was an American actor, starring mostly in films, but also working on stage, radio and television. He portrayed Napaloni in Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940), receiving a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joan Leslie</span> American actress (1925–2015)

Joan Leslie was an American actress and vaudevillian, who during the Hollywood Golden Age, appeared in such films as High Sierra, Sergeant York, and Yankee Doodle Dandy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jack Carson</span> Canadian-American actor (1910–1963)

John Elmer Carson was a Canadian-born, American film actor. Carson often played the role of comedic friend in films of the 1940s and 1950s, including The Strawberry Blonde (1941) with James Cagney and Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) with Cary Grant. He also acted in dramas such as Mildred Pierce (1945), A Star is Born (1954), and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958). He worked for RKO and MGM, but most of his notable work was for Warner Bros.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sally Forrest</span> American actress (1928–2013)

Sally Forrest, was an American film, stage and TV actress of the 1940s and 1950s. She studied dance from a young age and shortly out of high school was signed to a contract by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lupino Lane</span> British actor

Henry William George Lupino professionally Lupino Lane, was an English actor and theatre manager, and a member of the famous Lupino family, which eventually included his cousin, the screenwriter/director/actress Ida Lupino. Lane started out as a child performer, known as 'Little Nipper', and went on to appear in a wide range of theatrical, music hall and film performances. Increasingly celebrated for his silent comedy short subjects, he is best known in the United Kingdom for playing Bill Snibson in the play and film Me and My Girl, which popularized the song and dance routine "The Lambeth Walk".

<i>Beware, My Lovely</i> 1952 film by Harry Horner

Beware, My Lovely is a 1952 film noir crime film directed by Harry Horner starring Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan and Taylor Holmes. The film is based on the 1950 play The Man by Mel Dinelli, who also wrote the screenplay.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mitzi Green</span> American child actress (1920–1969)

Mitzi Green was an American child actress for Paramount and RKO, in the early "talkies" era. She then acted on Broadway and in other stage works, as well as in films and on television.

<i>Artists and Models</i> (1937 film) 1937 film by Raoul Walsh

Artists and Models is a 1937 black-and-white American musical comedy film, directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Jack Benny and Ida Lupino. It was produced by Lewis E. Gensler.

<i>College Humor</i> (film) 1933 film

College Humor is a 1933 American pre-Code musical comedy film, directed by Wesley Ruggles, and starring Bing Crosby, Jack Oakie, Richard Arlen, Mary Kornman and Mary Carlisle. Based on a story by Dean Fales, the film is about a college professor and the school's star football player who become rivals for the same beautiful coed. Released by Paramount Pictures, the film co-stars George Burns and Gracie Allen.

<i>Forever and a Day</i> (1943 film) 1943 drama film

Forever and a Day is a 1943 American drama film, a collaborative effort employing seven directors/producers and 22 writers, with an enormous cast of well-known stars.

<i>Paramount on Parade</i> 1930 film

Paramount on Parade is a 1930 all-star American pre-Code revue released by Paramount Pictures, directed by several directors including Edmund Goulding, Dorothy Arzner, Ernst Lubitsch, Rowland V. Lee, A. Edward Sutherland, Lothar Mendes, Otto Brower, Edwin H. Knopf, Frank Tuttle, and Victor Schertzinger—all supervised by the production supervisor, singer, actress, and songwriter Elsie Janis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">RKO Pictures</span> American film production and distribution company

RKO Radio Pictures Inc., commonly known as RKO Pictures or simply RKO, was an American film production and distribution company, one of the "Big Five" film studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. The business was formed after the Keith-Albee-Orpheum (KAO) theater chain and Joseph P. Kennedy's Film Booking Offices of America (FBO) studio were brought together under the control of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in October 1928. RCA chief David Sarnoff engineered the merger to create a market for the company's sound-on-film technology, RCA Photophone, and in early 1929 production began under the RKO name. By the mid-1940s, the studio was controlled by investor Floyd Odlum.

<i>Ready for Love</i> (1934 film) 1934 film by Marion Gering

Ready for Love is a 1934 American romantic comedy film directed by Marion Gering and presented by Adolph Zukor for Paramount Pictures. It stars Richard Arlen, Ida Lupino, and Marjorie Rambeau. It is inspired by the play The Whipping by Eulalie Spence, based on the 1930 novel The Whipping by Roy Flanagan. The film is about school runaway Marigold Tate who "journeys to her retired aunt's home where she soon faces small-town bigotry", and falls in love with handsome newspaper editor Julian Barrow.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marion Gering</span> American stage producer and director

Marion Gering was a Russian-born American stage producer and director. He moved to the United States in 1923 as an artist. He became involved in the theatrical community in Chicago, founding the Chicago Play Producing Company.



  1. Lewis's year of birth is sometimes given as 1885. [2] Generally reliable sources give it as 1884. [1] [3] One plausible source gives the year as 1889. [4]


  1. 1 2 Halliwell & Walker 2001, p. 268.
  2. 1 2 Albert Lewis, IMDb.
  3. Lewis, Albert, 1884–1978, Library of Congress.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Quigley 1938, p. 462.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Strausbaugh 2013.
  6. 1 2 Arthur Lewis, Telegraph 2006.
  7. Bloom 2004, p. 229.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Donati 2013, p. 244.
  9. 1 2 Fight for Your Lady, Turner.
  10. Patinkin 2008, p. 239.
  11. Weisenfeld 2007, p. 85.
  12. Jablonski 1998, p. 176.
  13. Weisenfeld 2007, p. 294.
  14. Kennedy 2004, p. 308.
  15. Etling 2011, p. 174.
  16. Nash & Ross 1985, p. 2263.
  17. Meyerson & Harburg 1995, p. 379.
  18. College Scandal, NYT.
  19. Mavis 2011, p. 390.
  20. Yablonsky 2000, p. 256.
  21. Parish, Stanke & Pitts 1977, p. 291.
  22. Ness 1997, p. 150.
  23. Schultz 1990, p. 51.
  24. Mavis 2011, p. 627.
  25. 1 2 Schultz 1990, p. 59.
  26. Druxman 1974, p. 159.
  27. Remember the Night, NYT.
  28. Reid 2004, p. 26.
  29. Vogel 2006, p. 168.
  30. Lentz 2011, p. 58.