April 17, 1911
|Died||July 28, 1979 68) (aged|
|Occupation||Screenwriter, director, producer|
|Spouse(s)||Phyllis Loughton (1936–79)|
George Seaton (April 17, 1911 – July 28, 1979) was an American screenwriter, playwright, film director and producer, and theatre director.
Seaton was born George Edward Stenius in South Bend, Indiana, of Swedish descent, the son of Olga (Berglund) and Charles Stenius, who was a chef and restaurant manager.He was baptized as Roman Catholic. He grew up in a Detroit Jewish neighborhood, and described himself as a "Shabas goy". So he went on to learn Hebrew in an Orthodox Jewish Yeshiva and was even bar mitzvahed. He attended Exeter and was meant to go to Yale but instead auditioned for Jesse Bonstelle's drama school in Detroit. She hired him for her stock company at $15 a week.
South Bend is a city in and the county seat of St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States, on the St. Joseph River near its southernmost bend, from which it derives its name. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total of 101,168 residents; its Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 318,586 and Combined Statistical Area of 721,296. It is the fourth-largest city in Indiana, serving as the economic and cultural hub of Northern Indiana. The highly ranked University of Notre Dame is located just to the north in unincorporated Notre Dame, Indiana and is an integral contributor to the region's economy.
Seaton worked in stock and on radio. He worked as an actor on radio station WXYZ. John L. Barrett played The Lone Ranger on test broadcasts of the series in early January 1933, but when the program became part of the regular schedule Seaton was cast in the title role. In later years, he claimed to have devised the cry "Hi-yo, Silver" because he couldn't whistle for his horse as the script required.
WXYT is a commercial radio station licensed to Detroit, Michigan broadcasting a sports talk format. The station serves the Detroit-Windsor market and the Southeastern Michigan and Southwestern Ontario areas. Its transmitter is in Monroe County at Ash Township and operations and studios are at Entercom's facilities in Southfield, Michigan. WXYT is a 50,000 watt, Class B station broadcasting on a regional frequency. It is not a clear-channel station because of its frequency and highly directional antenna.
Seaton also wrote several plays, one of which was read by an executive at MGM who offered him a contract.
Seaton, along with fellow writer and friend Robert Pirosh, joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a contract writer in 1933.
Robert Pirosh was an American motion picture and television screenwriter and director.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of feature films and television programs. One of the world's oldest film studios, MGM's headquarters are located at 245 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, California.
He was credited on the scripts for Student Tour (1934) and The Winning Ticket (1935) and did some uncredited work on A Night at the Opera (1935).
The Winning Ticket is a 1935 American comedy film directed by Charles Reisner. Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the film stars Leo Carrillo, Louise Fazenda, and Ted Healy.
A Night at the Opera is a 1935 American comedy film starring the Marx Brothers, and featuring Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Margaret Dumont, Sig Ruman, and Walter Woolf King. It was the first of five films the Marx Brothers made for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer after their departure from Paramount Pictures, and the first after Zeppo left the act. The film was adapted by George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, and Al Boasberg (uncredited) from a story by James Kevin McGuinness. It was directed by Sam Wood.
Seaton's first major screen credit was the Marx Brothers comedy A Day at the Races (1937). He left MGM in 1937, unhappy at being restricted to comedies.
The Marx Brothers were an American family comedy act that was successful in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in motion pictures from 1905 to 1949. Five of the Marx Brothers' thirteen feature films were selected by the American Film Institute (AFI) as among the top 100 comedy films, with two of them in the top twelve. They are widely considered by critics, scholars, and fans to be among the greatest and most influential comedians of the 20th century. The brothers were included in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars list of the 25 greatest male stars of Classical Hollywood cinema, the only performers to be inducted collectively.
A Day at the Races (1937) is the seventh film starring the Marx Brothers, with Margaret Dumont, Allan Jones, and Maureen O'Sullivan. Like their previous Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature A Night at the Opera, this film was a major hit.
He did some uncredited work on the script for Stage Door (1937) and The Wizard of Oz (1939). He wrote a play But Not Goodbye.
Seaton went to Columbia where he was credited on the scripts for The Doctor Takes a Wife (1940), This Thing Called Love (1940) and Bedtime Story (1941). At Columbia Seaton first met William Perlberg.
In the early 1940s, he joined 20th Century Fox, where he remained for the rest of the decade, writing scripts for That Night in Rio (1941) with Don Ameche and Alice Faye. For a time he specialised in musicals and comedy: Moon Over Miami (1941), with Betty Grable and Ameche, and Charley's Aunt (1941), with Jack Benny.
Seaton wrote a historical war film, Ten Gentlemen from West Point (1942), then did the comedies The Magnificent Dope (1942) with Ameche and Henry Fonda, and The Meanest Man in the World (1943) with Benny.
Seaton wrote The Song of Bernadette (1943) which was a big success. It was produced by William Perlberg who would have an important influence on Seaton's career.
Seaton followed it with the Betty Grable musical Coney Island (1943). He also wrote The Eve of St. Mark (1944).
But Not Goodbye, Seaton's 1944 Broadway debut as a playwright, closed after only 23 performances,although it later was adapted for the 1946 MGM film The Cockeyed Miracle by Karen DeWolf.
Seaton had been so successful as a writer he was able to turn director. His first film was Diamond Horseshoe (1945) with Grable, which he also wrote. It was produced by William Perlberg who would go on to produce all of Seaton's films from this time on. The film was very successful.
Seaton did some uncredited directing on Where Do We Go from Here? (1945) then wrote and directed Junior Miss (1945), based on a popular play, with Peggy Ann Garner.
Seaton wrote and directed The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947) with Grable.
He followed it with Miracle on 34th Street (1947), which quickly became acknowledged as a classic. Seaton won an Oscar for his screenplay.
Seaton wrote and directed two comedies, Apartment for Peggy (1948) with William Holden and Jeanne Craine, and Chicken Every Sunday (1949) with Dan Dailey.
He did a drama about the Berlin Airlift with Montgomery Clift, The Big Lift (1950), then did another comedy, For Heaven's Sake (1950), with Clifton Webb.
In November 1950 Seaton and Perlberg signed a multi million dollar contract with Paramount for six years. Seaton would write and direct films, and they would also produce films from others.
They produced, but did not write or direct, the comedy Rhubarb (1951), Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick (1952), and Somebody Loves Me (1952) with Betty Hutton.
Seatons first film as writer director for Paramount was Anything Can Happen (1952), a comedy with Jose Ferrer.
Seaton made two films with Bing Crosby. Little Boy Lost (1953) was not a success but The Country Girl (1954), based on the play by Clifford Odets was a notable triumph. Grace Kelly earned an Oscar for Best Actress and Seaton won an Oscar for his screenplay.
Seaton and Perlberg The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954), directed by Mark Robson, with Holden and Kelly. It was a huge hit.
In 1955 Seaton was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.He would serve three terms.
Seaton directed The 28th Annual Academy Awards in 1956.
Seaton wrote and directed The Proud and Profane (1956) with William Holden and Deborah Kerr, which was a box office disappointment. He directed a short film Williamsburg: The Story of a Patriot (1957) and produced The Tin Star (1957), directed by Anthony Mann.
Seaton and Perlberg were borrowed by MGM to direct and produce a comedy with Clark Gable and Doris Day, Teacher's Pet (1958). He did not write.
In April 1958 Seaton announced he and Perlberg would produce six more films for Paramount.The first of these were But Not for Me (1959) and The Rat Race (1960), directed by Robert Mulligan.
Seaton worked as director only on The Pleasure of His Company (1961) with Fred Astaire and Debbie Reynolds.
He wrote and directed The Counterfeit Traitor (1962) with Holden. They ended to follow it with The Hook then Night Without End adapted by Eric Ambler from an Alistair Maclean novel.
Perlberg-Seaton Productions moved to MGM where Seaton directed Kirk Douglas in The Hook (1963) a Korean War drama.
He was uncredited producer on Twilight of Honor (1963) and directed some additional scenes on Mutiny on the Bounty (1963).
Seaton announced he would make Merrily We Roll Along but the film was never made.
Seaton wrote and directed 36 Hours (1964), a war time thriller based on a story by Roald Dahl.
In May 1965 Seaton announced the end of his partnership with Perlberg. He returned to Broadway to direct Above William. (1965)
He then directed the Norman Krasna play Love in E Flat , which was a critical and commercial flop.The musical Here's Love , adapted from his screenplay for Miracle on 34th Street by Meredith Willson, proved to be more successful.
Seaton ended his relationship with Perlberg. He went to Universal where he signed a three-picture. The first film was the comedy What's So Bad About Feeling Good? (1968) which Seaton produced and directed as well as writing with Robert Pirosh, with whom he had cowritten A Day at the Races (1937).Seaton disliked writing, producing and directing. "It's too much work," he said.
Seaton then had the biggest hit of his career with the all-star Airport (1970), which Seaton adapted from the novel by Arthur Hailey. It was produced by Ross Hunter. Seaton's script earned him an Oscar nomination.
Seaton's last film as director was his third for Universal Showdown (1973), which he also produced. He announced he was looking for another film to make but none eventuated.
Seaton died of cancer in Beverly Hills, California in 1979. He had been suffering from it for two years.
Battleground is a 1949 American war film that follows a company in the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division as they cope with the Siege of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. It stars Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban and George Murphy, and features James Whitmore. It was directed by William Wellman from a script by Robert Pirosh.
Robert Florey was a French-American director, screenwriter, film journalist and actor.
Peter Hess Stone was an American writer for theater, television and movies. Stone is perhaps best remembered by the general public for the screenplays he wrote or co-wrote in the mid-1960s, Charade (1963), Father Goose (1964), and Mirage (1965).
Joseph Leo Mankiewicz was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. Mankiewicz had a long Hollywood career, and he twice won the Academy Award for both Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay for A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950).
Don Ameche was an American actor, voice artist and comedian. After playing in college shows, stock, and vaudeville, he became a major radio star in the early 1930s, which led to the offer of a movie contract from 20th Century Fox in 1935. As a handsome, debonair leading man in 40 films over the next 14 years, he was a popular star in comedies, dramas, and musicals. In the 1950s he worked on Broadway and in television, and was the host of NBC's International Showtime from 1961 to 1965. Returning to film work in his later years, Ameche enjoyed a fruitful revival of his career beginning with his role as a villain in Trading Places (1983) and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Cocoon (1985).
Richard Quine was an American stage, film, and radio actor and, later, a film director. He began acting as a child in radio, vaudeville, and stage productions before being signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in his early twenties. When his acting career began to wane after World War II, Quine began working as a film director. He later moved into producing and directing television. Quine's films as director include Bell Book and Candle (1958), The World of Suzie Wong (1960), Paris When It Sizzles (1964), How to Murder Your Wife (1965), and The Prisoner of Zenda (1979).
John Lee Mahin was an American screenwriter and producer of films who was active in Hollywood from the 1930s to the 1960s. He was known as the favorite writer of Clark Gable and Victor Fleming. In the words of one profile, he had "a flair for rousing adventure material, and at the same time he wrote some of the raciest and most sophisticated sexual comedies of that period."
Paul Bartel was an American actor, writer and director. Bartel was perhaps most known for his 1982 hit black comedy Eating Raoul, which he wrote, starred in and directed.
Charles Bennett was an English playwright, screenwriter and director probably best known for his work with Alfred Hitchcock.
William Taylor "Tay" Garnett was an American film director and writer.
Thomas Frank "Tom" Mankiewicz was an American screenwriter/director/producer of motion pictures and television, best known for his work on the James Bond films and his contributions to Superman: The Movie and the television series Hart to Hart. He was the son of Joseph Mankiewicz and nephew of Herman Mankiewicz.
Delmer Lawrence Daves was an American screenwriter, director and producer.
Norman Krasna was an American screenwriter, playwright, producer, and film director. He is best known for penning screwball comedies which centered on a case of mistaken identity. Krasna also directed three films during a forty-year career in Hollywood. He garnered four Academy Award screenwriting nominations, winning once for 1943's Princess O'Rourke, a film he also directed.
Leonard Spigelgass was an American film producer and screenwriter.
Charles Schnee gave up law to become a screenwriter in the mid-1940s, crafting scripts for the classic Westerns Red River (1948) and The Furies (1950), the social melodrama They Live By Night (1949), and the cynical Hollywood saga The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), for which he won an Academy Award.
John L. Balderston was an American playwright and screenwriter best known for his horror and fantasy scripts. He wrote the plays Berkley Square and Dracula.
Valley of the Kings is a 1954 Technicolor adventure film made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was written and directed by Robert Pirosh from a screenplay by Robert Pirosh and Karl Tunberg, "suggested by historical data" in the book Gods, Graves and Scholars by C. W. Ceram. The music was by Miklós Rózsa and the cinematography by Robert Surtees.
George Wells was an American screenwriter and producer, best known for making light comedies and musicals for MGM.
The Human Comedy is a 1943 American drama film directed by Clarence Brown and adapted by Howard Estabrook. It is often thought to be based on the William Saroyan novel of the same name, but Saroyan actually wrote the screenplay first, was fired from the film project, and quickly wrote the novel and published it just before the film was released. The picture stars Mickey Rooney with Frank Morgan. Also appearing in the film are James Craig, Marsha Hunt, Fay Bainter, Ray Collins, Van Johnson, Donna Reed and Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins. Barry Nelson, Robert Mitchum and Don DeFore appear together as boisterous soldiers in uncredited supporting roles.
Earl Felton (1909–1972) was an American screenwriter.
|Non-profit organization positions|
| President of Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences |