Motion Pictures Studios Executive. Born Schmuel Gelbfisz in Poland, he left Warsaw at an early age and made his way to Birmingham, England where he stayed with relatives for a few years and changed his name to Samuel Goldfish. In 1898, he emigrated to the United States, by way of Canada, and settled in upstate New York where he found work for a glove manufacturer where his marketing skills made him a very successful salesman and later, vice-president of sales. In 1913, he moved to New York City and married the sister of Jesse L. Lasky, who was then a theatrical producer. He convinced Lasky, Cecil B. DeMille and Arthur Friend to go into film production and founded The Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company. The following year the new company's first film, 'The Squaw Man' was one of the first features made in Hollywood. The company would later evolve in to Paramount Pictures. After his marriage fell apart, Goldfish dissolved his partnership with Lasky and in 1916, he formed the Goldwyn Company which was named for himself and his new partners, brothers Edgar and Archibald Selwyn. He liked the Goldwyn name so much he adopted it for his own. The company proved to be successful, but it was their "Leo the Lion" trademark for which the organization was most famous. In 1924, Goldwyn Pictures was acquired by Marcus Loew and merged into his Metro Pictures Corporation. Despite the inclusion of his name, Goldwyn never produced any films at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM as it became more commonly known. That same year, he formed Samuel Goldwyn Productions and for the next 35 years, he built a solid reputation in filmmaking and reigned as the most successful independent producer in the U.S. His pictures resulted in Best Picture Academy Award nominations for 'Arrowsmith' (1931), 'Dodsworth' (1936), 'Dead End' (1937), 'Wuthering Heights' (1939), 'The Little Foxes' (1941) and 'The Best Years of Our Lives' (1948) which won for Best Picture. Several leading actors and actresses in his films were also Oscar-nominated for their performances. In 1946, he was honored by the Academy with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. In the 1950s, he turned to making musicals including 'Hans Christian Andersen' (1952), 'Guys and Dolls' (1955) and 'Porgy and Bess' (1959) which was his last film. In 1957, Goldwyn was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes and in 1971, he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon.
Bio by: Louis du Mort