Motion Picture Producer. Among the most influential and successful producers in Hollywood history, he is responsible for such classic pictures as "The Maltese Falcon" (1941), "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1941) and "Casablanca" (1942) in addition to many more. Born Harold Brent Walinsky to parents of Jewish heritage, his father abandoned his family during his youth and Hal was forced to leave school in order to support his family. At the age of fourteen he worked as an office boy, prior to finding a job as a traveling salesman. After moving to Hollywood in 1922, he landed a job as a manager of a motion picture theater. This led to him landing a position with Warner Brothers in their publicity department. In a short time he was department head followed by production executive. During his years at Warner Brothers the pictures "Little Caesar" (1931 which made Edward G. Robinson a star) "I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang" (1932 which made Paul Muni a star) and "Captain Blood" (1935 which made Errol Flynn a star) were released. Shortly after the picture "Casablanca" was released Wallis departed from Warner Brothers to form his own production company in association with Paramount. Under his entity the films "Come Back Little Sheba" (1952), "The Rose Tattoo" (1955) and "Barefoot in the Park" (1967) were released. The careers of Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Elvis Presley were furthered due to Wallis' efforts. He was married to actress Louise Fazenda until her death and later to actress Martha Hyer until his death. He died of complications from diabetes.
Bio by: C.S.
Eva Blum Wallis