Jesse L. Lasky

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Jesse L. Lasky
BornSeptember 13, 1880
San Francisco, California
DiedJanuary 13, 1958 (age 77)
Beverly Hills, California

Jesse Louis Lasky (1880-1958) was a pioneer Hollywood film producer and was a key founder of Paramount Pictures with Adolph Zukor.

Biography

Lasky began in his teens by performing the clarinet. In 1900 he teamed up with his sister Blanche and developed a Quick Change Act. This leads to him being hired in 1902 by Leon Herrmann, the nephew of Herrmann The Great. Jesse and his sister present their act, and he also plays clarinet in the show with Herrmann for a 40 week tour of the United States.

In 1904 Lasky is again hired by Herrmann but this time as manager setting up a tour of Europe and also finds other acts for the show.

By 1910 Lasky is partnering with Henry B. Harris and built the Folies Bergere Theatre in Manhattan. The venture failed and Lasky decided to get into the new movie business. He forms the Jesse L Lasky Feature Play Company with Samuel Goldfish (later be known as Samuel Goldwyn) and Cecile B. DeMille.

In 1915 Lasky merges with Adolf Zucker, who owns Famous Players Studios, which would become the foundation for Paramount Pictures.

Lasky produces Houdini's movie, The Grim Game in 1919 and in 1920 Terror Island.

In 1927, Lasky's production of WINGS wins the first Academy of Motion Pictures Award for Best Picture.

References

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