|Born||Arthur William Lubovsky
July 25, 1898
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Died||May 12, 1995
Glendale, California, United States
|Occupation||Film director, writer|
Arthur Lubin was born Arthur William Lubovsky in Los Angeles, California in 1898. He grew up in Jerome, Arizona, and attended Page Military Academy and Carnegie Tech. As a child he had worked as a water boy for touring theatre companies and volunteered for circuses; on graduation from college in 1922 he decided to become an actor.
Lubin began acting in stage plays (mostly in "Little Theatre") and movies, also directing shows for the Hollywood Writers Club. As an actor he specialized in heavy melodrama, in sharp contrast with his later work as a film director. In 1925 he and some friends were charged with obscenity by the Los Angeles police for putting on a production of Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms. He later worked on Broadway.
Lubin directed the first Abbott and Costello star vehicle, Buck Privates (1941). The movie was a big hit, earning $4 million - Lubin, who was paid $350 a week, was given a $5,000 bonus. He went on to direct the duo's next four movies, In the Navy (1941) (which earned him another $5,000 bonus), Hold That Ghost (1941), Keep 'Em Flying (1942) and Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942). All the films were successful - Variety magazine named Lubin the most commercially successful director in Hollywood in 1941 - but Lubin asked to work on other movies:
I asked to be released after the fifth picture because they came on the set late, they didn't know their lines, and I think they were beginning to get tired of one another. They were bored. and for the first time they were beginning to complain about the scripts. But it was five fabulous pictures with the boys. They were very good for me. They gave me a reputation. I learned everything about timing from them. And I think I was very good for them, in this respect: not their routines, but in trying to give them some class. Whenever they got crude or rude, I'd try to soften it. And I tried in all my set-ups to keep a balance of refinement against the earthiness of some of their routines.
Lubin also directed the "Francis the Talking Mule" series, for which he had a percentage of the profits. He brought the idea to TV as the series Mr. Ed. He was the first producer to give a contract to Clint Eastwood. Lubin also directed episodic TV shows like Bronco (1958), Maverick (1959), Bonanza (1960), Mister Ed (1961) and The Addams Family (1965). Lubin's last work was the 1978 Little Lulu TV special on ABC Weekend Special. A longtime friend of Mae West, he got her to appear on an episode of Mister Ed.
Lubin's career ended in the late 1970s, and he lived the rest of his life with his life partner Frank Burford and died at the Autumn Hills nursing home in Glendale, California of an unspecified cause on May 12, 1995 at age 96.
- A Successful Failure (1934)
- Great God Gold (1935)
- Honeymoon Limited (1935)
- Two Sinners (1935)
- Frisco Waterfront (1935)
- The House of a Thousand Candles (1936)
- Yellowstone (1936)
- Mysterious Crossing (1936)
- California Straight Ahead! (1937)
- I Cover the War (1937)
- Idol of the Crowds (1937)
- Adventure's End (1937)
- Midnight Intruder (1938)
- The Beloved Brat (1938)
- Prison Break (1938)
- Secrets of a Nurse (1938)
- Newsboys' Home (1938)
- Risky Business (1939)
- Big Town Czar (1939)
- Mickey the Kid (1939)
- Call a Messenger (1939)
- The Big Guy (1939)
- Black Friday (1940)
- Gangs of Chicago (1940)
- Meet the Wildcat (1940)
- I'm Nobody's Sweetheart Now (1940)
- Who Killed Aunt Maggie? (1940)
- The San Francisco Docks (1940)
- Where Did You Get That Girl? (1941)
- Buck Privates (1941)
- In the Navy (1941)
- Hold That Ghost (1941)
- Keep 'Em Flying (1941)
- Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942)
- Eagle Squadron (1942)
- Keeping Fit (1942) (short)
- To the People of the United States (1943)
- White Savage (1943)
- Phantom of the Opera (1943)
- Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944)
- Delightfully Dangerous (1945)
- The Spider Woman Strikes Back (1946)
- Night in Paradise (1946)
- New Orleans (1947)
- Impact (1949)
- Francis (1950)
- Francis Goes to the Races (1951)
- Queen for a Day (1951)
- Rhubarb (1951)
- Francis Goes to West Point (1952)
- It Grows on Trees (1952)
- Gobs in a Mess (1953) - short
- South Sea Woman (1953)
- Francis Covers the Big Town (1953)
- Star of India (1954)
- Francis Joins the WACS (1954)
- Footsteps in the Fog (1955)
- Francis in the Navy (1955)
- Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955)
- The First Traveling Saleslady (1956) - also producer
- Escapade in Japan (1957) - also producer
- The Thief of Baghdad (1961)
- The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)
- Hold On! (1966)
- Mister Terrific (1967)
- Rain for a Dusty Summer (1971)
- The Ed Wynn Show (1958)
- Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (1959) - "The Comeback"
- Bronco (1959)
- 77 Sunset Strip (1959)
- The Deputy (1959–60)
- Maverick (1959–60)
- The Alaskans (1960)
- Cheyenne (1960)
- Lawman (1960)
- New Comedy Showcase (1960)
- Bonanza (1960)
- The Addams Family (1965)
- Mister Ed (1958–66) - also producer
- The Double life of Henry Phyfe (1966)
- The Pruitts of Southampton (1967)
- Mr. Terrific (1967)
- ABC Weekend Specials (1978–81) - "If I'm lost, How Come I Found You?" (1978), "Little Lulu" (1978), "Arthur the Kid" (1981)
- The Woman on the Jury (1924)
- His People (1925)
- Bardeleys the Magnificent (1926)
- Millionaires (1926)
- Afraid to Love (1927)
- The Wedding March (1928)
- The Bushranger (1928)
- Eyes of the Underworld (1929)
- Times Square (1929)
- Wisdom of the Serpent (1957)
- The Israeli Story, An Old Spanish Custom and Sex and Miss Mc-Adoo (circa 1957)
- The Digger (1962)
- The Ghost of Drury Lane (1962) from a script by Mrs Wallace Reid
- The Taming of the Shrew (1916) - San Diego - actor
- The Red Poppy (20 Dec - Dec 1922) - actor
- Anything Might Happen (20 Feb - April 1923) - actor
- He Who Gets Slapped (1924) - Pasadena Playhouse - actor
- Lilliom (1924) - Hollywood Art Theatre - actor
- The Failures (1924) - The Potboilers - actor
- Justice (1925) - Los Angeles - actor
- Hell Bent for Heaven (1925) - actor
- Madam or Saint (1925) - actor
- The Waltz of the Dogs (1925) - actor
- The Dream Play (1925) - Pasadena Players - actor
- This One Man (21 Oct - Nov 1930) - director - cast included Paul Muni
- When the Bough Breaks (16 Feb - March 1932) - director
- Her Man of Wax (11 Oct - Oct 1933) - director
- Growing Pains (23 Nov - Dec 1933) - director
- "Arthur Lubin, 96, Director Of 'Mr. Ed' TV Series, Dies". The New York Times. 14 May 1995.
- 'Arthur Lubin to Continue With His Stage Work', Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 08 Oct 1925: A9.
- JACK OF ALL MUSES New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 28 June 1942: X4.
- SO THE MULE TALKS--: REPORTER By ARTHUR LUBIN Director of "Francis". New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 12 Mar 1950: X4.
- Arthur Lubin, 96, Director Of 'Mr. Ed' TV Series, Dies By ROBERT McG. THOMAS Jr.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 14 May 1995: 38.
- Furmanek p 48
- FILM MONEY-MAKERS SELECTED BY VARIETY: ' Sergeant York' Top Picture, Gary Cooper Leading Star New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 31 Dec 1941: 21.
- Furmanek p 68
- Arthur Lubin, 'SO THE MULE TALKS--: REPORTER', New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 12 Mar 1950: X4.
- LUBIN WILL DO FILM OF ST. JOHNS STORY: Director Buys Screen Rights to 'Wisdom of the Serpent' -Irene Dunne to Star
- REPORTS BY THOSE AT HOME ABROAD: Films In Israel, Spain Planned By Director --Other Travelers By A.H. WEILER. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 29 Sep 1957: 121.
- Director Lubin Digs New Off-Beat Movie Ryon, Art. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 09 Dec 1962: E2.
- BARD HONORED IN PAGEANTRY.: Shakespeare Tercentenary is Fittingly Observed; School Children are Workers Behind Productions; Design and Finish Costumes; Read Immortal Lines. One of the Things He Didn't Miss. LOCAL CORRESPONDENCE.. Los Angeles Times (1886-1922) [Los Angeles, Calif] 30 Apr 1916: V12.
- ARTHUR AT ART THEATERS Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 30 Aug 1925: D20.
- Furmanek, Bob and Ron Palumbo (1991). Abbott and Costello in Hollywood. New York: Perigee Books. ISBN 0-399-51605-0