George Sidney

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George Sidney
Born (1916-10-04)October 4, 1916
Long Island City, New York, U.S.
Died May 5, 2002(2002-05-05) (aged 85)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Spouse(s) Lillian Burns (divorced)
Jane Robinson (1973–1991)
Corrine Cole (1991–2002)

George Sidney (October 4, 1916 – May 5, 2002) was an American film director and film producer who worked primarily at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Career[edit]

Born in Long Island City, New York, Sidney began his career as an assistant at MGM until being assigned to direct the Our Gang comedies, which MGM had just acquired from Hal Roach, in 1938. Sidney, then age 21, was the youngest Our Gang senior director the series would have, and was only nine years older than the eldest Our Gang kid, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer's brother Harold Switzer. Sidney was Jewish.[1]

After a year of working on Our Gang shorts, Sidney moved on to the Crime Does Not Pay series and popular Pete Smith specialties. He soon graduated to features, including The Harvey Girls (1946), The Three Musketeers (1948), Annie Get Your Gun (1950), Kiss Me Kate (1953), Pal Joey (1957), and Elvis Presley's Viva Las Vegas (1964). His last film was Half a Sixpence (1967).

Sidney became good friends with MGM animation directors William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Hanna and Barbera's Jerry Mouse appeared alongside Gene Kelly in Sidney's film Anchors Aweigh (1945). After MGM closed its animation studio in 1957, Sidney helped Hanna and Barbera form a deal with Screen Gems, the television division of Columbia Pictures, to form the successful television animation studio Hanna-Barbera Productions, for which Sidney served as President/CEO for ten years, and was the majority shareholder in the company. Sidney later featured Hanna-Barbera's Fred Flintstone, Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear in Bye Bye Birdie.

In 1961, Sidney appeared as himself, along with the canine Lassie, in the episode "The Stones Go To Hollywood" of the ABC sitcom, The Donna Reed Show. The episode plugged Sidney's then current feature film, Pepe, in which Donna Reed makes a cameo appearance.

Sidney was nominated for the Directors Guild of America Award four times, starting with the lush Technicolor remake of Show Boat. In 1958 he was presented with a Golden Globe Award for Best World Entertainment through Musical Films. For his work in the art of cinema, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He died of complications from lymphoma in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the age of 85. He was interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery.

Motion picture actor George Sidney (1876–1945, born Samuel Greenfield) was his uncle.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Group Award Film Result
1952 Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures Show Boat Nominated
1953 Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures Scaramouche Nominated
1954 Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures Young Bess Nominated
1957 Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures The Eddy Duchin Story Nominated
1959 Directors Guild of America DGA Honorary Life Member Award
-
Won
1986 Directors Guild of America Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award
-
Won
1998 Directors Guild of America President's Award
-
Won
1995 Golden Apple Award Louella Parsons Award
-
Won
1958 Golden Globe Award Best World Entertainment Through Musical Films
-
Won
1993 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival King Vidor Memorial Award
-
Won

Partial filmography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Monder, Eric (1994). George Sidney:a Bio-Bibliography. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313284571. 

External links[edit]

References[edit]