Sam Zimbalist

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Sam Zimbalist (March 31, 1904, New York – November 4, 1958, Rome, Italy) was an American film producer.[1]

Early life[edit]

He began his career at 16 as a film cutter at Metro Studios. He remained with Metro when the studio merged with Goldwyn Pictures and with Mayer Pictures in 1924 to become Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Among the films he edited at MGM was Lon Chaney's While the City Sleeps (1928).

Film producer[edit]

He was promoted to assistant producer in 1929 and full producer in 1936. He produced the films King Solomon's Mines (1950) and Quo Vadis (1951), both of which received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture. He also was the producer for the 1944 film Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,the story of the Doolittle Raiders.


Zimbalist died suddenly of a heart attack In Italy, while working on MGM's most elaborate production until that time, the 1959 epic Ben-Hur. He was buried at the Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California.[2] He received a posthumous Oscar for the film, and remains the only person to ever posthumously receive a Best Picture award.[3] His Oscar was accepted by his wife Mary Zimbalist, who made a speech in honor of her late husband.


He married to Margaret C. Donovan in 1924. They divorced in 1950. Zimbalist then married Mary Taylor, a former fashion model and actress, in 1952.[4]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Obituary Variety, November 12, 1958.
  2. ^ Sam Zimbalist at Find a Grave
  3. ^ Natalie Finn (January 27, 2009). "Rare and Extraordinary" Oscar Noms for Pollack, Minghella". E! Online. 
  4. ^ "Paid Death Notices: Mary Taylor Zimbalist". New York Times. June 29, 2008. p. 25. Retrieved November 13, 2008. 

External links[edit]