Sol M. Wurtzel
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Life and career
Born in New York City, New York; his parents were both German Jews (Surname Wurtzel is a variant spelling of German and Yiddish wurzel, root in English). Wurtzel worked as an executive assistant to William Fox, founding owner of the Fox Film Corporation. In 1917, Fox sent him to California to oversee the studio's West Coast productions. . He developed a formula for creating consistently money making "B" rated movies that are heralded today. (source-Early Fox Film Corporation-letters)
Wurtzel eventually became involved in production and between 1932 and 1949 he produced more than one hundred and fifty-nine films including a large number of both the Charlie Chan and Mr Moto series as well as other successes such as Bright Eyes in 1934, starring Shirley Temple and featuring her enduring trademark song: "On The Good Ship Lollipop".
He put sultry dancer Rita Cansino in his 1935 production Dante's Inferno. The star that became Rita Hayworth was born. As well, he gave an unknown Norma Jean Baker her first walk-on in his 1947 production of Dangerous Years appearing as Marilyn Monroe.
He produced several successful (post-Hal Roach) Laurel and Hardy, comedies in the 1940s such as Great Guns (1941), A-Haunting We Will Go (1942), Jitterbugs (1943), and The Big Noise (1944). In 1943, he produced Chetniks! The Fighting Guerrillas on the guerrilla resistance movement in Serbia.
Much of Wurtzel's family continued to work at Fox Studios until the late 1980s.
- Sol M. Wurtzel at the Internet Movie Database
- Sol Wurtzel: The Forgotten Mogul
- "William Fox, Sol M. Wurtzel, and the Early Fox Film Corporation" (McFarland and Company, February 2001) ISBN 0-7864-0857-X
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