Jack Cummings (director)

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John "Jack" Cummings (February 16, 1905 – April 28, 1989) was an American film producer and director. He was the second husband of Betty Kern, daughter of Jerome Kern.

Jack Cummings with younger brother Leonard circa 1920s

Cummings spent most of his career at his uncle Louis B. Mayer's studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he began work in the 1920s. Mayer started his nephew out as an office boy and expected him to work his way up through the ranks.

Cummings became a staff producer at MGM in 1934, where he worked in the B-feature unit for two years. In 1936, he produced the extravagant Cole Porter musical Born to Dance, which established his reputation as a respected producer. Cummings remained at MGM even after his uncle was fired from the studio in 1951, working with talent such as the Marx Brothers, Red Skelton, Esther Williams, and Fred Astaire and producing some of the era's best-known musicals, including 1953's Kiss Me, Kate and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in 1954, for which he received an Oscar (nomination). He left MGM to become an independent producer affiliated with Twentieth Century-Fox and produced the 1959 remake of The Blue Angel and the 1960 movie version of the Abe Burrows-Cole Porter Broadway musical Can-Can. In 1964, he returned to MGM one last time to produce the Elvis Presley musical Viva Las Vegas. Other credits included Easy to Wed, It Happened in Brooklyn, Three Little Words, The Last Time I Saw Paris, Interrupted Melody, and The Teahouse of the August Moon.

Jack Cummings was the son of Ida Mayer Cummings, sister of Louis B Mayer. He had two sisters, Ruth (married to film director Roy Rowland) and Mitzi (married to film producer Sol Baer Fielding), as well as a younger half brother Leonard 'Sonny' Cummings. Mr. Cummings was survived by his four daughters, Julie Cummings Siff, of Manhattan, Kathy Cummings St. Aubin, of Los Angeles, Linda Kern Cummings, of Danville, Ky., and Carla Luisa Cummings, of Los Angeles.

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