Paul Gregory (producer)

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Paul Gregory
Born
James Burton Lenhart

August 27, 1920
DiedDecember 25, 2015 (age 95)[1]
OccupationFilm, stage and television producer, sometimes writer
Spouse(s)Janet Gaynor (1964-1984, her death)
Kathryn Obergfel (1998-2001, her death)[2]

Paul Gregory (August 27, 1920 – December 25, 2015) was an American film, theatre and television producer.

Early life[edit]

Paul Gregory was the son of a butcher and graduated from Lincoln High School in Des Moines, Iowa in 1938.

Career[edit]

Gregory went to Hollywood where he worked as an assistant for clients like Horace Heidt and Carmen Cavallaro. He became friends with actor Charles Laughton and they made a successful lecture through America between 1949 and 1950.[2] They earned $200,000 during this reading tour. Gregory afterwards produced numerous Broadway plays during the 1950s and 1960s, among them The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, The Marriage Go-Around and Lord Pengo.

Gregory read the novel The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb and bought the film rights of Grubb's book. He then produced the important thriller The Night of the Hunter (1955), directed by Laughton and considered by many film critics as a masterpiece.[3] His second and last movie as a producer was The Naked and the Dead (1958). As a television producer, he won an Emmy Award in 1955 for Best Television Adaptation for his television adaption of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.

Gregory was also responsible for starting the acting career of his friend James Garner. He gave Garner his first acting role in his production of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.

Personal life[edit]

In 1964, Paul Gregory married former film star Janet Gaynor. Afterwards he gradually retired from show business and raised cows, hogs and pigeons at the large ranch of his wife. Paul Gregory and Gaynor were involved in a very serious car accident in 1982; two years later Gaynor died as a result of her injuries in this accident. In 1998, Gregory married art gallerist Kathryn Obergfel, who died three years later.

Paul Gregory lived in his retirement in Desert Hot Springs, just north of Palm Springs, California.[2] Gregory died in December 2015 at the age of 95 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A friend stated that his physical health was failing and most of his friends had already died. His death was only reported in November 2016.[4]

Filmography[edit]

As a producer

As himself

References[edit]

  1. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (December 4, 2018). "Paul Gregory, Risk-Taking Showman in a Golden Age, Is Dead at 95". The New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Famous Iowans - Paul Gregory - DesMoinesRegister.com". desmoinesregister.com. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  3. ^ "American Legends Interviews..... Paul Gregory Charles Laughton and Night of the Hunter". americanlegends.com. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  4. ^ Bruce Fessier (2016-11-07). "Producer Paul Gregory died the way he wanted to in Desert Hot Springs". The Desert Sun. Retrieved 2016-11-17.

External links[edit]