- Joseph Schenck
name = Joseph Schenck
birthdate = birth date|1878|12|25
deathdate = death date and age|1961|10|22|1878|12|25
Los Angeles, California
Academy Honorary Award
1953 Lifetime Achievement
Walk of Fame- Motion Picture
6755 Hollywood Blvd
Joseph Michael Schenck (
December 25, 1878– October 22, 1961) was a pioneer executive who played a key role in the development of the United Statesfilm industry.
Rybinsk, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russiato a Jewish household, [ [http://www.jstandard.com/articles/3691/1/Letters Jewish Standard Letters ] ] he and his family-including younger brother Nicholas- emigrated to New York Cityin 1893, he and Nicholas eventually got into the entertainment business operating concessions at New York's Fort George Amusement Park. Recognizing the potential, in 1909 the Schenck brothers purchased Palisades Amusement Parkand after that became participants in the fledgling motion picture industry as partners with Marcus Loew, operating a chain of movie theaters. Through his involvement in the film business, in 1916 Joseph Schenck met and married Norma Talmadge, one of the top young stars with Vitagraph Studios.
After parting ways with his brother, Joseph Schenck moved to the West Coast where the future of the film industry seemed to lie. Within a few years the brilliant and ambitious Schenck was made the first president of the new
United Artists. In 1933 he partnered with Darryl F. Zanuckto create 20th Century Picturesthat merged with Fox Film Corporationin 1935. As chairman of the new 20th Century Foxhe was one of the most powerful and influential people in the film business.
Caught in a payoff scheme to buy peace with the militant unions, he was convicted of income tax evasion and spent time in prison before being granted a
presidential pardon. Following his release, he returned to 20th Century Fox where he became infatuated with a young actress named Marilyn Monroeand played a key role in launching her career.
One of the founders of the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in 1952 he was given a special Academy Award in recognition of his very significant contribution to the development of the film industry. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fameat 6757 Hollywood Blvd.
Joseph Schenck retired in 1957 and shortly after suffered a stroke from which he never fully recovered. He died in Los Angeles in 1961 at the age of 82 and was interred in Maimonides Cemetery in
Brooklyn, New York.
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