Samuel Goldwyn, real name Szmul Gelbfisz, (he changed his name two times to Samuel Goldfish and finally Samuel Goldwyn) was born on this day, August 17th, 1879, in Warsaw on Nalewki Street. This street, which today no longer exists, was destroyed following the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943.
After leaving Warsaw following the death of his father in 1894, he settled in Hamburg in 1895, before moving to the United Kingdom in 1898 and then leaving in early 1899 to Canada and finally New York and was granted citizenship in 1902.
In 1913, he created with his brother-in-law Jess L Lasky, Cecile B DeMille, and Arthur Friend the future multinational film company, the ‘Paramount’ before creating in 1916 the ‘Goldwyn Pictures’ which will become in 1924 ‘Metro-Golwyn-Mayer’.
He died at the age of 94 in Los Angeles in 1974.
During his career, he produced over 140 movies, 48 received an Oscar.
Among his relatives, we can find:
Tony Goldwyn (grandson) – American actor who notably performed on Friday the 13th: Jason Lives (1986), Ghost as Carl Bruner, Harold Nixon in the biographical film ‘Nixon’ (1995), Neil Armstrong in the HBO miniseries ‘From the Earth to the Moon’ (1998), he voiced the main character of the Disney animated film Tarzan (1999), Colonel Bagley with Tom Cruise in ‘The Last Samurai’ (2003), ‘The Last House on the Left’ (2009), as Andrew Prior in the ‘Divergent’ film series (2014–2015) and many more.
John Goldwyn (grandson) – He produced several movies, as ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ and the and the hit series Dexter (2006-2013).
Francis Goldwyn (grandson) – founder of the Manhattan Toy Company (1979) and managing member of Quorum. Associates
Peter Goldwyn (grandson) – Current president of Samuel Goldwyn Films.
Catherine Goldwyn (granddaughter) – Creator of Sound Art.
Liz Goldwyn (granddaughter) – Writer and filmmaker
Fred Lebensold (Nephew)- award-winning architect (designer of multiple concert halls in North-America).
Photo header: Sam Goldwyn, Vivian Willits, Irene Dunne, and Louella Parsons, 1959 – Wikimedia