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Louis Burt Mayer

Mayer, Louis Burt, 1885–1957, American movie producer, b. Russia. Mayer began (1907) as the operator of a theater in Haverhill, Mass., gradually gaining control of all the theaters in the city. In 1924 he merged his Louis B. Mayer Corp. with Metro Pictures Corp., and eventually with Goldwyn Pictures Corp.; the company was called Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Mayer, one of Hollywood's most powerful film tycoons, was a great judge of talent and popular taste. He helped to develop the star system, and oversaw such productions as Ben Hur (1926), Grand Hotel (1932), the Andy Hardy series, and Ninotchka (1939).

See biography by B. Crowther (1960); B. Crowther, The Lion's Share (1957).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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