47 Facts About George Cukor


George Dewey Cukor was an American film director and producer.


When Selznick moved to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1933, Cukor followed and directed Dinner at Eight and David Copperfield for Selznick, and Romeo and Juliet and Camille for Irving Thalberg.


George Cukor was replaced as one of the directors of Gone with the Wind, but he went on to direct The Philadelphia Story, Gaslight, Adam's Rib, Born Yesterday, A Star Is Born, Bhowani Junction, and won the Academy Award for Best Director for My Fair Lady, which was his fifth time nominated.


George Cukor was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the younger child and only son of Hungarian-Jewish immigrants Viktor, an assistant district attorney, and Helen Ilona Gross.


The family was not particularly religious, and when he started attending temple as a boy, George Cukor learned Hebrew phonetically, with no real understanding of the meaning of the words or what they represented.


George Cukor halfheartedly enrolled in the City College of New York, where he entered the Students Army Training Corps in October 1918.


George Cukor obtained a job as an assistant stage manager and bit player with a touring production of The Better 'Ole, a popular British musical based on Old Bill, a cartoon character created by Bruce Bairnsfather.


George Cukor had her own ideas, and though she only did bits and ingenue roles, she didn't hesitate to express them.


When Hollywood began to recruit New York theater talent for sound films, George Cukor immediately answered the call.


George Cukor arrived in Hollywood in February 1929, and his first assignment was to coach the cast of River of Romance to speak with an acceptable Southern accent.


George Cukor made his solo directorial debut with Tarnished Lady starring Tallulah Bankhead.


George Cukor was then assigned to One Hour with You, an operetta with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, when original director Ernst Lubitsch opted to concentrate on producing the film instead.


George Cukor eventually settled for being billed as assistant director and then left Paramount to work with David O Selznick at RKO Studios.


George Cukor quickly earned a reputation as a director who could coax great performances from actresses and he became known as a "woman's director", a title he resented.


George Cukor directed her in several films, both successful, such as Little Women and Holiday, and disastrous, such as Sylvia Scarlett.


George Cukor was hired to direct Gone with the Wind by Selznick in 1936, even before the book was published.


George Cukor spent the next two years involved with pre-production, including supervision of the numerous screen tests of actresses anxious to portray Scarlett O'Hara.


George Cukor favored Hepburn for the role, but Selznick, concerned about her reputation as "box office poison", would not consider her without a screen test, and the actress refused to film one.


George Cukor filmed the cave scene for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and, following the firing of its original director Richard Thorpe, Cukor spent a week on the set of The Wizard of Oz.


Additionally, George Cukor softened the Scarecrow's makeup and gave Margaret Hamilton a different hairstyle for the Wicked Witch of the West, as well as altering her makeup and other facial features.


George Cukor suggested that the studio cast Jack Haley, on loan from 20th Century Fox, as the Tin Man.


George Cukor spent many hours coaching Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland before the start of filming Wind, but Clark Gable resisted his efforts to get him to master a Southern accent.


George Cukor hated [leaving the production] very much he said but he could not do otherwise.


Selznick's friendship with George Cukor had crumbled slightly when the director refused other assignments, including A Star Is Born and Intermezzo.


Yet, writer Gore Vidal, in his autobiography Point to Point Navigation, recounted that Gable demanded that George Cukor be fired off Wind because, according to Vidal, the young Gable had been a male hustler and George Cukor had been one of his johns.


George Cukor directed Greta Garbo, another of his favorite actresses, in Two-Faced Woman, her last film before she retired from the screen.


In 1942, at the age of 43, George Cukor enlisted in the Signal Corps.


In later years, George Cukor suspected his homosexuality impeded him from receiving any advances or honors, although rumors to that effect could not be confirmed.


In December 1952, George Cukor was approached by Sid Luft, who proposed the director helm a musical remake of A Star Is Born with his then-wife Judy Garland in the lead role.


George Cukor wanted Cary Grant for the male lead and went so far as to read the entire script with him, but Grant, while agreeing it was the role of a lifetime, steadfastly refused to do it, and George Cukor never forgave him.


In March 1954, a rough cut still missing several musical numbers was assembled, and George Cukor had mixed feelings about it.


George Cukor liked leading lady Marilyn Monroe but found it difficult to deal with her erratic work habits, frequent absences from the set, and the constant presence of Monroe's acting coach Paula Strasberg.


The production came to a halt when George Cukor had filmed every scene not involving Monroe and the actress remained unavailable.


Two years later, George Cukor achieved one of his greatest successes with My Fair Lady.


George Cukor directed Maggie Smith in Travels with My Aunt and helmed the critical and commercial flop The Blue Bird, the first joint Soviet-American production.


George Cukor reunited twice with Katharine Hepburn for the television movies Love Among the Ruins and The Corn Is Green.


At the age of 82, George Cukor directed his final film, Rich and Famous for MGM in 1981, starring Jacqueline Bisset and Candice Bergen.


George Cukor was a celebrated bon vivant whose luxurious home was the site of weekly Sunday afternoon parties attended by closeted celebrities and the attractive young men they met in bars and gyms and brought with them.


George Cukor financed his education at the Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences and the University of Southern California, from which Towers graduated with a law degree in 1967.


That fall Towers married a woman, and his relationship with George Cukor evolved into one of father and son, and for the remainder of George Cukor's life the two remained very close.


George Cukor's home, redecorated in 1935 by gay actor-turned-interior designer William Haines with gardens designed by Florence Yoch and Lucile Council, was the scene of many gatherings for the industry's homosexuals.


George Cukor's friends were of paramount importance to him and he kept his home filled with their photographs.


George Cukor often entertained literary figures like Sinclair Lewis, Theodore Dreiser, Hugh Walpole, Aldous Huxley and Ferenc Molnar.


Frances Goldwyn, second wife of studio mogul Sam Goldwyn, long considered George Cukor to be the love of her life, but their relationship remained platonic.


The PBS series American Masters produced a comprehensive documentary about his life and work titled On George Cukor directed by Robert Trachtenberg in 2000.


George Cukor died of a heart attack on January 24,1983, and was interred in Grave D, Little Garden of Constancy, Garden of Memory, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, California.


George Cukor believed this re-release "butchered" the gradual development of the Garland-Mason relationship.