11 Facts About Sam Spiegel


Samuel P Spiegel was an American independent film producer born in the Galician area of Austria-Hungary.


Financially responsible for some of the most critically acclaimed motion pictures of the 20th century, Spiegel produced films that won the Academy Award for Best Picture three times, a Hollywood first for a sole independent producer.


Sam Spiegel's parents were Regina and Simon Spiegel, a tobacco wholesaler.


Sam Spiegel received his education at the University of Vienna.


Sam Spiegel worked briefly in Hollywood in 1927 following a stint serving with Hashomer Hatzair in Palestine.


Sam Spiegel then went to Berlin to produce German and French adaptations of Universal films.


Between 1935 and 1954, Spiegel billed himself as S P Eagle; after that he used his real name.


Sam Spiegel's nickname was the "velvet octopus" after his propensity to entwine himself with women in the back of taxis and manage Hollywood with a velvet touch according to Billy Wilder.


Sam Spiegel loved London and admired the British, as is reflected in his films The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, both of which won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture.


Sam Spiegel won the Academy Award for Best Picture for Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront as well as for The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, both directed by Briton David Lean.


Sam Spiegel spoke eight languages fluently: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Hebrew and Yiddish.