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Sol M. Wurtzel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sol M. Wurtzel
Sol M. Wurtzel in 1933
Solomon Max Wurtzel

(1890-09-12)September 12, 1890
DiedApril 9, 1958(1958-04-09) (aged 67)
Resting placeHillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California
OccupationMotion picture producer

Sol Wurtzel (born Solomon Max Wurtzel; September 12, 1890 – April 9, 1958) was an American film producer.

Life and career

Tom Mix, actor; Sol Wurtzel, West Coast manager for Fox Film Corporation; and Winfield R. Sheehan, Fox Film general manager (1919)
William Farnum, Helen and Babe Ruth and Wurtzel on the Fox Studios lot in Hollywood (1920)

Born in New York City; his parents were both German Jews (Surname Wurtzel is a variant spelling of German and Yiddish wurzel, root in English). Wurtzel worked as an executive assistant to William Fox, founding owner of the Fox Film Corporation. In 1911, Wurtzel hired Alan E. Freedman as a bookkeeper for Fox's fledgling film processing laboratory. Freedman would remain for over 50 years, eventually turning the operation into the gargantuan "Color by DeLuxe" DeLuxe Laboratories. In 1917, Fox sent Wurtzel to California to oversee the studio's West Coast productions. He developed a formula for creating consistently profitable B movies that are heralded today.

Wurtzel eventually became involved in production and between 1932 and 1949 he produced more than 159 films including a large number of both the Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto series as well as other successes such as Bright Eyes in 1934, starring Shirley Temple and featuring her enduring trademark song: "On the Good Ship Lollipop".

He discovered young director John Ford who later went on to earn 4 Academy Awards. He also discovered and made a star of famous cowboy Will Rogers.

Wurtzel cast dancer Rita Hayworth (credited under her given name Rita Cansino) in her first film role, the 1935 production Dante's Inferno. He gave an unknown Marilyn Monroe her first walk-on in his 1947 production of Dangerous Years.

He produced several of Laurel and Hardy's later comedies in the 1940s, including Great Guns (1941), A-Haunting We Will Go (1942), Jitterbugs (1943) and The Big Noise (1944). In 1943, he produced Chetniks! The Fighting Guerrillas on the guerrilla resistance movement in Serbia.

Personal life and death

Ill for many years following a stroke in 1952, Wurtzel died at his home in Hollywood on April 9, 1958.[1] John Ford delivered the eulogy at his funeral. Wurtzel was interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.

Wurtzel served as the first President of Temple Israel of Hollywood.[2]

Neff's house on Bellagio Road in Bel Air, Los Angeles, was designed by Wallace Neff and completed in 1932.[3]

Selected filmography



  1. ^ "Sol M. Wurtzer, 67, Long a Film-Maker". The New York Times. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  2. ^ Jewish Journal: "Paul Wurtzel, Son of Hollywood Legendary Producer Sol Wurtzel, Dies at 92" by Rabbi John Rosove June 3, 2014
  3. ^ Wallace Neff; Virginia Steele Scott Gallery; Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery (1998). Wallace Neff 1895-1982: The Romance of Regional Architecture. Hennessey & Ingalls. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-940512-13-9.
  4. ^ "Sol M. Wurtzel Filmography". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. 2019. Retrieved May 22, 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 April 2021, at 07:23
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