George Sidney (George Sidney)

George Sidney

George Sidney (October 4, 1916 – May 5, 2002) was an American film director and film producer who worked primarily at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Born in Long Island City, New York, Sidney began his career as an assistant at MGM until being assigned to direct the Our Gang comedies, which MGM had just acquired from Hal Roach, in 1938. Sidney, then age 21, was the youngest Our Gang senior director the series would have, and was only nine years older than the eldest Our Gang kid, Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer’s brother Harold Switzer. After a year of working on Our Gang shorts, George Sidney moved on to the Crime Does Not Pay series and popular Pete Smith specialties. He soon graduated to features, including The Harvey Girls (1946), The Three Musketeers (1948), Annie Get Your Gun (1950), Kiss Me Kate (1953), Pal Joey (1957), and Elvis Presley’s Viva Las Vegas (1964). His last film was Half a Sixpence (1967). Sidney became good friends with MGM animation directors William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Hanna and Barbera’s Jerry Mouse appeared alongside Gene Kelly in Sidney’s film Anchors Aweigh (1945). After MGM closed its animation studio in 1957, Sidney helped Hanna and Barbera form a deal with Screen Gems, the television division of Columbia Pictures, to form the successful television animation studio Hanna-Barbera Productions, and was a shareholder in the company. Sidney later featured Hanna-Barbera’s Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble, Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear in Bye Bye Birdie (1963).

In 1961, George Sidney appeared as himself, along with the canine Lassie, in the episode “The Stones Go To Hollywood” of the ABC sitcom, The Donna Reed Show. The episode plugged Sidney’s then current feature film, Pepe, in which Donna Reed makes a cameo appearance. Sidney was nominated for the Directors Guild of America Award four times, starting with the lush Technicolor remake of Show Boat. In 1958 he was presented with a Golden Globe Award for Best World Entertainment through Musical Films. For his work in the art of cinema, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was married three times: first to Lillian Burns (divorced), then to Jane Robinson (1973–1991), and finally to Corrine Cole (1991–2002), until his death from complications of lymphoma in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the age of 85.

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Born

  • October, 04, 1916
  • USA
  • Long Island City, New York

Died

  • May, 05, 2002
  • USA
  • Las Vegas, Nevada

Cause of Death

  • lymphoma

Cemetery

  • Hillside Memorial Park
  • Culver City, California
  • USA

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