J.J. Cohn (J J.J. Cohn)

J.J. Cohn

Motion Picture Producer, Executive. Born Joseph Judson Cohn in New York City, he entered films in 1915 as a stenographer at Fox and advanced to production supervisor at Goldwyn Pictures. His greatest challenge was salvaging the troubled production of “Ben-Hur”, begun at Goldwyn in 1923 and inherited by the newly-formed MGM the following year. At his insistence the epic was removed from its expensive location shoot in Italy and successfully completed in Hollywood. For his efforts Cohn was appointed the studio’s general manager. As an executive producer at MGM from 1936 to 1956 he helped oversee the company’s B films, including the “Andy Hardy” and “Dr. Kildare” series. Although he played an important role in running the Metro factory, Cohn kept a low profile and was known as one of the most discreet men in the industry. Screenwriter Frances Marion called him “‘Closed-Door Cohn’ – you could never get anything out of him”. This attribute came in handy when, along with publicity chief Howard Strickling, he was called upon to suppress unflattering (or worse) stories about MGM’s stars, and for decades after his retirement his behind-the-scenes knowledge made him an enticing interview subject for historians and biographers. Cohn courteously spoke to them all, but divulged no secrets. He left no memoirs when he died at 100. (bio by: Bobb Edwards)


  • December, 03, 1895
  • USA


  • January, 01, 1996
  • USA


  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
  • California
  • USA

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