George Cukor


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(1899–1983). Film and stage director. One of Hollywood's finest directors of movie stars (particularly women), he started in the theatre working with stage stars. Cukor was a native New Yorker who as a teenager decided to make the theatre his career. At the age of eighteen he was a professional stage manager and in 1920 be began directing for stock companies. Cukor was working on Broadway by 1925 and for the rest of the decade got sterling performances from Ethel Barrymore, Jeanne Eagels, Laurette Taylor, and other female theatre stars in New York and on tour. With the arrival of talking pictures, he relocated to California where his illustrious film career began. Although Cukor worked with a variety of genres, he was eventually known in Hollywood as a “woman's director” for the many award-winning performances actresses gave in his films. He only directed five musicals—A Star Is Born (1954), Les Girls (1957), Let's Make Love (1960), My Fair Lady (1964), and The Bluebird (1976)—and contributed to parts of two others—One Hour With You (1932) and Song Without End (1960)—yet again he provided opportunities for actresses such as Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn to shine. Biographies: George Cukor: Master of Elegance, Emanuel Levy (1994); George Cukor: A Double Life, Patrick McGilligan (1991).

From The Oxford Companion to the American Musical in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music Theatre.

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