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Overview for Joe Pasternak
Joe Pasternak

Joe Pasternak



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Also Known As: Joseph Pasternak,Joseph Pasternak,Josef A. Pasternack Died: September 13, 1991
Born: September 19, 1901 Cause of Death: Parkinson's disease
Birth Place: Hungary Profession: Producer ... producer fourth assistant director second assistant director associate producer waiter factory worker busboy


Hungarian immigrant who came to America in his teens and worked his way up through the ranks to become an assistant director at Paramount in 1923. After producing several successful films in Europe, Pasternak revived the flagging fortunes of Universal with a series of hit musicals starring Deanna Durbin in the mid-1930s. He is also credited with discovering Judy Garland, who later starred in his musicals "Presenting Lily Mars" (1943), "In the Good Old Summertime" (1949) and "Summer Stock" (1950). Pasternak also cast Mario Lanza in "The Toast of New Orleans" (1950) and "The Great Caruso" (1951), and rejuvenated the career of Marlene Dietrich with "Destry Rides Again" (1939).

In 1945 Pasternak fought MGM for permission to film the now classic live-action/animated sequence in "Anchors Aweigh," in which Gene Kelly dances with the cartoon mouse, Jerry (at a cost of $150,000).

Over a 40-year career, Pasternak was responsible for 105 films, mostly family-oriented, frothy fare which earned a total of some $400 million. He headed one of MGM's three musical "units" in the 1940s and, in 1960, produced the influential adolescent-romance-on-the-beach film, "Where the Boys Are."

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