Dore Schary
Isadore "Dore" Schary was an American motion picture director, writer, and producer, and playwright who became head of production at MGM and eventually president of the studio. He graduated from Central High School in Newark, New Jersey
Newark, New Jersey
Newark is the largest city in the American state of New Jersey, and the seat of Essex County. As of the 2010 United States Census, Newark had a population of 277,140, maintaining its status as the largest municipality in New Jersey. It is the 68th largest city in the U.S...

 (class of 1923).


Schary had his first success as a writer when a play he wrote, Too Many Heroes, ran on Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 for 16 performances in the fall of 1937. He worked in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Hollywood is a famous district in Los Angeles, California, United States situated west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and movie stars, the word Hollywood is often used as a metonym of American cinema...

, and in 1938 won the Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Story
Academy Award for Best Story
The Academy Award for Best Story was an Academy Award given from the beginning of the Academy Awards until 1957, when it was eliminated in favor of the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay, which had been introduced in 1940.-1920s:...

 as co-writer of the screenplay for Boys Town. He was with RKO Pictures
RKO Pictures
RKO Pictures is an American film production and distribution company. As RKO Radio Pictures Inc., it was one of the Big Five studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. The business was formed after the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theater chains and Joseph P...

 when in 1948 he became chief of production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer...


Schary and studio chief and founder Louis B. Mayer
Louis B. Mayer
Louis Burt Mayer born Lazar Meir was an American film producer. He is generally cited as the creator of the "star system" within Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in its golden years. Known always as Louis B...

 were constantly at odds over philosophy; Mayer favoring splashy, wholesome entertainment and Schary leaning toward what Mayer derided as "message pictures". The glory days of MGM as well as other studios were coming to an end due to United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc.
United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc.
United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., 334 US 131 was a landmark United States Supreme Court anti-trust case that decided the fate of movie studios owning their own theatres and holding exclusivity rights on which theatres would...

(1948), a Supreme Court decision that severed the connection between film studios and the theaters that showed their films.

In addition, the new phenomenon of television was beginning to take its toll on the big screen. The MGM corporate office in New York decided that Schary might be able to turn the tide. In 1951, Mayer was ousted and Schary installed as president, serving until 1956. MGM swimming star Esther Williams
Esther Williams
Esther Jane Williams is a retired American competitive swimmer and MGM movie star.Williams set multiple national and regional swimming records in her late teens as part of the Los Angeles Athletic Club swim team...

 would later state in her 1999 autobiography The Million Dollar Mermaid that Schary was rude, cruel, and as imperious as Mayer had been. She found it appropriate that Schary was fired on Thanksgiving Day, since he was a "turkey".

However, on the show This is Your Life
This Is Your Life
This Is Your Life is an American television documentary series broadcast on NBC, originally hosted by its producer, Ralph Edwards from 1952 to 1961. In the show, the host surprises a guest, and proceeds to take them through their life in front of an audience including friends and family.Edwards...

, host Ralph Edwards
Ralph Edwards
Ralph Livingstone Edwards was an American radio and television host and television producer.-Early career:Born in Merino, Colorado , Edwards worked for KROW-AM in Oakland, California while he was still in high school...

 stated that there has never been a show where more stars came out to honor a guest. Following his departure from MGM, he wrote the Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 play, Sunrise at Campobello
Sunrise at Campobello (play)
Sunrise at Campobello is a 1958 play by American producer and writer Dore Schary based on U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's struggle with polio. The film version was released in 1960.-Background:...

. The play won five Tony Awards. He wrote and produced the motion picture of the same name
Sunrise at Campobello
Sunrise at Campobello is a 1960 American biographical film made by Dore Schary Productions and Warner Bros. It tells the story of the initial struggle by future President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his family when he was stricken with paralysis at the age of 39 in August...

 in 1960. He also had a brief uncredited role in the film, playing the Chairman of the Connecticut Delegation.


Although one of the studio executives who formulated the 1947 Waldorf Statement
Waldorf Statement
The Waldorf Statement was a two-page press release issued on December 3, 1947, by Eric Johnston, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, following a closed-door meeting by forty-eight motion picture company executives at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel...

, he became an outspoken opponent of the witch-hunt
A witch-hunt is a search for witches or evidence of witchcraft, often involving moral panic, mass hysteria and lynching, but in historical instances also legally sanctioned and involving official witchcraft trials...

 for communists conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee
House Un-American Activities Committee
The House Committee on Un-American Activities or House Un-American Activities Committee was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. In 1969, the House changed the committee's name to "House Committee on Internal Security"...

 that resulted in the Hollywood Blacklist
Hollywood blacklist
The Hollywood blacklist—as the broader entertainment industry blacklist is generally known—was the mid-twentieth-century list of screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other U.S. entertainment professionals who were denied employment in the field because of their political beliefs or...

. A liberal
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 activist, he served as National Chairman of the B'nai B'rith
B'nai B'rith
B'nai B'rith International |Covenant]]" is the oldest continually operating Jewish service organization in the world. It was initially founded as the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith in New York City, on , 1843, by Henry Jones and 11 others....

's Anti-Defamation League
Anti-Defamation League
The Anti-Defamation League is an international non-governmental organization based in the United States. Describing itself as "the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency", the ADL states that it "fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects...

 and as New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 Commissioner for Cultural Affairs.

Personal life

Schary is the father of novelist and memoirist Jill Robinson.


To honor his memory, the Anti-Defamation League established the Dore Schary Awards in 1982.


Dore Schary died in 1980, aged 74, and was interred in the Hebrew Cemetery, West Long Branch, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...


In popular culture

  • He is referenced at the very end of Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America Volume One The Early Years
    Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America Volume One The Early Years
    Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America: Volume One The Early Years is an American comedy album with music and dialogue written by Stan Freberg, released as Capitol W/SW-1573 in 1961. Freberg parodies episodes of the history of the United States from 1492 until the end of the...

    , a satirical album from 1961, where his name is rhymed with military and revolutionary. ("That highly military, script by Dore Schary, Revolutionary War!")

  • In I Love Lucy
    I Love Lucy
    I Love Lucy is an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley. The black-and-white series originally ran from October 15, 1951, to May 6, 1957, on the Columbia Broadcasting System...

    , Ricky Ricardo
    Ricky Ricardo
    Enrique Alberto Fernando Ricardo y de Acha, III, a.k.a. Ricky Ricardo is a main character in the television show I Love Lucy, played by Desi Arnaz...

     is seen calling Dore Schary's office from his Hollywood hotel room. In fact, Schary was supposed to have appeared as "himself" in a 1955 episode. At the last minute, though, he bowed out, and Philip Ober
    Philip Ober
    Philip Ober was an American actor.Ober often appeared in roles as a straight man in farcical circumstances. One of his most memorable stage role was in Lawrence Riley's Broadway hit Personal Appearance opposite Gladys George. From 1954 to 1967 he frequently appeared in television series...

    , Vivian Vance
    Vivian Vance
    Vivian Roberta Jones was an American television and theater actress and singer. Often referred to as “TV’s most beloved second banana,” she is best known for her role as Ethel Mertz, sidekick to Lucille Ball on the American television sitcom I Love Lucy, and as Vivian Bagley on The Lucy...

    's husband at the time, portrayed "Dore Schary" instead.

External links

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