Louis B. Mayer
Louis Burt Mayer born Lazar Meir was an American film producer
Film producer
A film producer oversees and delivers a film project to all relevant parties while preserving the integrity, voice and vision of the film. They will also often take on some financial risk by using their own money, especially during the pre-production period, before a film is fully financed.The...

. He is generally cited as the creator of the "star system
Movie star
A movie star is a celebrity who is well-known, or famous, for his or her starring, or leading, roles in motion pictures. The term may also apply to an actor or actress who is recognized as a marketable commodity and whose name is used to promote a movie in trailers and posters...

" within 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...

 (MGM) in its golden years. Known always as Louis B. Mayer and often simply as "L.B.", he believed in wholesome entertainment and went to great lengths so that MGM had "more stars than there are in the heavens".

Early life

He was born Lazar Meir possibly on July 12, 1884 to a Jewish family in Dymer, Ukraine
Dymer, Ukraine
Dymer is a town in Vyshhorodskyi Raion of Kiev Oblast of Ukraine.Dymer was the birthplace of Louis B. Mayer....

. His parents were Jacob Meir and Sarah Meltzer and he had two sisters—Yetta, born in 1878, and Ida, born in 1883. Mayer first moved with his family to Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

, where they lived from 1887 to 1892 and where his two brothers were born—Rubin, in April 1888, and Jeremiah, in April 1891. Then, they moved to Saint John, New Brunswick
Saint John, New Brunswick
City of Saint John , or commonly Saint John, is the largest city in the province of New Brunswick, and the first incorporated city in Canada. The city is situated along the north shore of the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the Saint John River. In 2006 the city proper had a population of 74,043...

, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and Mayer attended school there. He and his brothers often faced anti-Semitic bullies and Mayer was constantly involved in fights. His father started a scrap metal
Scrap Metal
Scrap Metal were a band from Broome, Western Australia who played rock music with elements of country and reggae. The members had Aboriginal, Irish, Filipino, French, Chinese, Scottish, Indonesian and Japanese heritage. The band toured nationally as part of the Bran Nue Dae musical and with...

 business, J. Mayer & Son. In 1904, the 19-year-old Mayer left Saint John for Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, where he continued for a time in the scrap metal business, married, and took a variety of odd jobs to support his family when his junk business lagged.

Early career

Mayer renovated the Gem Theater, a rundown, 600 seat burlesque house
in Haverhill, Massachusetts
Haverhill, Massachusetts
Haverhill is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 60,879 at the 2010 census.Located on the Merrimack River, it began as a farming community that would evolve into an important industrial center, beginning with sawmills and gristmills run by water power. In the...

, which he reopened on November 28, 1907 as the Orpheum, his first movie theater
Movie theater
A movie theater, cinema, movie house, picture theater, film theater is a venue, usually a building, for viewing motion pictures ....

. To overcome the unfavorable reputation that the building once had in the community, Mayer decided to debut with the showing of a religious film. Years later, Mayer would say that the premiere at the Orpheum was From the Manger to the Cross
From the Manger to the Cross
From the Manger to the Cross or Jesus of Nazareth is a 1912 American motion picture filmed on location in Palestine which tells the story of Jesus' life. Directed by Sidney Olcott who also appeared in the film, actress and screenwriter Gene Gauntier wrote the script and portrayed the Virgin Mary...

, although most sources place the release date of that film as 1912. Within a few years, he owned all five of Haverhill's theaters, and, with Nathan H. Gordon
Nathan H. Gordon
Nathan Harry Gordon, motion picture executive, was born in Vilna, Russian Empire , March 15, 1872, the son of a medical practitioner. He attended a college at Vilna, taking the rabbinical course, and came to the United States in 1890...

, created the Gordon-Mayer partnership that controlled the largest theater chain in New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...


In 1914, the partners organized their own film distribution agency in Boston. Mayer paid D.W. Griffith $25,000 for the exclusive rights to show The Birth of a Nation
The Birth of a Nation
The Birth of a Nation is a 1915 American silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and based on the novel and play The Clansman, both by Thomas Dixon, Jr. Griffith also co-wrote the screenplay , and co-produced the film . It was released on February 8, 1915...

(1915) in New England. Although Mayer made the bid on a film that one of his scouts had seen, but he had not, his decision netted him over $100,000. Mayer partnered with Richard A. Rowland
Richard A. Rowland
Richard A. Rowland was an American studio executive and film producer.-Career:Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Rowland was the head of Metro Pictures Corporation from 1915 to 1920, a studio he founded in 1915 along with Louis B. Mayer. Mayer left in 1918 to form his own studio...

 in 1916 to create Metro Pictures Corporation, a talent booking agency, in 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...


Two years later, Mayer moved to Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 and formed his own production company, Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation. The first production was 1918's Virtuous Wives. A partnership was set up with B. P. Schulberg
B. P. Schulberg
B.P. Schulberg was a pioneer film producer and movie studio executive.Born Percival Schulberg in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he took the name Benjamin from the boy in front of him when registering for school to avoid mockery for his British name...

 to make the Mayer-Schulberg Studio. Mayer's big breakthrough, however, was in April 1924 when Marcus Loew
Marcus Loew
Marcus Loew was an American business magnate and a pioneer of the motion picture industry who formed Loews Theatres and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer .-Biography:...

, owner of the Loew's chain, merged Metro Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn
Samuel Goldwyn
Samuel Goldwyn was an American film producer, and founding contributor executive of several motion picture studios.-Biography:...

's Goldwyn Pictures Corporation, and Mayer Pictures into Metro-Goldwyn. Loew had bought Metro and Goldwyn some months before, but could not find anyone to oversee his new holdings on the West Coast. Mayer, with his proven success as a producer, was an obvious choice. He was named head of studio operations and a Loew's vice president, based in Los Angeles, reporting to Loew's longtime right-hand man Nicholas Schenck
Nicholas Schenck
Nicholas M. Schenck was a motion picture mogul and impresario.One of seven children, Schenck was born to a Jewish household in Rybinsk, a Volga River village in Tsarist Russia...

. He would hold this post for the next 27 years. Before the year was out, Mayer added his name to the studio with Loew's blessing, renaming it Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Loew died in 1927, and Schenck became president of Loew's. Mayer and Schenck hated each other intensely; Mayer reportedly referred to his boss, whose name was pronounced "Skenk," as "Mr. Skunk" in private. Two years later, Schenck agreed to sell Loew's — and MGM — to William Fox
William Fox (producer)
William Fox born Fried Vilmos was a pioneering Hungarian American motion picture executive who founded the Fox Film Corporation in 1915 and the Fox West Coast Theatres chain in the 1920s...

. Mayer was outraged; despite his important role in MGM, he was not a shareholder. Mayer used his Washington connections to persuade the Justice Department
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 to delay the merger on antitrust
The United States antitrust law is a body of laws that prohibits anti-competitive behavior and unfair business practices. Antitrust laws are intended to encourage competition in the marketplace. These competition laws make illegal certain practices deemed to hurt businesses or consumers or both,...

 grounds. During the summer of 1929, Fox was severely injured in an auto accident. By the time he recovered, the stock market crash had wiped out his fortune, destroying any chance of the deal going through even if the Justice Department had lifted its objections. Nonetheless, Schenck believed Mayer had cost him a fortune and never forgave him, causing an already frigid relationship to get even worse.

MGM boss

As a studio boss, Louis B. Mayer built MGM into the most financially successful motion picture studio in the world and the only one to pay dividends throughout the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 of the 1930s. Although he initially got along well with production chief Irving Thalberg
Irving Thalberg
Irving Grant Thalberg was an American film producer during the early years of motion pictures. He was called "The Boy Wonder" for his youth and his extraordinary ability to select the right scripts, choose the right actors, gather the best production staff and make very profitable films.-Life and...

, their relationship soon frayed over philosophical differences. Thalberg preferred literary works over the crowd-pleasers Mayer wanted. He ousted Thalberg as production chief in 1932 while Thalberg was recovering from a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 and replaced him with independent producers, e.g. David Selznick, until Thalberg's death in 1936, when Mayer became head of production as well as studio chief. He became the first person in American history to earn a million-dollar salary. For nine years from 1937, when he earned $1,300,000—equivalent to $ today—Mayer was the highest-paid man in the United States.

Under Mayer, MGM produced many successful films with high earning stars, including Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo , born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress. Garbo was an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. Many of Garbo's films were sensational hits, and all but three were profitable...

, Clark Gable
Clark Gable
William Clark Gable , known as Clark Gable, was an American film actor most famous for his role as Rhett Butler in the 1939 Civil War epic film Gone with the Wind, in which he starred with Vivien Leigh...

, Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy
Spencer Bonaventure Tracy was an American theatrical and film actor, who appeared in 75 films from 1930 to 1967. Tracy was one of the major stars of Hollywood's Golden Age, ranking among the top ten box office draws for almost every year from 1938 to 1951...

, Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

, Lon Chaney
Lon Chaney, Sr.
Lon Chaney , nicknamed "The Man of a Thousand Faces," was an American actor during the age of silent films. He was one of the most versatile and powerful actors of early cinema...

, Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford , born Lucille Fay LeSueur, was an American actress in film, television and theatre....

, Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow was an American film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s. Known as the "Blonde Bombshell" and the "Platinum Blonde" , Harlow was ranked as one of the greatest movie stars of all time by the American Film Institute...

, Judy Garland
Judy Garland
Judy Garland was an American actress and singer. Through a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years and for her renowned contralto voice, she attained international stardom as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage...

 and many others. Mayer was ruthless when negotiating to keep his actors' salaries low, even using blackmail to pay Gable below his worth, although Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

 referred to him as a "nice man" and claimed she personally negotiated many of her contracts with Mayer. Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

 described Mayer as a monster, but other actors, such as Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor (actor)
Robert Taylor was an American film and television actor.-Early life:Born Spangler Arlington Brugh in Filley, Nebraska, he was the son of Ruth Adaline and Spangler Andrew Brugh, who was a farmer turned doctor...

, Greer Garson
Greer Garson
Greer Garson, CBE was a British-born actress who was very popular during World War II, being listed by the Motion Picture Herald as one of America's top ten box office draws in 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, and 1946. As one of MGM's major stars of the 1940s, Garson received seven Academy Award...

, and Hedy Lamarr
Hedy Lamarr
Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-American actress celebrated for her great beauty who was a major contract star of MGM's "Golden Age".Lamarr also co-invented – with composer George Antheil – an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, necessary to wireless...

, viewed him as a father figure
Father Figure
"Father Figure" is the U.S. number-one song written and performed by George Michael and released on Columbia Records in 1988 as the third single from the album Faith.-History:...


Later years and fall from power

By 1948, due to the introduction of television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 and changing public tastes, MGM suffered a considerable dropoff in its success. The glory days of MGM as well as other studios were also over because of 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 movie theater
Movie theater
A movie theater, cinema, movie house, picture theater, film theater is a venue, usually a building, for viewing motion pictures ....

 chains that showed their films (though it would be another six years before Loew's sold majority control of MGM).

Under orders to control costs and hire "a new Thalberg," Mayer hired writer and producer Dore Schary
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...

 as production chief. Schary, who was 20 years Mayer's junior, preferred message picture
Message picture
A message picture is a motion picture that, in addition to or instead of being for entertainment, intends to communicate a certain message or ideal about society. Message pictures usually present the message they want to deliver in the form of a morality play, and are usually serious works...

s in contrast with Mayer's taste for "wholesome" films.

By 1951, MGM had gone three years without a major Academy Award, which provoked further conflict between Mayer and Schenck. Believing that Mayer could not turn the tide, Schenck fired Mayer from the post he had held for 27 years, replacing him with Schary. The firing reportedly came after Mayer called New York and issued an ultimatum--"It's him or me" (or "It's either me or Schary", depending on the source). Mayer tried to stage a boardroom coup
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 but failed and largely retired from public life.

Personal life

Mayer had two daughters from his first marriage to Margaret Shenberg. The eldest, Edith (Edie) Mayer (b. August 14, 1905 - d.1987), whom he would later become estranged from and disinherit, married producer William Goetz
William Goetz
William Goetz was an American Hollywood film producer and studio executive. William Goetz died of cancer in 1969 at his home in Los Angeles and was buried in Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California....

 (who became president of Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
-1920:* White Youth* The Flaming Disc* Am I Dreaming?* The Dragon's Net* The Adorable Savage* Putting It Over* The Line Runners-1921:* The Fire Eater* A Battle of Wits* Dream Girl* The Millionaire...

). The younger daughter, Irene Gladys Mayer
Irene Mayer Selznick
Irene Mayer Selznick was an American theatrical producer.Born Irene Gladys Mayer in Brooklyn, New York, she was the daughter of future MGM studio mogul, Louis B. Mayer and his first wife, Margaret Shenberg....

 (1907–1990), married producer David O. Selznick
David O. Selznick
David O. Selznick was an American film producer. He is best known for having produced Gone with the Wind and Rebecca , both of which earned him an Oscar for Best Picture.-Early years:...


Mayer lived on Saint Cloud Road in the East Gate Bel Air
East Gate Bel Air, Los Angeles
East Gate Bel Air is a very small and very wealthy area within the Bel Air section of Los Angeles, California...

 section of Los Angeles, California.

Active in Republican Party politics, Mayer served as the vice chairman of the California Republican Party
California Republican Party
The California Republican Party is the California affiliate of the United States Republican Party. The party chairman is Tom Del Beccaro and is based in Burbank, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. The RPC also has a headquarters in Sacramento....

 from 1931 to 1932, and as its state chairman between 1932 and 1933.

As a delegate to the 1928 Republican National Convention
1928 Republican National Convention
The 1928 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held at Convention Hall in Kansas City, Missouri, from June 12 to June 15, 1928....

 in Kansas City, Louis B. Mayer supported Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

 of California. Mayer became friends with Joseph R. Knowland
Joseph R. Knowland
Joseph Russell Knowland was an American politician and newspaper publisher. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from California and was owner, editor and publisher of the Oakland Tribune. He was the father of United States Senator William F...

, Marshall Hale, and James Rolph
James Rolph
James “Sunny Jim” Rolph, Jr. was an American politician and a member of the Republican Party. He was elected to a single term as the 27th governor of California from January 6, 1931 until his death on June 2, 1934 at the height of the Great Depression...

, Jr. Joseph Schenck
Joseph Schenck
Joseph Michael Schenck was a pioneer executive who played a key role in the development of the United States film industry.Born in Rybinsk, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia to a Jewish household, he and his family-including younger brother Nicholas- emigrated to New York City in 1893, he and Nicholas...

 was an alternate delegate at the convention. L.B. was a delegate to the 1932 Republican National Convention
1932 Republican National Convention
The 1932 Republican National Convention was held at Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois, from June 14 to June 16, 1932. It renominated President Herbert Hoover and Vice President Charles Curtis for their respective positions....

 with fellow California Republicans Joseph R. Knowland, James Rolph, Jr. and Earl Warren
Earl Warren
Earl Warren was the 14th Chief Justice of the United States.He is known for the sweeping decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding the rights of the accused, ending public-school-sponsored prayer, and requiring...

. Mayer endorsed the second term of President Herbert Hoover.

Mayer also loved boats and racehorses, and owned a number of each.

Thoroughbred horse racing hobby

Mayer owned or bred a number of successful thoroughbred
The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed...

Horse racing
Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has a long history. Archaeological records indicate that horse racing occurred in ancient Babylon, Syria, and Egypt. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 648 BC...

 at his 504 acres (2 km²) ranch in Perris, California
Perris, California
Perris is a city in Riverside County, California, USA. At the 2010 census, the city population was 68,386, up from 36,189 at the 2000 census. The city is named in honor of Fred T. Perris, chief engineer of the California Southern Railroad...

, 72 miles (116 km) east of Los Angeles.

In the 2005 biography, Lion of Hollywood, author Scott Eyman wrote that: "Mayer built one of the finest racing stables in the United States" and that he "almost single-handedly raised the standards of the California racing business to a point where the Eastern thoroughbred establishment had to pay attention." Among his horses was Your Host
Your Host (horse)
Your Host was an American Thoroughbred racehorse. Foaled in California, he was by the imported British stallion Alibhai out of the Irish mare Boudoir by the French stallion Mahmoud. Bred in the stables of Louis B. Mayer , Your Host was owned by Mayer's son-in-law and trained by Harry L. Daniels...

, sire of Kelso
Kelso (horse)
Kelso was an American thoroughbred race horse considered among the best racehorses of the 20th century. In the list of the top 100 U.S. thoroughbred champions of the 20th Century by The Blood-Horse magazine Kelso ranks 4th, behind only Man o' War , Secretariat and Citation...

, the 1945 U.S. Horse of the Year
Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year
The American Award for Horse of the Year is the highest honor given in American thoroughbred horse racing. It has been awarded since 1887 to the horse, irrespective of age, whose performance during the racing year is deemed the most outstanding....

, Busher
Busher (horse)
Busher was a thoroughbred racing filly. She was sired by War Admiral, the winner of the Triple Crown in 1937, and the great son of a great legend, Man o' War. She was out of Baby League by Bubbling Over, the colt who won the 1926 Kentucky Derby...

, and the 1959 Preakness Stakes
Preakness Stakes
The Preakness Stakes is an American flat Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-olds held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a Grade I race run over a distance of 9.5 furlongs on dirt. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds ; fillies 121 lb...

 winner, Royal Orbit
Royal Orbit
Royal Orbit was an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known as the winner of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the U.S. Triple Crown races....

. Eventually Mayer sold off the stable, partly to finance his divorce in 1947. His 248 horses brought more than $4.4 million. In 1976, Thoroughbred of California magazine named him "California Breeder of the Century".

Death and legacy

Louis B. Mayer died of leukemia
Leukemia or leukaemia is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called "blasts". Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases...

 on October 29, 1957. He was interred in the Home of Peace Cemetery
Home of Peace Cemetery
The Home of Peace Cemetery is a Jewish cemetery located at 4334 Whittier Boulevard west of Interstate 710 in East Los Angeles, California.The cemetery is located across from Calvary Catholic Cemetery and next to Beth Israel Cemetery and Mount Zion Cemetery .There are a number of famous rabbis...

 in East Los Angeles, California
East Los Angeles, California
East Los Angeles is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California, United States...

. His sister, Ida Mayer Cummings, and brothers Jerry and Rubin are also interred there.
  • The primary screening facility for Loyola Marymount University
    Loyola Marymount University
    Loyola Marymount University is a comprehensive co-educational private Roman Catholic university in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions located in Los Angeles, California, United States...

    's School of Film and Television—the Mayer Theatre—is named after him. Mayer permitted the university's sports teams
    Loyola Marymount Lions
    The Loyola Marymount Lions are the athletic teams that represent Loyola Marymount University, a Jesuit institution in Los Angeles, California. The school competes in NCAA Division I, with its primary affiliation in the West Coast Conference, an organization consisting solely of...

     to use the MGM lion
    Leo the Lion (MGM)
    Leo the Lion is the mascot for the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and one of its predecessors, Goldwyn Pictures, featured in the studio's production logo, which was created by the Paramount Studios art director Lionel S. Reiss....

     as their mascot.
  • The main theatre at Santa Clara University
    Santa Clara University
    Santa Clara University is a private, not-for-profit, Jesuit-affiliated university located in Santa Clara, California, United States. Chartered by the state of California and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, it operates in collaboration with the Society of Jesus , whose...

     bears his name.
  • Mayer was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1990.
  • A street in Laval, Quebec
    Laval, Quebec
    Laval is a Canadian city and a region in southwestern Quebec. It is the largest suburb of Montreal, the third largest municipality in the province of Quebec, and the 14th largest city in Canada with a population of 368,709 in 2006...

     a suburb of Montreal, Quebec holds the name of Louis-B-Mayer.
  • The Louis B. Mayer Research Laboratories building at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute opened in 1988.
  • Former MGM Studio Lot in Culver City, is now Sony Pictures Studios
    Sony Pictures Studios
    The Sony Pictures Studios are a television and film studio complex located in Culver City, California at 10202 West Washington Boulevard and bounded by Culver Boulevard , Washington Boulevard , Overland Avenue and Madison Avenue...


Mayer has been portrayed numerous times in film and television including:
  • Mommie Dearest
    Mommie Dearest (film)
    Mommie Dearest is a 1981 American biographical drama film about Joan Crawford, starring Faye Dunaway. The film was directed by Frank Perry. The story was adapted for the screen by Robert Getchell, Tracy Hotchner, Frank Perry, and Frank Yablans, based on the 1978 autobiography of the same name by...

    (by Howard Da Silva
    Howard Da Silva
    Howard Da Silva was an American actor.-Early life:He was born Howard Silverblatt in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Benjamin and Bertha Silverblatt. His parents were both Yiddish speaking Jews born in Russia. He had a job as a steelworker before beginning his acting career on the stage...

  • RKO 281
    RKO 281
    RKO 281 is a 1999 historical drama film directed by Benjamin Ross. It stars Liev Schreiber, James Cromwell, Melanie Griffith, John Malkovich, and Roy Scheider and depicts the troubled production behind the 1941 film Citizen Kane...

    (by David Suchet
    David Suchet
    David Suchet, CBE, is an English actor, known for his work on British television. He is recognised for his RTS- and BPG award-winning performance as Augustus Melmotte in the 2001 British TV mini-drama The Way We Live Now, alongside Matthew Macfadyen and Paloma Baeza, and a 1991 British Academy...

  • De-Lovely
    De-Lovely is a 2004 musical biopic directed by Irwin Winkler. The screenplay by Jay Cocks is based on the life and career of Cole Porter, from his first meeting with Linda Lee Thomas until his death...

    (by Peter Polycarpou
    Peter Polycarpou
    Peter Polycarpou is a British stage and TV and film actor, best known for playing Chris Theodopolopoudos in the television comedy series Birds of a Feather.-Career:...

  • The Aviator (by Stanley DeSantis
    Stanley DeSantis
    Stanley DeSantis was an American actor and businessman. He appeared in 15 motion pictures, the last of which being The Aviator, in which he portrayed Louis B. Mayer. He also made many television appearances...

  • The Last Tycoon
    The Last Tycoon (film)
    The Last Tycoon is a 1976 American dramatic film directed by Elia Kazan and produced by Sam Spiegel, based upon Harold Pinter's screenplay adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon, sometimes known as The Love of the Last Tycoon. It stars Robert De Niro, Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum, Jack...

    (by Robert Mitchum
    Robert Mitchum
    Robert Charles Durman Mitchum was an American film actor, author, composer and singer and is #23 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest male American screen legends of all time...

  • Barton Fink
    Barton Fink
    Barton Fink is a 1991 American film, written, directed, and produced by the Coen brothers. Set in 1941, it stars John Turturro in the title role as a young New York City playwright who is hired to write scripts for a movie studio in Hollywood, and John Goodman as Charlie, the insurance salesman who...

    (by Michael Lerner
    Michael Lerner (actor)
    -Life and career:Lerner was born in Brooklyn, New York of Romanian Jewish descent, the son of Blanche and George Lerner, who was a fisherman and antiques dealer. He was raised in Bensonhurst and Red Hook. His brother, Ken Lerner, is also an actor...

     as Jack Lipnick)
  • Hollywoodland
    Hollywoodland is a 2006 American biographical docudrama film directed by Allen Coulter in his feature directorial debut. The film documents a fictional account of the investigation surrounding the death of actor George Reeves , the star of the 1950s television series Adventures of Superman. Adrien...

  • Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows
    Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows
    Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows is a 2001 television film based on the memoirs of Lorna Luft, the daughter of Garland. The production is notable for its meticulous recreations of her films and concerts, and verisimilitudinous impressions of her by Tammy Blanchard and Judy Davis.The film,...

    (by Al Waxman
    Al Waxman
    Albert Samuel Waxman, CM, O.Ont was a Canadian actor and director of over 1000 productions on radio, television, film, and stage...

  • Cats Don't Dance
    Cats Don't Dance
    Cats Don't Dance is a 1997 animated musical comedy film, notable as the only fully animated feature produced by Turner Entertainment's feature animation unit . The film was distributed by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment...

    (by George Kennedy as the voice of L.B. Mammoth)
  • Harlow
    Harlow (film)
    Harlow is a biographical film about the life of film star Jean Harlow. It stars Carroll Baker in the title role. It was released in 1965 by Paramount Pictures, shortly after another film with the same title and subject...

    (by Jack Kruschen
    Jack Kruschen
    Jack Kruschen was a Canadian-born character actor who worked primarily in American film, television and radio.-Radio:...

  • Gable and Lombard
    Gable and Lombard
    Gable and Lombard is a 1976 American biographical film directed by Sidney J. Furie. The screenplay by Barry Sandler is based on the romance and consequent marriage of legendary screen stars Clark Gable and Carole Lombard...

    (by Allen Garfield
    Allen Garfield
    Allen Garfield, born and sometimes credited as Allen Goorwitz , is an American film and television actor.-Biography:...

  • The Big Knife
    The Big Knife
    The Big Knife is a film noir directed and produced by Robert Aldrich from a screenplay by James Poe based on the play by Clifford Odets. The film stars Jack Palance, Ida Lupino, Wendell Corey, Jean Hagen, Rod Steiger, Shelley Winters, Ilka Chase, and Everett Sloane.-Plot:Charlie Castle, a very...

  • The Scarlet O'Hara War (by Harold Gould
    Harold Gould
    Harold V. Goldstein , best known by his stage name Harold Gould, was an American actor best known for playing Martin Morgenstern in the 1970s sitcoms Rhoda and The Mary Tyler Moore Show and as Miles Webber in The Golden Girls...


Jacqueline Susann
Jacqueline Susann
Jacqueline Susann was an American author known for her best-selling novels. Her most notable work was Valley of the Dolls, a book that broke sales records and spawned an Oscar-nominated 1967 film and a short-lived TV series.-Early years:Jacqueline Susann was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to...

 portrayed Mayer in Valley of the Dolls
Valley of the Dolls
Valley of the Dolls is a novel by American writer Jacqueline Susann, published in 1966. The "dolls" within the title is a slang term for downers, barbiturates used as sleep aids....

as Cyril H. Bean, referred to by his employees as "The Head".

Mayer has a star on Canada's Walk of Fame
Canada's Walk of Fame
Canada's Walk of Fame , located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a walk of fame that acknowledges the achievements and accomplishments of successful Canadians...


See also

  • Other Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood
    Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood
    Motion pictures have been a part of the culture of Canada since the beginning.-History:Around 1910, the East Coast filmmakers began to take advantage of California winters and after Nestor Studios, run by Canadian Al Christie, built the first permanent movie studio in Hollywood a number of the...

  • Selig Polyscope Company
    Selig Polyscope Company
    The Selig Polyscope Company was an American motion picture company founded in 1896 by William Selig in Chicago, Illinois. Selig Polyscope is noted for establishing Southern California's first permanent movie studio, in the historic Edendale district of Los Angeles...

Bibliographic References

  • Eyman, Scott
    Scott Eyman
    Scott Eyman is an American author and book editor of the Palm Beach Post and contributor for The New York Observer. His books specialize in the Golden Age of Hollywood. He is the author of Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille, , Louis B...

    , Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer (Simon & Schuster
    Simon & Schuster
    Simon & Schuster, Inc., a division of CBS Corporation, is a publisher founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster. It is one of the four largest English-language publishers, alongside Random House, Penguin and HarperCollins...

    , 2005) ISBN 0-7432-0481-6
  • Charles Highman, Louis B. Mayer MGM and the Secret Hollywood (Pan Books
    Pan Books
    Pan Books is an imprint which first became active in the 1940s and is now part of the British-based Macmillan Publishers owned by German publishers, Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group....

    , 1993) ISBN 0-330 333143

External links

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