George Cukor was a stylish movie director whose 50 credits include many of Hollywood's most memorable and lasting films, producing a line of hits stretching from "Little Women" in 1933 to 1964's "My Fair Lady."
Though "My Fair Lady" won Cukor his only Academy Award for direction, his films won a total of 18 — seven of them for best actor, best actress or picture.
But perhaps more importantly, Cukor's films had a special wit and pace and literacy. With the exception of a failure or two, they were successful in their own time and beyond.
He made his share of classics — "The Philadelphia Story," "Gaslight," "Adam's Rib," "Born Yesterday," and "A Star Is Born" — and was especially praised for his work with great female leads. Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, Judy Holliday, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Harlow, Sophia Loren and Ingrid Bergman all starred in Cukor films.
Cukor went to Hollywood in 1929 at the end of the silent film era and the beginning of talkies. He was a dialogue coach in two films, including "All Quiet on the Western Front" in 1930.
He co-directed two obscure motives, then got his own film from Paramount, "Tarnished Lady", with Tallulah Bankhead, in 1931. It was a box-office failure, but after another flop Cukor found a hit with "A Bill of Divorcement," a 1932 RKO release that marked the film debut of Katharine Hepburn.
It also marked the beginning of a long working relationship with Hepburn and the start of an equally long series of hits with and without her. To list them is to list some of the most successful, enduring films of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s:
"Dinner at Eight" (1933), "David Copperfield" (1934), "Camille" (1936), "Keeper of the Flame" (1943), "Gaslight" (1944), "Born Yesterday" (1950) and "A Star Is Born" (1954).
Cukor directed two well-received movies for television, "Love Among the Ruins" with Hepburn and Laurence Olivier in 1975 and "The Corn Is Green" with Hpeburn in 1979.
In 1980, he directed his last feature film, "Rich and Famous," with Jacqueline Bissett and Candice Bergen.
|1932||Best Director||Little Women||Nomination|
|1940||Best Director||The Philadelphia Story||Nomination|
|1947||Best Director||A Double Life||Nomination|
|1950||Best Director||Born Yesterday||Nomination|
|1964||Best Director||My Fair Lady||Win|