One of the founding fathers of the Hollywood film industry, Jack L. Warner and his four brothers founded and ran Warner Bros. Studios.
Among the many honors he received during his long and illustrious career were three Oscars for best picture: “The Life of Emile Zola” (awarded to Warner Bros. in 1937), “Casablanca” (awarded to Warner Bros. in 1943) and “My Fair Lady” (1964). Warner was awarded the coveted Irving Thalberg Award in 1958 for his service to the motion picture industry.
Jack Warner and his brother Sam (who died just before the debut) introduced sound to moving pictures with the premiere of “The Jazz Singer,” the first feature-length talking film, which starred Al Jolson. It opened Oct. 6, 1927, a date that would be engraved in motion picture history as the real beginning of the sound era. The move to sound was the most consequential of his studio’s pioneering efforts.
He was also one of the first moviemakers to encourage the use of color film for motion pictures and to bring musical comedies to the screen.
Warner's reign as a major filmmaker was the longest and one of the most colorful of all of the legendary Hollywood moguls. He was born Aug. 2, 1892, in London, Canada, the youngest of Benjamin and Pearl Warner’s eight children. His parents had fled religious persecution in Poland about 1880 and eventually emigrated to the United States.
In 1903, he and three brothers — Sam, Harry and Albert — began exhibiting films in Pennsylvania. Their early start made Warner Bros. a powerhouse of the film business. In 1917, the Warners produced their first widely successful film, "My Four Years in Germany," based on a book by James W. Gerard, the U.S. ambassador to Germany.
Warner Bros. Studios was built on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Many years later, it moved to its Burbank location.
Warner had a keen eye for talent, introducing to moviegoers Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, James Dean, Doris Day, James Cagney and Lauren Bacall as well as directors John Huston and Mike Nichols, among many others.
|1958||Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award||Win|
|1964||Best Picture||My Fair Lady||Win|