Academy Award-winning director Norman Taurog built a film reputation on his seemingly effortless affinity for children and animals.
Taurog won as Oscar in 1931 for directing "Skippy," which starred his nephew, Jackie Cooper. Eight years later, Spencer Tracy won the best actor award for his portrayal of Father Flanagan in the well-remembered Taurog film, "Boys Town."
Taurog went on to direct a variety of other films, including Elvis Presley in "Blue Hawaii," "G.I. Blues" and "Girls, Girls, Girls," as well as "Room for One More" with Cary Grant and Betsy Drake and "The Stooge," starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
Taurog's show business debut occurred in the 1912 New York stage production, "The Good Little Devil," starring Mary Pickford and Lillian Dorothy Gish.
He arrived in Hollywood at age 16 to play the romantic lead in an RKO Studio production, but that was the end of his acting career. He often said he quit acting after seeing himself on screen.
Before directing his first film, "Troupers Three" for Fox Studios, Taurog studied many aspects of his craft while working as a prop boy, a double, a cutter and a writer.
In retirement, Taurog was an adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinema and a board member of the Directors Guild of America.
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