Legendary director, King Vidor, was born King Wallis Vidor on Feb 8, 1894 in Galveston, TX. Vidor died at the age of 88 on Nov 1, 1982 in Paso Robles, CA and was cremated and his ashes scattered at his ranch in Paso Robles CA.
There are some writers who believe that King Vidor is Hollywood's greatest director. Certainly, up to 1945, he gave them plenty of evidence to support their case. Vidor's themes deal with man's heartbreak, and sometimes, triumph, in waging a lone battle against the enemy, the elements, society, or even life itself.
Vidor was a projectionist and freelance newsreel cameraman before going to Hollywood in 1915. He struggled on for four years as script clerk, extra and (unsuccessful) writer, before breaking through as director by making two-reelers and a couple of films for a Christian Science consortium. He also directed several films for his own shoestring studio, but his career was greatly boosted by his tactful handling of veteran actress Laurette Taylor in Peg o' My Heart, and MGM hired the fledgling director without further ado.
Vidor rewarded MGM with one of the great war films of the silent era, The Big Parade, memorable for its depiction of the confusion of battle (especially in a scene in a wood) and the despair of the ordinary man and woman involved. Vidor directed its star, John Gilbert, twice more, in La Boheme (with a dominant Lillian Gish) and Bardelys the Magnificent. The second of these films anticipated the last of Vidor's great silent successes, The Crowd, not only in its theme, but in that they have the same leading lady, Eleanor Boardman (soon to become the second Mrs. Vidor).
Some of Vidor's other successful films were Hallelujah, a rare all-negro picture, and The Champ (1931) starring Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper. Vidor's most successful films of the late 1930s were his remake of the epic weepie Stella Dallas with a finely-shaded performance from Barbara Stanwyck, and the British-made The Citadel with Robert Donat as the doctor fighting poor conditions but almost losing his way in life. In 1979 Vidor was awarded an honorary Oscar, having missed the real thing on several previous occasions.(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Directors).
HONORS and AWARDS:.
Although Vidor was nominated for five Oscars, he never won a competitive Academy Award. However he won one Honorary Oscar Award in 1978 for his incomparable achievements as a cinematic creator and innovator .
|1927/28||Best Director||The Crowd (1928)||N/A||Nominated|
|1929/30||Best Director||Hallelujah (1929)||N/A||Nominated|
|1931/32||Best Director||The Champ (1931)||N/A||Nominated|
|1938||Best Director||The Citadel (1938)||N/A||Nominated|
|1956||Best Director||War and Peace (1965)||N/A||Nominated|
Academy Awards (Honorary Oscars)
|1978||Honorary Award||for his incomparable achievements as a cinematic creator and innovator|
He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.
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