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Universal Studios

Knowledge Identifier: &Universal_Studios


Universal Studios

One of the six major movie studios add

Category: Business (17)

Founded in 1912.

Countries: United States (67%), (10%), United Kingdom (10%)

Main connections: Paramount Pictures, Carl Laemmle, Universal Television

Linked to: Comcast, Decca Records, Vivendi, Cinema International Corporation




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Following the westward trend of the industry, by the end of 1912 the company was focusing its production efforts in the Hollywood area add something


Founded in 1912 by Carl Laemmle, Mark Dintenfass, Charles Baumann, Adam Kessel, Pat Powers, William Swanson, David Horsley, and Jules Brulatour, it is the oldest movie studio in the United States of America add something


The "'Universal Film Manufacturing Company"' was founded on April 30, 1912, in New York add something


Laemmle, who emerged as president in July 1912, was the primary figure in the partnership with Dintenfass, Baumann, Kessel, Powers, Swanson, Horsley, and Brulatour add something


Harry Solter - In 1913, they sold out to Carl Laemmle whose amalgamation of several studios created the colossal Universal Film Manufacturing Co.


Florence Lawrence - They established a film studio in Fort Lee, New Jersey, New Jersey and made a number of films starring Lawrence and Owen Moore before selling out to the new Universal Pictures in 1913


Perry N. Vekroff - He directed 19 films between 1914 and 1922, including two film serials for the Universal Film Manufacturing Company and one for Pathé


William Garwood - After being with American, based in Santa Barbara, California, for eight months, he went to Universal Studios under a two-year contract in late May 1914, where he came under the direction of Lucius J. Henderson


Henry Lehrman - In 1915, Lehrman established his own film company called the L-KO Kompany to make two-reel comedies for Universal Studios


Lois Wilson (actress) - Wilson moved to California when she won a beauty contest put on by Universal Studios and the Birmingham News in 1915


On March 14, 1915, Laemmle opened the world's largest motion picture production facility, Universal City Studios, on a 230-acre converted farm just over the Cahuenga Pass from Hollywood add something


Tod Browning - In the spring of 1918 he left Metro and joined Bluebird Productions, a subsidiary of Universal Pictures, where he met Irving Thalberg


Character actor Lon Chaney became a drawing card for Universal in the 1920s, appearing steadily in dramas add something


Gladys Walton - However, as her acting talent came more out into the open, she was given larger and more important roles in films, such as "La La Lucille" in 1920 with Universal Studios, as well as "The Secret Gift", in 1920


Richard Smith (silent film director) - After his wife became an actress in features at Universal Studios in 1921, Smith directed her in multiple comedies


Diana Serra Cary - In 1923, Peggy began working with Universal Studios, appearing in full-length dramatic films


The following year, Technicolor was used in Universal's remake of their 1925 horror melodrama, "Phantom of the Opera" with Claude Rains and Nelson Eddy add something


Barbara Kent - She began her Hollywood career in 1925, aged 18, in a small role for Universal Studios, which signed her to a contract that year


In 1926, Universal opened a production unit in Germany, Deutsche Universal-Film AG, under the direction of Joe Pasternak add something


Mary Philbin - She was engaged in 1927 to Universal Studio executive, Paul Kohner; but due to her parents dissuasion from the union , she called off the engagement


However, by April 1927, Carl Laemmle considered this to be a mistake as "unclean pictures" from other studios were generating more profit while Universal was losing money add something


In 1928, Laemmle, Sr. made his son, Carl, Jr. head of Universal Pictures as a 21st birthday present add something


His early efforts included the 1929 part-talkie version of Edna Ferber's novel "Show Boat", the lavish musical "Broadway" which included Technicolor sequences; the first all-color musical feature , "King of Jazz" ; and "All Quiet on the Western Front", winner of the "Best Picture" Academy award for 1930 add something


However, Universal kept the Oswald cartoons that Walter Lantz produced for them from 1929 to the mid-1930s add something


William Moulton Marston - After teaching at American University in Washington D.C. and Tufts University in Medford MA, Marston traveled to Universal Studios in California in 1929, where he spent a year as Director of Public Services


Paul Fejos - Fejos's third Hollywood film was "The Last Performance", another box office success for Universal Studios in 1929


Gladys Brockwell - Gladys Brockwell's final film "The Drake Case" was directed by Edward Laemmle while she was on loan to Universal Pictures, and was released posthumously in September 1929


A popular Universal film of the late 1930s was "Destry Rides Again" , starring James Stewart as Destry and Marlene Dietrich in her comeback role after leaving Paramount Studios add something


Tod Browning - After Chaney's death in 1930, Browning was hired by his old employer Universal Pictures to direct "Dracula"


Hal E. Chester - As a child actor, he most regular work was in Universal Studios's Little Tough Guys series at the end of the 1930s


James Whale - Including "Journey's End" , Whale directed a dozen films for Universal Studios between 1930 and 1936, developing a style characterized by the influence of German Expressionism and a highly mobile camera


The 1931 six-sheet poster for "Frankenstein" is considered to be the most valuable movie poster in the world add something


Bela Lugosi - Bela Lugosi's heirs, Hope Linninger Lugosi and Bela George Lugosi, sued to enjoin and recover profits from Universal Pictures for licensing Lugosi's name and image on merchandise reprising Lugosi's title role in the 1931 film "Dracula"


James Whale - Universal Studios signed Whale to a five-year contract in 1931 and his first project was "Waterloo Bridge"


Margaret Lindsay - Lindsay was often mistaken as being British due to her convincing English accent, which impressed Universal Studios enough to sign her for their 1932 version of "The Old Dark House"


George Brent - Over the next two years he appeared in a number of minor films produced by Universal Studios and Fox, before being signed to contract by Warner Brothers in 1932


Ayn Rand - Rand's first literary success came with the sale of her screenplay Red Pawn to Universal Studios in 1932, although it was never produced.


Gloria Stuart - Returning to Los Angeles, she appeared at the Pasadena Playhouse and was immediately signed to a contract by Universal Studios in 1932


Other Laemmle productions of this period include "Imitation of Life" and "My Man Godfrey", both films that were remade in color in the 1950s add something


The new film featured several stars from the Broadway stage version, which began production in late 1935 add something


Amelia Earhart - At Earhart's urging, Putnam purchased a small house in June 1935 adjacent to the clubhouse of the Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake, a San Fernando Valley celebrity enclave community nestled between the Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures studio complexes where they had earlier rented a temporary residence


The end for the Laemmles came with a lavish version of "Show Boat" , a remake of its earlier 1929 part-talkie production add something


This unit produced three to four films per year until 1936, migrating to Hungary and Austria in the face of Hitler's increasing domination of central Europe add something


Universal's 1936 "Show Boat", released a little over a month after Standard seized control, was a great success financially and is widely considered to be one of the greatest film musicals of all time add something


Deanna Durbin - Durbin made her first film appearance in 1936 with Judy Garland in "Every Sunday", and subsequently signed a contract with Universal Studios


Deanna Durbin - Durbin was quickly signed to a contract with Universal Studios and made her first feature-length film "Three Smart Girls" in 1936


Charles B. Middleton - He played Sheriff Ike Vallon, the official who tries to arrest Julie La Verne and her husband for being illegally married, in Universal Pictures' classic 1936 screen version of the musical "Show Boat"


Irene Hervey - In 1936, Hervey left MGM and signed with Universal Pictures


Deanna Durbin - She was given the professional name Deanna at the beginning of her association with Universal Studios in 1936, when she was still 14 years old


Standard foreclosed and seized control of the studio on April 2, 1936 add something


Shemp Howard - He followed his brothers' lead, moved to the West Coast in 1937 and landed supporting-actor roles at several studios, predominantly at Columbia Pictures and Universal Studios


Piper Laurie - Alfred Jacobs moved the family to Los Angeles, California in 1938, where she attended Hebrew school, and to combat her shyness her parents provided her with weekly elocution lessons; this activity eventually led her to minor roles at nearby Universal Studios


Leonard Spigelgass - Spigelgass signed on as a staff writer for Universal Studios in 1938 and was a colonel in the US Army Signal Corps


Deanna Durbin - This collaboration lasted until 1938 when her heavy workload for Universal Studios made it imperative for Durbin to discontinue her weekly appearances on Eddie Cantor's radio show


Mae West - In 1939, Universal Pictures approached West to star in a film opposite W. C. Fields


Lou Costello - They were hugely successful, which ultimately led to their appearance in a Broadway play in 1939, "The Streets of Paris", and signing with Universal Studios in 1940


Lionel Atwill - Two of Atwill's other notable non-horror roles were opposite his contemporary Basil Rathbone in films featuring Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes, including a role as Dr. James Mortimer in 20th Century Fox's 1939 film rendition of the Conan Doyle novel "The Hound of the Baskervilles", and the 1943 Universal Studios film "Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon", in which he played Holmes' archenemy and super-villain, Professor Moriarty


By the late 1940s, Goetz was out, and the studio returned to low-budget films add something


Reginald Le Borg - Although he worked in a variety of genres, he is perhaps best remembered today for the series of low-budget horror films he made at Universal Studios in the 1940s


Robert F. Boyle - Beginning with Cecil B. DeMille's "The Plainsman", Boyle went on to work on a variety of pictures as a sketch artist, draftsman and assistant art director before becoming an art director at Universal Studios in the early 1940s


Jean Brooks - In 1940, she landed a contract with Universal Studios


Robert Siodmak - Beginning in 1941, he first turned out several B-films and programmers for various studios before he gained a seven-year contract with Universal Studios in 1943


The studio first made use of the new, three-color Technicolor process in 1942, when it released "Arabian Nights", starring Jon Hall and Maria Montez add something


Diana Barrymore - In 1942, she signed a contract with Universal Studios who capitalized on her Barrymore name with a major promotion campaign billing her as "1942's Most Sensational New Screen Personality


Elyse Knox - Knox performed mainly in minor or secondary roles until 1942 when she had a leading role with Lon Chaney, Jr. in "The Mummy's Tomb", one of the series of "Mummy" horror films made by Universal Studios


Charles Lamont - Lamont freelanced at various studios before joining Universal Pictures in 1942


Mary Beth Hughes - Fox did not renew her contract when it expired in 1943, and the following year she began appearing in a nightclub act and soon signed a three-picture deal with Universal Pictures


Elyse Knox - She appeared as herself in the Universal Studios 1944 production "Follow the Boys", one of the World War II morale-booster films made for both the soldiers serving overseas as well as civilians at home


Ann Blyth - She was signed to a contract with Universal Studios, and made her film debut in "Chip Off the Old Block" in 1944


In 1945, the British entrepreneur J. Arthur Rank, hoping to expand his American presence, bought into a four-way merger with Universal, the independent company International Pictures, and producer Kenneth Young add something


Broadening its scope further, Universal-International branched out into the lucrative non-theatrical field, buying a majority stake in home-movie dealer Castle Films in 1947, and taking the company over entirely in 1951 add something


Howard W. Koch - He began his film career as an employee at Universal Studios office in New York made his Hollywood filmmaking debut in 1947 as an assistant director


Piper Laurie - In 1949, Rosetta Jacobs signed a contract with Universal Studios, changing her screen name to "Piper Laurie", by which she has been known professionally since


Bob Hope - In 1949, while Hope was in Dallas on a publicity tour for his radio show, he met starlet Barbara Payton, a contract player at Universal Studios, who at the time was on her own public relations jaunt


By the late 1950s, the motion picture business was in trouble add something


In the 1950s, Universal-International brought back a series of Arabian Nights films, many starring Tony Curtis add something


In the early 1950s, Universal set up its own distribution company in France, and in the late 1960s, the company started a production company in Paris, "'Universal Productions France S.A."', although sometimes credited by the name of the distribution company, "'Universal Pictures France"' add something


Leading actors were increasingly free to work where and when they chose, and in 1950 MCA agent Lew Wasserman made a deal with Universal for his client James Stewart that would change the rules of the business add something


George Nader - This role and his rugged good looks won him a Universal Studios contract in the 1950s, and he made a number of films for Universal


Val Lewton - Universal Studios made an offer on the work, and though the screenplay was not used, Lewton was given producer duties on the film "Apache Drums", released in 1951


But at this point Rank lost interest and sold his shares to the investor Milton Rackmil, whose Decca Records would take full control of Universal in 1952 add something


William Reynolds (actor) - After a talent agent spotted the handsome, capable actor in some minor theatrical roles, Reynolds signed with Universal Studios in 1952 and began appearing in pictures such as "Carrie"


Dennis Weaver - In 1952, Winters aided him in getting a contract from Universal Studios


Barbara Billingsley - After Billingsley signed a contract with Universal Studios in 1957, she made her mark on TV as everyday mother June Cleaver on "Leave It to Beaver", alongside other 1950s family sitcoms such as "Father Knows Best", "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet", "Make Room For Daddy" and "The Donna Reed Show"


Gloria Neil - After serving as a California runner-up in the 1958 Miss Universe competition and as the 1959 Junior Rose Bowl Queen, she worked as a model, ultimately coming to the attention of Universal Studios, which signed her to an acting contract in 1960


Jan-Michael Vincent - His career took off in the late 1960s when casting agent Dick Clayton signed him to Universal Studios


Henry Bumstead - In 1961, Bumstead left Paramount to join Universal Studios, where he formed a close partnership with Alexander Golitzen


Micheline Presle - She returned to Hollywood in 1962 for the role of Sandra Dee's mother in the Universal Studios film "If a Man Answers" which featured Dee's husband, singer Bobby Darin


Ernest Borgnine - That same year he signed a contract with Universal Studios for the lead role as the gruff but lovable skipper Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale in what began as a serious one-hour 1962 episode called "Seven Against the Sea" for "Alcoa Premiere", and later reworked to a comedy called "McHale's Navy", a World War II sitcom


Don Galloway - He signed up with Universal Studios in 1963 and guest-starred on shows like "Wagon Train", "Run for Your Life", among many others


In 1964 MCA formed "'Universal City Studios, Inc"' add something


Dick Sargent - He had first been offered the role in 1964 after William Asher and Elizabeth Montgomery were involved and chose him but was under contract to Universal Studios and unable to accept it


Roy Lichtenstein - With the help of Universal Film Studios, the artist conceived of, and produced, Three Landscapes, a film of marine landscapes, directly related to a series of collages with landscape themes he created between 1964 and 1966.


Jack Valenti - In 1966, Valenti, at the insistence of Universal Studios chief Lew Wasserman, and with Johnson's consent, resigned his White House commission and became the president of the Motion Picture Association of America


Robert Wagner - In 1967, Wagner signed with Universal Studios


But it was too late, since the audience was no longer there, and by 1968, the film-production unit began to downsize add something


Susan Sullivan - She landed a contract with Universal Studios in 1969, guest-starring on several shows


In the early 1970s, Universal teamed up with Paramount Pictures to form Cinema International Corporation, which distributed films by Paramount and Universal worldwide add something


Though Universal's film unit did produce occasional hits, among them "Airport", "The Sting", "American Graffiti", "Earthquake", and a blockbuster that restored the company's fortunes, "Jaws", Universal in the 1970s was primarily a television studio add something


Randolph Mantooth - In 1970, he was offered a contract with Universal Studios


Jess Walton - In the 1970s, after signing with Universal Studios, she guest-starred on "Kojak" as the ex-heroin addict widow of a TV investigative journalist masquerading as a high-priced call girl


Stefanie Powers - These shows were the ones that Powers appeared, long after she signed a contract with Universal Studios in 1970, coincidentally, her longtime friend and "Hart to Hart" series' star, Wagner, signed up a contract with Universal, but did not guest-star on more shows than Powers did


Lindsay Wagner - In 1971, she signed a contract with Universal Studios and worked as a contract player in various Universal productions


Kevin Tighe - While with Paramount, Tighe worked with actors that included Lorne Greene, Maggie Smith and Michael Landon, before he signed a contract with Universal Studios in 1971


Thom Mount - After "start up" jobs working for Roger Corman, Jane Fonda and Daniel Selznick, Mount started as an assistant at Universal Pictures in late 1972


Laurette Spang-McCook - She was spotted by a Universal Studios talent agent in 1972, where she signed a 7 year contract


Gretchen Corbett - In 1973, Corbett moved to Los Angeles under contract to Universal Studios, as one of the last "contract players" of the studio contract system


Mike Farrell - In 1973, while under contract to Universal Studios, Farrell starred with Robert Foxworth in "The Questor Tapes"


Stu Phillips (composer) - In 1974, he began working at Universal Studios scoring television series


Wallis retired after making the film "Rooster Cogburn" at Universal in 1975 add something


Stephen Macht - Stratford Shakespeare Festival - Spotted by a Universal Studios talent scout while starring at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada in 1975, Macht was signed to a contract and by the mid 1970s had left teaching and was making frequent appearances in TV episodes and movies


Lindsay Wagner - In 1975, arranged under an extended contract with Universal Studios, Wagner played the role of Jaime Sommers, a former tennis professional who was the childhood sweetheart of "Six Million Dollar Man", Steve Austin


Edgar Bronfman, Jr. - His Efer Productions company was signed by Universal Studios in 1977 to a three-year movie production contract


John Landis - In 1978, Landis directed his first film for Universal Studios, "National Lampoon's Animal House", which was both critically and financially successful


It was replaced by United International Pictures in 1981, when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer joined the fold add something


Craig Saavedra - Shortly after graduating high school in 1981, Saavedra found employment at Universal Studios in Hollywood as a tour guide


Ernest Borgnine - Borgnine returned to a new contract with Universal Studios in 1983, for a co-starring role opposite Jan-Michael Vincent, on "Airwolf"


Nick Cuti - Cuti moved to California in 1986 to begin work for animated TV series, producing background and prop designs for a dozen different studios, including Disney, Sony Pictures and Universal Studios


Frank Biondi - Biondi was the President and CEO of Viacom from 1987 to 1996, and was the Chairman and CEO of Universal Studios from 1996 to 1998


The Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida is a theme park, film studio, and television Video production facility that was opened on June 7, 1990 add something


Karen Dotrice - In 1994, Dotrice married then-Universal Studios executive Edwin "Ned" Nalle and later gave birth to two children, Isabella and Griffin


Lisa Hartman Black - In summer of 1994, Hartman Black co-hosted "Universal Studios Summer Blast", a TV special celebrating the 30th anniversary of Universal Studios


J. F. Lawton - "The Hunted" was released on February 25, 1995 and distributed by Universal Studios


UIP began distributing films by start-up studio DreamWorks in 1997, and MGM subsequently dropped out of the venture in 2001, letting 20th Century Fox internationally distribute its films add something


Hoping to build an entertainment empire around Universal, Seagram bought PolyGram in 1999 and other entertainment properties, but the fluctuating profits characteristic of Hollywood were no substitute for the reliable income stream gained from the previously held shares in DuPont add something


Steven Spielberg, who assisted in the original making of the theme park, returned to help expand it in 1999 add something


The Hard Rock Hotel was added in 2000, followed by the Royal Pacific Hotel in 2002 add something


In June 2000, Seagram was sold to French water utility and media company Vivendi, which owned StudioCanal; the conglomerate became known as Vivendi Universal add something


Universal Studios Japan is one of three theme parks that is owned by USJ Co., Ltd. It was opened on March 31, 2001, in Osaka, Japan add something


Marwan al-Shehhi - Witnesses told Spanish investigators they saw a man who resembled Shehhi on July 17, 2001 at the Universal Studios PortAventura theme park next to Salou, Spain


Scott Essman - In 2002, noting that "if you can't beat them, join them," Essman started working for Universal Studios as a writer and publicist of classic monster films


Tobey Maguire - Maguire met Jennifer Meyer in 2003 while he was shooting the movie "Seabiscuit" at Universal Studios, and became engaged in April 2006


Scott Essman - In 2004, Essman created a tribute to silent film star Lon Chaney at Universal Studios' CityWalk


Joss Whedon - In early 2004 Whedon announced that it had been greenlit by Universal Studios, and the film was widely released in the United States on September 30, 2005


On May 11, 2004, the controlling stake in the company was sold by Vivendi Universal to General Electric, parent of NBC add something


In late 2005, Viacom's Paramount Pictures acquired DreamWorks SKG after acquisition talks between GE and DreamWorks stalled add something


Marg Helgenberger - In 2005, Universal Studios submitted Helgenberger in the best supporting actress category to the Oscars for her performance as Ann Foreman in the 2004 movie "In Good Company


Logan O'Brien - In 2005, O'Brien completed filming his part in the Universal Studios feature film "Serenity", directed by Joss Whedon, which premiered worldwide September 30, 2005


Karl Urban - Urban played John "Reaper" Grimm in Universal Pictures' "Doom" , which was released on 21 October 2005


In 2006, after almost 80 years, NBC Universal sold all Walt Disney-produced Oswald cartoons back to Disney add something


Universal's long time chairperson, Stacey Snider, left the company in early 2006 to head up DreamWorks add something


Laura Dave - In 2006, Universal Studios optioned the rights to "London Is The Best City In America" as a starring vehicle for Reese Witherspoon


Alih Jey - In 2006, she severed ties with record label Universal Music Latino and proceeded to work on a new independent record, "Necia", released the following year


Julia Mullock - In April 2006 Universal Studios division Focus Features announced that it would be producing a biographical film of Mullock with a working title of "The Julia Project" in partnership with South Korean LJ Film


Though some expressed doubts that regimented, profit-minded GE and high-living Hollywood could coexist, as of 2007 the combination has worked add something


Laura Dave - In 2008, Universal Studios optioned "The Divorce Party" in conjunction with Echo Films, Jennifer Aniston's production company


On October 5, 2009, Marc Shmuger and David Linde were ousted and their co-chairperson jobs consolidated under former president of worldwide marketing and distribution Adam Fogelson becoming the single chairperson add something


Following FCC approval, the Comcast-GE deal was closed on Jan. 29, 2011 add something


This parade made its debut on New Year's Eve 2011 and has continued to take place every Saturday and Sunday add something


Brian Tyler (composer) - In 2012, Tyler arranged and conducted a new version of the Universal Studios opening logo theme, updating the "classic melody" originally composed by Jerry Goldsmith


Universal's muli-year film financing deal with Elliott Management expires in 2013 add something


In 2014, Universal Studios Hollywood will open two new attractions add something


Despicable Me: Minion May hem will replace Terminator 2: 3D in April 2014 and a new mini-land called Super Silly Fun Land will open adjecent to the ride add something


In June 2014, Universal Partnerships took over licensing consumer products for NBC and Sprout with expectation that all licensing would eventually be centralized within NBCUniversal add something


In May 2015, Gramercy Pictures was revived by Focus Features as a genre label, that was on action, sci-fi, and horror films add something


On December 16, 2015, Amblin Partners announced that it entered into a five-year distribution deal with Universal Pictures by which the films will be distributed and marketed by either the main Universal label or Focus Features add something


In February 2016, Perfect World Pictures announced a long term co-financing deal with Universal Studios, which represents the first time a Chinese company directly invest in a multi-year slate deal with a major U.S studio add something


On August 22, 2016 the deal was completed add something