AirTalk for January 29, 2010

Irving Thalberg: Hollywood's producer prince

Mercer 6542

National Photo Company

Irving Thalberg and Norma Shearer

Producer Irving Thalberg was called the Boy Wonder of Hollywood. By age 20 he ran Universal Pictures, and at age 24 he co-founded Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His status was so large, in fact, that F. Scott Fitzgerald used Thalberg as the inspiration for the main character in his unfinished novel The Last Tycoon. In Mark Vieira's new biography, the author profiles the legendary producer behind films including Mutiny on the Bounty, Grand Hotel, and The Good Earth, but who died of pneumonia at age 37. Larry Mantle talks with Vieira about the man who launched the careers of Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, and wife Norma Shearer.

Guest:


Mark A. Vieira, author of "Irving Thalberg: Boy Wonder to Producer Prince" (University of California Press). He is a photographer, filmmaker, and Hollywood historian.


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