David O. Selznick
- Category : Film - Producer
- Type : ME
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Explanation 2
American film producer who was among the top five "champion of champion" film makers for 22 consecutive years, from 1936-1958. He received the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award in 1939. His films included Oscar winners "Gone With The Wind," 1939 and "Rebecca," 1940.
Selznick was called an enthusiastic, arrogant, crazy dreamer who started "Gone With The Wind" while he was still finishing up another major project. At the time, he was on Benzedrine. A disorganized perfectionist, Selznick never had a final script for "Gone With The Wind," it was all in his head and the final lines were his. He just wanted to get the damn thing finished, as there were so many problems with production and everything was a mess.
His biographer calls Selznick "at times a fool, a coward, a liar, a scoundrel and a bore, as well as an unfaithful husband, a poor father, a compulsive gambler, an obsessive, chain-smoking, Benzedrine-driven workaholic so physically awkward that once, examining himself in a mirror at the Waldorf, he shut his privates in a drawer."
The third son of a film producer, David made his first movie at age 21. By 1936 he had launched Selznick International Pictures. Selznick was married twice, first to the daughter of Louis B. Mayer, Irene Mayer, with whom he had two sons before divorcing in 1949. His second marriage was to a young actress, Phyllis Isley whom he renamed Jennifer Jones, on a yacht off the coast of Italy on 13 July 1949. He devoted himself masterminding her career. In his later years, burdened with huge debts from poor business decisions and extravagance, he was still hyping projects for Jones at the same time as alienating those who sought to help him.
Selznick died from an acute coronary on 22 June 1965, Hollywood, CA.