David O. Selznick (May 10, 1902 – June 22, 1965) was an American film producer and film studio executive. He is best known for producing Gone with the Wind (1939) and Rebecca (1940), both earning him an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Born David Selznick to a Jewish family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was the son of Lithuanian immigrant and silent movie distributor Lewis J. Selznick and Florence A. (Sachs) Selznick. Selznick added the "O" to distinguish himself from an uncle with the same name.
He studied at Columbia University in New York City and worked as an apprentice for his father until the elder's bankruptcy in 1923. In 1926, Selznick moved to Hollywood, and with the help of his father's connections, got a job as an assistant story editor at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He left MGM for Paramount Pictures in 1928, where he worked until 1931, when he joined RKO as Head of Production.
David Selznick's years at RKO were fruitful, and he worked on many films, including A Bill of Divorcement (1932), What Price Hollywood? (1932), Rockabye (1932), Our Betters (1933), and King Kong (1933). While at RKO, he also gave George Cukor his directing break. In 1933 he returned to MGM where his father-in-law, Louis B. Mayer, was studio CEO. Mayer established a second prestige production unit for David, parallel to that of powerful Irving Thalberg, who was in poor health. Selznick's unit output included the all star cast movie-Dinner at Eight (1933), David Copperfield (1935), Anna Karenina (1935) and A Tale of Two Cities (1935)...
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