|Intro||American motion picture producer|
|Was||Film producer Screenwriter Filmmaker|
|From||United States of America|
|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth||13 September 1880, San Francisco, USA|
|Death||13 January 1958, Beverly Hills, USA (aged 77 years)|
Jesse Louis Lasky (September 13, 1880 – January 13, 1958) was an American pioneer motion picture producer. He was a key founder of Paramount Pictures with Adolph Zukor and William Wadsworth Hodkinson, and father of screenwriter Jesse L. Lasky Jr.
Born in to a Jewish family in San Francisco, California, he worked at a variety of jobs but began his entertainment career as a vaudeville performer that led to the motion picture business.
In 1911, Lasky was the producer of two Broadway musicals: Hello, Paris and A La Broadway. Beatrice deMille was also producing plays on Broadway and she introduced him to her son Cecil B. DeMille. They ventured into motion pictures in 1913.
Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company
Lasky's sister, Blanche, married Samuel Goldwyn and in 1913 Lasky and Goldwyn teamed with Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel to form the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company. With limited funds, they rented a barn near Los Angeles where they made Hollywood's first feature film, DeMille's The Squaw Man. Known today as the Lasky-DeMille Barn, it is home to the Hollywood Heritage Museum.
Other films produced by the studio include the original version of Brewster's Millions, The Call of the North, Cameo Kirby, The Circus Man, The Ghost Breaker, The Making of Bobby Burnit, The Man from Home, The Man on the Box, The Master Mind, The Only Son, The Virginian (all 1914), The Cheat, Carmen, Kindling (all 1915), The Blacklist (1916) and The Bottle Imp (1917).
Famous Players-Lasky, Great Depression, and later partnerships
In 1920, Famous Players-Lasky built a large studio facility in Astoria, New York, now known as the Kaufman Astoria Studios. In 1927, Lasky was one of the 36 people who founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Financial problems arose within the industry as a result of the Great Depression and the Famous Players-Lasky Company went into receivership in 1933. Lasky then partnered with Mary Pickford to produce films but within a few years she dissolved their business relationship. Lasky then found work as a producer at one of the big studios until 1945 when he formed his own production company. He made his last film in 1951 and in 1957 published his autobiography, I Blow My Own Horn.
Jesse L. Lasky died at age 77 from a heart attack in Beverly Hills. He is interred in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, adjacent to Paramount Studios, in Hollywood.
For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Lasky has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6433 Hollywood Boulevard. Lasky Drive in Beverly Hills was named in his honor.