Born on July 7, 1899, George Dewey Cukor was a film director. He concentrated on literary adaptations and comedies. He worked for RKO when David O. Selznick assigned him to direct What Price Hollywood in 1932, A Bill of Divorcement in 1932, Our Betters in 1933 and Little Women in 1933. AT MGM Cukor directed David Copperfield in 1935 and Romeo and Juliet in 1939. He started out as the director of Gone with the Wind in 1939 but went on to direct the Philadelphia Story in 1940, Adam's Rib in 1949, and Born Yesterday in 1950 and a Star is Born in 1954. He directed My Fair Lady in 1964 and continued to direct well into the 1980s.
Cukor moved to Hollywood in 1929 and his first assignment was to coach the cast of River of Romance. He was also hired to conduct screen tests and work as a dialogue coach for All Quiet on the Western Front. His directorial debut was Tarnished Lady in 1931. He was assigned to One Hour with You in 1932. Cukor was reputed to coax great performances from actresses. Cukor was honored with more Oscars for best actors than any other director.
His greatest success was My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn. The film won Cukor the Academy Award for Best Director, a Golden Globe and the Directors Guild of America Award. He directed few films after My Fair Lady but he did direct Maggie Smith in Travels with my Aunt in 1972, Love Among the Ruins in 1975 and The Corn is Green in 1979. He direct his last film Rich and Famous in 1981. He was 82.
Cukor was very discreet about his sexual orientation. In the 1950s Cukor formed a relationship with a much younger man and Cukor paid for his education. By the mid 1930's Cukor was an established director and the unofficial head of Hollywood's gay subculture. He loved his friends and kept his home filled with photographs of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, Joan Crawford and Lauren Bacall and of Humphrey Bogart. He was also friends with Judy Garland, Gene Tirney, Noel Coward and Cole Porter.
Cukor died of a heart attack on January 24, 1983. He is interred at Forest Lawn in an unmarked grave.
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