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George Sidney was born on October 4, 1916 in Long Island (New York), in a family dedicated to the artistic world. His mother was the actress Hazel Mooney and his father the producer and theatrical performer Louis Sidney. His uncle was also actor George Sidney.
Sidney’s career in the show business would begin soon, since from childhood he went onstage to share roles with his family. In the 30s he worked in Hollywood for the Metro Goldwyn Mayer as an editor and assistant director. In the study of the lion, he would spend almost his entire career.
Sidney had his chance to direct the first shorts with The Gang, among them George “Spanky” McFarland or Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer. In this way, Sidney, with 21 years would become the youngest director who ever directed these little actors. After a year working on The Gang, Sidney would make chapters for the Crime Does Not Pay series. His first feature film was Free and Easy (1941), a romantic comedy starring Robert Cummings, Ruth Hussey and Judith Anderson based on a play by Ivor Novello.
Soon after, Sidney would meet Gene Kelly and their relationship would be one of the most memorable in the history of cinema. His first collaboration would be in Thousands Cheer (1943), musical co-starring Kathryn Grayson. Later they would coincide in Anchors Raising (1945), with Frank Sinatra and Grayson, and The Three Musketeers (1949), version of Alexandre Dumas that had the prominence of Lana Turner and June Allyson.
In addition, Sidney helped Metro colleagues William Hanna and Joseph Barbera to create Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1944, a company with which he had relationships for ten years. In fact, Jerry Mouse appeared next to Gene Kelly in Levando anchors in what would be one of the most remembered numbers.
Apart from this, Sidney did his best works in the 40s. Among them, School of Mermaids (1944), film starring Esther Williams, The Harvey Girls (1946), film starring Judy Garland. In the decade of the 50, the activity of Sidney lowered as far as numbers of productions. In 1951, he released his version of Magnolia (1951), Scaramouche (1952), Pal Joey (1957) with Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak.
The 60s brought him titles of lesser importance, including Pepe (1960), A Kiss for Birdie (1963), with Janet Leigh, Ann-Margret and Dick Van Dyke, or Quote in Las Vegas (1964), film with Elvis Presley. His last film would be Half of six pennies (1967), retiring definitively from the direction. Because of its counterpart to the world of cinema, George Sidney has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The director would die of a lymphoma on May 5, 2002, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at age 85.
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