Mayer, Louis B.

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Mayer, (Eliezer or Lazar) Louis B. (Burt)

(1885–1957) film executive; born in Minsk, Russia. His family emigrated to the U.S.A. when he was three, then to Canada. He worked in the scrap metal field until he bought a movie theater in Haverhill, Mass., and soon owned the largest theater chain in New England. Moving into production, his first film was Virtuous Wives (1918). A cofounder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, he was responsible for such films as Grand Hotel (1932), the Andy Hardy Series, and Ninotchka (1939).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.