Thursday, April 11, 2013

Celebrity Grave: "Ten Commandments" Screenwriter Jesse Louis Lasky Jr. 1988

Jesse Louis Lasky, Jr. (September 19, 1910 - April 11, 1988) was an American screenwriter.

Family

Jesse Louis Lasky, Jr. was the son of the famous film pioneer, Jesse L. Lasky, who produced the first full-length motion picture in Hollywood in 1913 and founded the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company, which became Paramount Pictures. Jesse Jr. was born on Broadway in 1910 and grew up in Hollywood, New York City, England, and France. His mother Bessie was a concert pianist gold medallist of the Boston Conservatory of Music as well as a well known painter who painted all the California Missions (now in the L.A. County Art Museum), and was the author of 3 books.

Education

Jesse attended Blair Academy, the Hun School of Princeton, and the University of Dijon, France, where he received a degree in literature. After winning awards for poetry at the age of 17, he began writing professionally.

Career

Lasky wrote 8 novels, 3 books of verse, 5 plays and over 50 screenplays including 8 for the legendary Cecil B. DeMille. Jesse received the Box Office Award twice ("The Ten Commandments" and "Samson and Delilah") and the Christopher Award from the Catholic Church. His writing took him from Hollywood to London, Rome, Austria, Denmark, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Greece and France.

World War II

During World War II, Lasky served as a Captain commanding Combat Photographic Units of the Signal Corps in 4 campaigns in the Southwest Pacific, and was decorated by General MacArthur. He organised the Army School of Film Training at the Signal Corps Photographic Centre where writers were trained to script training films for every branch of the Military Service.

Post-war

Returning from 3 and a half years of overseas duty, Lasky resumed his writing career with books, plays, and films. Jesse lectured on creative writing and Hollywood history at many universities in the United States and England, including The Oxford Union. He also served as Vice President of the Writers Guild of America, Screen Branch.

In 1962, he and his wife, Pat Silver, moved to London. They also lived part of the year in Southern Spain, and travelled extensively. Jesse was a member of The Garrick Club and The Company of Military Historians.

Lasky died on April 11, 1988. He is entombed on the second floor of the Chapel Columbarium at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Pat now continues to write under the pen name: Pat Silver-Lasky.

Autobiography

Lasky was painted by Tsuguharu Foujita at the age of 17, during a trip to Paris with his mother, Bessie Lasky. A copy of this picture appears on page 180 in Jesse L. Lasky Jr.'s autobiography, Whatever Happened To Hollywood? (published by Funk and Wagnalls, NY 1975)

Filmography

1934 Music is Magic
1935 The White Parade
1935 Coming Out Party
1936 Land Of Liberty
1938 Union Pacific
1940 Northwest Mounted Police
1940 Back in the Saddle
1941 Steel Against the Sky
1941 The Singing Hills
1941 Reap the Wild Wind
1942 Omaha Trail
1946 The Valpariso Story
1946 Unconquered
1948 Thief of Venice
1948 Samson and Delilah
1949 Sickle and the Cross
1950 Lorna Doone (Edward Small)
1950 Mask of the Avengers
1950 Never Trust a Gambler
1951 The Brigand
1952 Salome
1952 The Silver Whip
1953 The Iron Glove
1953 Mission Over Korea
1954 Hell and High Water
1955 Pearl of the South Pacific
1955 Hot Blood
1955 The Ten Commandments
1958 The Buccaneer
1959 John Paul Jones
1959 On My Honor (film) - never completed
1959? The Red Head
1960 Wizard of Baghdad
1960 7 Women from Hell
1960 Pirates of Tortuga
1969 Land Raiders
1970 One of Those Things
1976 Crime and Passion
1980? Bull Dance (Yugoslavia)

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