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Brisson, Frederick (17 March 1913–08 October 1984), stage and film producer, was born Carl Frederick Brisson, Jr., in Copenhagen, Denmark, the son of Carl Frederick Brisson, a Danish cabaret singing idol, and Cleo (maiden name unknown). At age ten, Brisson was taken to England, where he was educated and where he later began his lengthy career, the foundation of which had been formed when as a youngster he often accompanied his father on tour. After graduation from public school, he traveled as an advanced publicity man for Moss Empire Ltd., the owner of legitimate theaters in England....

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Craven, Wesley Earl (2 Aug. 1939–30 Aug. 2015), director, writer, and producer of prominent American horror films, was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Craven described his mother, Caroline, as a religiously devout Baptist who took her children to church virtually every Wednesday and Sunday. His father, Paul, was a more distant and intimidating figure. Perhaps because of his strict upbringing, with prohibitions on activities like dancing, parties, or going to the movies, Craven was a strong student and went on to receive a B.A. in English from Wheaton College in ...

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Lewton, Val (7 May 1904–14 Mar. 1951), film producer, was born Vladimir Hofschneider in Yalta, Russia, the son of Maximillian Hofschneider, a soldier and gambler, and Nina Leventon. His parents’ marriage ended when he was a small child. In 1909 he emigrated with his mother and sister to the United States. His aunt was the actress ...

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Moore, Mary Tyler (29 Dec. 1936–25 Jan. 2017), actress and producer in television, film, and theater, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the eldest of three children of Marjorie (Hackett) and George Tyler Moore, a utilities clerk. Mary’s earliest memories were of performing in order to seek approval from her parents, who were cold and unsupportive. She began taking ballet lessons upon the family’s relocation to Los Angeles in ...

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Parsons, Harriet Oettinger (23 Aug. 1906–2 Jan. 1983), journalist, filmmaker, and producer, was born in Burlington, Iowa, the only child of famed Hollywood columnist Louella Parsons and John Dement Parsons, a real estate salesman. When her parents’ marriage fell apart, she and her mother moved to Chicago. While Louella Parsons wrote scripts for Essanay Studios, Harriet was molded into a child star, “Baby Parsons,” and appeared in two films written by her mother, ...