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Douglas Shearer Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trivia (10)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (2)

Born in Westmount, Québec, Canada
Died in Culver City, California, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Douglas Shearer came to MGM to visit his sister, Norma Shearer, and was hired as an assistant in the camera department. When MGM decided to make sound pictures, Douglas was appointed head of the sound department. In 1928, Douglas took the silent 'White Shadows in the South Seas' to a New Jersey recording studio where he added sound effects and music. As was common in the early days, the music and sound effects were recorded, but not the dialogue. In 1929, Douglas came up with the idea of playing the sound track for a musical number so that it would be filmed in sync with the music. The film was The Broadway Melody (1929) which won the Best Picture Oscar for 1929. It was an 'All-Talking! All-SingingAll-Dancing!' movie. Douglas won his first oscar for sound recording with The Big House (1930). Douglas became one of the most innovative men in the sound field and MGM became well known for the quality of the sound in their pictures. He would develop or improve recording systems and reduce any unwanted noise. Overall, Douglas would win 12 oscars for Best Sound Recording. In 1959, he would receive an Oscar for helping co-develop MGM's Camera 65 wide screen system. His career as Recording Director would end in 1955 when he was promoted to director of technical research at MGM. He would hold this office until his retirement in 1968.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana < tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Spouse (3)

Marion Tilden (9 September 1922 - 6 June 1931) ( her death)
Ann Cunningham (? - ?) ( her death) ( 2 children)
Avice (? - 5 January 1971) ( his death)

Trivia (10)

Brother of Norma Shearer and Athole Shearer
Son of Edith Shearer
Brother-in-law of Irving Thalberg.
Brother-in-law of John Ward.
Brother-in-law of Howard Hawks.
Two sons: Mark & Stephen
He and his sister Norma Shearer were the first Oscar-winning brother and sister. He won his first award in the same year his sister won her Best Actress Oscar in 1930.
Worked on two different versions of two films - "Kind Lady" (1935 version, and its 1951 remake) and "Rose-Marie" (1936 version, and its 1954 widescreen color remake).
Won back-to-back Best Sound Recording awards at the Academy Awards for Naughty Marietta (1935) and San Francisco (1936), becoming the first person to win consecutive awards in any category at the Oscars.
Has received seven honorary Oscars, more than any other person.

Personal Quotes (1)

The public probably little realizes the various advances in sound pictures, but some of our troubles and problems have had an element of humor. For example, we experimented much in early days to prevent falling rain from sounding like dropping bullets when recorded. We learned to 'damp' the sound with blotting paper on window sills, or felt on the ground out of camera sight.

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