1898 – 1999
Who was Irving Rapper?
Born in London, England, Rapper emigrated to the United States and became an actor and stage director on Broadway while studying at New York University. In 1936, he went to Hollywood, where he was hired by Warner Bros. as an assistant director and dialogue coach. He proved invaluable in translating and mediating for non-native English-speaking directors. By the early 1940s, he had metamorphosed into one of the hottest directors on the Warner Bros. lot.
He made his directing debut with the 1941 film Shining Victory, in which his friend Bette Davis appeared as a show of support for him. He would go on to direct her in four more films, Now, Voyager, The Corn Is Green, Deception, and Another Man's Poison. In later years, Rapper admitted that he found Davis very difficult to work with and that she would, "...hold the whole set hostage, stopping production for a day, because of her mood."
Rapper's film One Foot in Heaven was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film. Perhaps his best film in a studio other than Warner Bros. was The Brave One, which earned the then-blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo an Academy Award for his original screenplay.
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