Austria the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2, a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion, it is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north and Slovakia to the east and Italy to the south, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is mountainous, lying within the Alps; the majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, Slovene. Austria played a central role in European History from the late 18th to the early 20th century, it emerged as a margraviate around 976 and developed into a duchy and archduchy. In the 16th century, Austria started serving as the heart of the Habsburg Monarchy and the junior branch of the House of Habsburg – one of the most influential royal houses in history.
As archduchy, it was a major component and administrative centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Following the Holy Roman Empire's dissolution, Austria founded its own empire in the 19th century, which became a great power and the leading force of the German Confederation. Subsequent to the Austro-Prussian War and the establishment of a union with Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was created. Austria was involved in both world wars. Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a President as head of state and a Chancellor as head of government. Major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz and Innsbruck. Austria is ranked as one of the richest countries in the world by per capita GDP terms; the country has developed a high standard of living and in 2018 was ranked 20th in the world for its Human Development Index. The republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995.
It is a founding member of the OECD and Interpol. Austria signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, adopted the euro currency in 1999; the German name for Austria, Österreich, derives from the Old High German Ostarrîchi, which meant "eastern realm" and which first appeared in the "Ostarrîchi document" of 996. This word is a translation of Medieval Latin Marchia orientalis into a local dialect. Another theory says that this name comes from the local name of the mountain whose original Slovenian name is "Ostravica" - because it is steep on both sides. Austria was a prefecture of Bavaria created in 976; the word "Austria" was first recorded in the 12th century. At the time, the Danube basin of Austria was the easternmost extent of Bavaria; the Central European land, now Austria was settled in pre-Roman times by various Celtic tribes. The Celtic kingdom of Noricum was claimed by the Roman Empire and made a province. Present-day Petronell-Carnuntum in eastern Austria was an important army camp turned capital city in what became known as the Upper Pannonia province.
Carnuntum was home for 50,000 people for nearly 400 years. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was invaded by Bavarians and Avars. Charlemagne, King of the Franks, conquered the area in AD 788, encouraged colonization, introduced Christianity; as part of Eastern Francia, the core areas that now encompass Austria were bequeathed to the house of Babenberg. The area was known as the marchia Orientalis and was given to Leopold of Babenberg in 976; the first record showing the name Austria is from 996, where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March. In 1156, the Privilegium Minus elevated Austria to the status of a duchy. In 1192, the Babenbergs acquired the Duchy of Styria. With the death of Frederick II in 1246, the line of the Babenbergs was extinguished; as a result, Ottokar II of Bohemia assumed control of the duchies of Austria and Carinthia. His reign came to an end with his defeat at Dürnkrut at the hands of Rudolph I of Germany in 1278. Thereafter, until World War I, Austria's history was that of its ruling dynasty, the Habsburgs.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Habsburgs began to accumulate other provinces in the vicinity of the Duchy of Austria. In 1438, Duke Albert V of Austria was chosen as the successor to his father-in-law, Emperor Sigismund. Although Albert himself only reigned for a year, henceforth every emperor of the Holy Roman Empire was a Habsburg, with only one exception; the Habsburgs began to accumulate territory far from the hereditary lands. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian, only son of Emperor Frederick III, married the heiress Maria of Burgundy, thus acquiring most of the Netherlands for the family. In 1496, his son Philip the Fair married Joanna the Mad, the heiress of Castile and Aragon, thus acquiring Spain and its Italian and New World appendages for the Habsburgs. In 1526, following the Battle of Mohács, Bohemia and the part of Hungary not occupied by the Ottomans came under Austrian rule. Ottoman expansion into Hungary led to frequent conflicts between the two empires evident in the Long War of 1593 to 1606.
The Turks made incursions into Styria nearly 20 times, of which some are c
Don Taylor (American actor and director)
Donald Richie Taylor was an American actor and film director. He co-starred in 1940s and 1950s classics, including the 1948 film noir The Naked City, Father of the Bride, Father's Little Dividend and Stalag 17, he turned to directing films such as Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Tom Sawyer, Damien: Omen II. The son of Mr. and Mrs. D. E. Taylor, in Freeport, Pennsylvania, on December 13, 1920, he was born Donald Ritchie Taylor He studied speech and drama at Penn State University and hitchhiked to Hollywood in 1942. He was appeared in small roles. Drafted into the United States Army Air Forces during World War II, he appeared in the Air Forces's Winged Victory Broadway play and movie, credited as "Cpl. Don Taylor." After discharge from the AAF, Taylor was cast in a lead role as the young detective, Jimmy Halloran, working alongside veteran homicide detective Dan Muldoon in Universal's 1948 screen version of The Naked City, notable for being filmed on location in New York. Taylor was part of the ensemble cast in MGM's classic World War II drama Battleground.
He appeared as the husband of Elizabeth Taylor in the comedies Father of the Bride and its sequel Father's Little Dividend, starring Spencer Tracy. Another memorable role was Vern "Cowboy" Blithe in Flying Leathernecks. In 1952, Taylor played a soldier bringing his Japanese war-bride back to small-town America in Japanese War Bride. In 1953, Taylor had a key role as the escaping prisoner Lt. Dunbar in Billy Wilder's Stalag 17, his last major film role came. From the late 1950s through the 1980s, Taylor turned to directing movies and TV shows, such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the short-lived Steve Canyon, starring Dean Fredericks, Rod Serling's Night Gallery. One of his memorable efforts, in 1973, was the musical film Tom Sawyer, which boasted a Sherman Brothers song score. Other films that Taylor directed are Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Echoes of a Summer, The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The Island of Dr. Moreau starring Burt Lancaster, Damien: Omen II with William Holden, The Final Countdown with Kirk Douglas.
Taylor performed both acting and directing roles as he did for episodes of the TV detective series Burke's Law. Taylor "wrote one-act plays, radio dramas, short stories, the 1985 TV movie My Wicked, wicked Ways... The Legend of Errol Flynn." Taylor was married twice. His first wife was Phyllis Avery, whom he married in 1944, his second wife was Hazel Court, whom he stayed with until his death. Taylor died on December 29, 1998, at the University of California Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, of heart failure. Nominee Best Director – Saturn Awards Nominee Best Director-Comedy – Emmy Awards In addition to his Hollywood credits, Taylor directed 27 television movies and episodes for 53 television series including Cannon, Rod Serling's Night Gallery, Mod Squad, It Takes a Thief, The Big Valley, The Flying Nun, Vacation Playhouse, The Tammy Grimes Show, The Wild Wild West, Burke's Law, The Rogues, The Farmer's Daughter, The Lloyd Bridges Show, The Dick Powell Theatre, Dr. Kildare, Checkmate, 87th Precinct, Zane Grey Theater, The Rifleman, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Honky Tonk, others.
Everything's Ducky Ride the Wild Surf Jack of Diamonds The Five Man Army Escape from the Planet of the Apes Tom Sawyer Echoes of a Summer The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday The Island of Dr. Moreau Damien: Omen II The Final Countdown Don Taylor on IMDb Don Taylor at the TCM Movie Database Don Taylor at the Internet Broadway Database Don Taylor at Find a Grave
Lawrence Neville Brand was an American actor. His most memorable film roles were in Stalag 17, Riot in Cell Block 11, Birdman of Alcatraz. Brand was a decorated World War II combat soldier. Neville Brand was born in Griswold, one of seven children of Leo Thomas Brand and the former Helen Louise Davis, his father had worked as an bridge-building ironworker in Detroit. Neville was raised in Kewanee, where he attended high school. After his schooling he helped support the family, employed as a soda jerk and shoe salesman in Kewanee, he entered the Illinois Army National Guard on October 23, 1939, as a private in Company F, 129th Infantry Regiment. He was enlisted in the United States Army as Corporal Neville L. Brand, infantryman on March 5, 1941, he trained at Fort Carson and served in World War II, seeing action with B company, 331st Infantry Regiment of the 83rd Infantry Division in the Ardennes and Central European campaigns. Brand, a sergeant and platoon leader, was wounded in action along the Weser River on April 7, 1945.
His upper right arm was hit by a bullet, he nearly bled to death. Brand was awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest decoration for valor in the U. S. military, for gallantry in combat. His other awards and decorations were the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Battle Stars, one Overseas Service Bar, one Service Stripe and the Combat Infantryman Badge. In a 1966 interview he explained the Silver Star, stating that withering fire from German machine guns in a hunting lodge kept him and his unit pinned down. "I must have flipped my lid," he said. "I decided to go into that lodge." He was discharged from service in October 1945. He worked on a 1946 U. S. Army Signal Corps film with Charlton Heston and next settled in Greenwich Village and enrolled at the American Theatre Wing, working off-Broadway, including Jean-Paul Sartre's The Victors, he attended the Geller Drama School in Los Angeles on the G.
I. Bill. Brand had an uncredited bit in Port of New York, his first credited part was in D. O. A. as a henchman named Chester. His hulking physique, rough-hewn, craggy-faced looks and gravelly voice led to him playing gangsters, Western outlaws and other screen "heavies", cops and other tough-guy roles throughout his career. Brand was uncredited in My Foolish Heart, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye but had a good role in TV in The Bigelow Theatre. Brand's parts grew bigger: Halls of Montezuma, Only the Valiant, The Mob, Red Mountain. On TV he did a short and episodes of The Unexpected and Your Favorite Story, he was in Kansas City Confidential, The Turning Point, notably, Stalag 17. Brand was now much in demand as a support actor, appearing in The Charge at Feather River, The Man from the Alamo, Gun Fury. Brand moved up to leading roles with Man Crazy and Riot in Cell Block 11, he had the lead in Return from the Sea. Brand had a support role in The Prodigal and The Return of Jack Slade and guest roles in Appointment with Adventure, Screen Directors Playhouse, Studio One in Hollywood, Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre, Chevron Hall of Stars, Schlitz Playhouse, General Electric Theater, The United States Steel Hour, Stage 7.
He had lead roles in Bobby Ware Is Missing and Fury at Gunsight Pass and supported in Raw Edge, Mohawk. He had the distinction of being the first actor to portray outlaw Butch Cassidy, in the film The Three Outlaws opposite Alan Hale Jr. as the Sundance Kid. Though not the big-budget romp that the Paul Newman–Robert Redford film was, both Brand's Cassidy and Hale's Kid were played as likable outlaws, a rare change from Brand's typecasting as a murderous psycho, he followed it with Gun Brothers. Brand became well known as a villain when he killed the character played by Elvis Presley in Love Me Tender, he was in The Way to the Gold, The Lonely Man, The Tin Star, Cry Terror!, Badman's Country. He had better roles on such TV shows as Climax!, Playhouse 90, Target and notably an adaptation of All the King's Men for Kraft Theatre, directed by Sidney Lumet, playing Willie Stark. Brand was a guest star on The Texan, Zane Grey Theater, The Dupont Show of the Month. Of the hundreds of roles he played, he is most well known as Al Capone on the television series The Untouchables.
The characterization—including in the television series pilot episode an odd broken-English pseudo-Italian accent which the American-born Capone did not have in real life - caused an outcry from the Italian American community over stereotypes. He played Capone twice on the show, in the pilot and in the double episode "The Big Train". Brand was in Five Gates to Hell, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Last Sunset, The George Raft Story, reprising his role as Al Capone in the latter, he guest starred on Straightaway, Cain's Hundred, Death Valley Days, The Joey Bishop Show, Naked City, The DuPont Show of the Week, Ben Casey, The Lieutenant, Theatre of Stars and Trial, Wagon Train, Combat!, Gunsmoke. He portrayed a prison guard of Birdman of Alcatraz, was second billed in Hero's Island and had a key role in That Darn Cat!. Brand co-starred with Geo
Gil Stratton Jr. was an actor and sportscaster, born in Brooklyn, New York. He most resided in Toluca Lake, until his death from congestive heart failure. Stratton was born June 2, 1922, in Brooklyn, New York, attended Poly Prep in Brooklyn, he attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, N. Y. where he graduated with a bachelor's degree, starred as goalie of the SLU hockey team. He first became interested in acting as a teenager, he debuted on Broadway at the age of 19 as Bud Hooper in the George Abbott musical Best Foot Forward. The musical ran from October 1, 1941 to July 4, 1942; as a result of Stratton's appearance in Best Foot Forward, MGM hired him as a contract player. His first job for MGM was in the film Girl Crazy with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, singing "Embraceable You" in a duet with Garland. After completing Girl Crazy, he had a short film hiatus due to having enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps upon the US entry to World War II, he noted that he ended up spending much of his service umpiring baseball.
During this time he began umpiring for the Pacific Coast League. While umpiring in the PCL he began using the line, "time to call'em as I see'em."When Stratton completed his time with the Army, he returned to film, appearing in such features as Stalag 17, a role in The Wild One, Bundle of Joy. He starred in a total of 40 films during his film career, sharing the big screen with other notable actors such as Cary Grant, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, William Holden. In addition to acting in several films, Stratton began working as a radio actor in the late 1940s, performing in such shows as Lux Radio Theater, The Great Gildersleeve, My Little Margie He worked opposite Judy Garland in the 1950 radio adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, acted opposite Shirley Temple in a radio version of The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer. In the 1954-1955 television season, Stratton starred on CBS as "Junior" Jackson in the situation comedy That's My Boy as a son pushed by his father to become a football star at their common alma mater.
His co-stars were Eddie Mayehoff as his father, a construction contractors in the series, Rochelle Hudson as his mother, Alice Jackson. Oddly, cast as the mother, was only six years older than Stratton. In the 1950s, Stratton appeared in several episodes of Jack Webb's Dragnet. In the 1970s and 1980s he made occasional guest appearances on many television series portraying a sports announcer. Stratton was hired by Los Angeles television station KNXT-TV in 1954 as a sportscaster and sports news anchor, he spent sixteen years as sports anchor of the show The Big News during the 1970s. This was the first hour-long news program for the region. While there, he became recognized for his signature phrase "Time to call'em as I see'em", which he had started saying during his years as a baseball umpire. Within a year,"The Big News" was earning a 28 percent share in the Los Angeles ratings and the show format became the standard, copied by other local TV stations across the country. Stratton was the last-surviving member of The Big News team prior to his death.
He served as a sportscaster for California CBS AM radio station, KNX 1070, from 1967 to 1984 and from 1986 to 1997 and for KTTV for a time in the 70's and 80's. While working for CBS Sports in both television and radio, he covered the 1960 Summer Olympics from Rome, he covered the NFL as "the voice" of the Los Angeles Rams in the 1960s, called Major League Baseball games, Kentucky Derbies, feature races from Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Del Mar. He covered many other sports, such as hockey, tennis and field and golf. MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann worked with Stratton at both KCBS/KNXT and at KNX 1070, he said of Stratton, "There aren't many renaissance men in any age, but Gil was one of them." Stratton won five local Emmys during his television career, was awarded seven Golden Mike awards from the Radio-Television News Association. Stratton first retired from TV and radio in 1984, traveled to the Big Island of Hawaii, where he became Owner/General Manager of a small radio station, 790 AM KKON, in Kealakekua, Hawaii.
But being behind the desk was not for Stratton - he wanted to be behind the microphone again. Stratton sold the station to Bill Evans and returned again to KNX 1070 radio in 1986 as a weekend sports anchor, he retired again in 1997, but continued doing charity work, such as hosting many charity golf tournaments to raise funds for Henry Mayo Hospital in Newhall. The hospital named a newborn nursery after him in appreciation of his work, he taught classes in broadcasting at California State University Northridge. Stratton died on October 11, 2008, at the age of 86
Plymouth was a brand of automobiles based in the United States, produced by the Chrysler Corporation and its successor DaimlerChrysler. The brand first appeared in 1928 in the United States to compete in what was described as the "low-priced" market segment dominated by Chevrolet and Ford. Plymouth was the high-volume seller for the automaker until the late 1990s; the brand was withdrawn from the marketplace in 2001. The Plymouth models that were produced up to were either discontinued or rebranded as Chrysler or Dodge; the Plymouth automobile was introduced at Madison Square Garden on July 7, 1928. It was Chrysler Corporation's first entry in the low-priced field dominated by Chevrolet and Ford. Plymouths were priced higher than the competition, but offered standard features such as internal expanding hydraulic brakes that Ford and Chevrolet did not provide. Plymouths were sold through Chrysler dealerships, offering a low-cost alternative to the upscale Chrysler-brand cars; the logo featured a rear view of the ship Mayflower which landed at Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
However, the inspiration for the Plymouth brand name came from Plymouth binder twine, produced by the Plymouth Cordage Company of Plymouth. The name was chosen by Joe Frazer due to the popularity of the twine among farmers; the origins of Plymouth can be traced back to the Maxwell automobile. When Walter P. Chrysler took over control of the troubled Maxwell-Chalmers car company in the early 1920s, he inherited the Maxwell as part of the package. After he used the company's facilities to help create and launch the six-cylinder Chrysler automobile in 1924, he decided to create a lower-priced companion car. So for 1926, the Maxwell was rebadged as the low-end four-cylinder Chrysler "52" model. In 1928, the "52" was once again redesigned to create the Chrysler-Plymouth Model Q; the "Chrysler" portion of the nameplate was dropped with the introduction of the Plymouth Model U in 1929. While the original purpose of the Plymouth was to serve the lower end of a booming automobile market, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the division helped in ensuring the survival of the Chrysler Corporation when many other car companies failed.
Beginning in 1930, Plymouths were sold by all three Chrysler divisions. Plymouth sales were a bright spot during this dismal automotive period, by 1931 Plymouth rose to number three in sales among all cars. In 1931 with the Model PA, the company introduced floating power and boasted, "The smoothness of an eight - the economy of a four."In 1933, Chrysler decided to catch up with Ford and Chevrolet in engine cylinder count. The 190 cu in version of Chrysler's flathead-six engine was equipped with a downdraft carburetor and installed in the new 1933 Plymouth PC, introduced on November 17, 1932. However, Chrysler had reduced the PC's wheelbase from 112 to 107 in, the car sold poorly. By April 1933, the Dodge division's Model DP chassis, with a 112-inch wheelbase, was put under the PC body with DP front fenders and radiator shell; the model designation was advanced to'PD'. The PC became the'Standard Six', it had been the'Plymouth Six' at introduction, was sold through to the end of 1933, but in much lower numbers.
In 1937, Plymouth added safety features such as flat dash boards with recessed controls and the back of the front seat padded for the rear seat occupantsThe PC was shipped overseas to Sweden and the UK, as well as Australia. In the UK, it was sold as a'Chrysler Kew',the town of Kew being the location of the Chrysler factory outside London; the flathead six which started with the 1933 Model PC stayed in the Plymouth until the 1959 models. In 1939, Plymouth produced 417,528 vehicles, of which 5,967 were two-door convertible coupes with rumble seats; the 1939 convertible coupe was prominently featured at Chrysler's exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair, advertised as the first mass-production convertible with a power folding top. It featured a 201 cu in, 82 hp version of the flathead six engine. For much of its life, Plymouth was one of the top-selling American automobile brands. Plymouth surpassed Ford in 1940 and 1941 as the second-most popular make of automobiles in the U. S. In 1957, Virgil Exner's new Forward Look design theme, advertised by Plymouth with the tagline "Suddenly, it's 1960", produced cars with advanced styling compared to Chevrolet or Ford.
The 1957 total production soared to 726,009, about 200,000 more than 1956, the largest output yet for Plymouth. However, the 1957–1958 Forward Look models suffered from poor materials, spotty build quality, inadequate corrosion protection. In 1954, Chrysler started its decade-long unsuccessful attempt to develop and market a viable car powered by a turbine engine when it installed an experimental turbine developed for road vehicles in a Plymouth. Although Plymouth sales suffered as a result of the quality control problems and excesses of the Exner-styled models in the early 1960s, people bought enough of the cars to keep the division profitable. Starting in 1961, the Valiant compact became a Plymouth. Under the impression that Chevrolet was about to "downsize" its 1962 models, Chrysler introduced a smaller standard Plymouth for 1962; as is known, Chevrolet's big cars were not downsized, catching Plymouth in a sales slump in a market where "bigger was better". The 1963 Fury and Savoy were larger, featuring a totall
John Richard Erdman was an American actor and occasional director. He appeared in more than 160 films and theater productions between 1944 and 2017 in supporting roles. Erdman was born John Richard Erdmann in Enid in northern Oklahoma, his mother was Allie J. Erdman, his parents divorced during his childhood. Erdman, his sibling, his mother moved to Colorado Springs when he was a teenager, he graduated from Palmer High School. During his youth, he worked as a paper boy for the Colorado Springs Evening Telegraph. A stage director named. Erdman started his career at Warner Bros.. Two of his first roles were in the films Mr. Skeffington, starring Bette Davis and Claude Rains and Janie, starring Joyce Reynolds. After a few smaller roles he achieved success as a character actor in supporting roles. In a career that spanned seven decades, his best-known roles are that of the barracks chief Hoffy in Stalag 17, the garrulous, tedious barfly McNulty in the Twilight Zone episode "A Kind of a Stopwatch", he appeared in The Men with Marlon Brando and the film noir Cry Danger with Dick Powell and Rhonda Fleming.
In Tora! Tora! Tora! he played Colonel Edward F. French, the officer who responded to the failure to transmit the warning to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, he directed. From 2009 to 2015, Erdman had a recurring role as the old student Leonard Rodriguez on Community, his last role was in 2017 in the sitcom Dr. Ken. Erdman married actress Leza Holland in 1948, he was married to his second wife, Sharon Randall, from 1953 until her death in 2016. They had one daughter, born in 1954 and died on February 18, 2010, of an accidental overdose of prescription medicine. Erica was the author of one full-length collection of poems. Erdman died on March 2019, aged 93, in an assisted-living facility in Los Angeles, California, he had been suffering "from age-related dementia" and had a fall. The Dick Van Dyke Show Teenage Tease Mooch Goes to Hollywood The Brothers O'Toole Richard Erdman on IMDb
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film studio based in Hollywood, a subsidiary of the American media conglomerate Viacom since 1994. Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world, the second oldest in the United States, the sole member of the "Big Five" film studios still located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood. In 1916, film producer Adolph Zukor put 22 actors and actresses under contract and honored each with a star on the logo. In 2014, Paramount Pictures became the first major Hollywood studio to distribute all of its films in digital form only; the company's headquarters and studios are located at 5555 Melrose Avenue, California, United States. Paramount Pictures is a member of the Motion Picture Association of America. Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world after the French studios Gaumont Film Company and Pathé, followed by the Nordisk Film company, Universal Studios, it is the last major film studio still headquartered in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.
Paramount Pictures dates its existence from the 1912 founding date of the Famous Players Film Company. Hungarian-born founder Adolph Zukor, an early investor in nickelodeons, saw that movies appealed to working-class immigrants. With partners Daniel Frohman and Charles Frohman he planned to offer feature-length films that would appeal to the middle class by featuring the leading theatrical players of the time. By mid-1913, Famous Players had completed five films, Zukor was on his way to success, its first film was Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth. That same year, another aspiring producer, Jesse L. Lasky, opened his Lasky Feature Play Company with money borrowed from his brother-in-law, Samuel Goldfish known as Samuel Goldwyn; the Lasky company hired as their first employee a stage director with no film experience, Cecil B. DeMille, who would find a suitable site in Hollywood, near Los Angeles, for his first feature film, The Squaw Man. Starting in 1914, both Lasky and Famous Players released their films through a start-up company, Paramount Pictures Corporation, organized early that year by a Utah theatre owner, W. W. Hodkinson, who had bought and merged several smaller firms.
Hodkinson and actor, producer Hobart Bosworth had started production of a series of Jack London movies. Paramount was the first successful nationwide distributor. Famous Players and Lasky were owned while Paramount was a corporation. In 1916, Zukor maneuvered a three-way merger of his Famous Players, the Lasky Company, Paramount. Zukor and Lasky bought Hodkinson out of Paramount, merged the three companies into one; the new company Lasky and Zukor founded, Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, grew with Lasky and his partners Goldwyn and DeMille running the production side, Hiram Abrams in charge of distribution, Zukor making great plans. With only the exhibitor-owned First National as a rival, Famous Players-Lasky and its "Paramount Pictures" soon dominated the business; because Zukor believed in stars, he signed and developed many of the leading early stars, including Mary Pickford, Marguerite Clark, Pauline Frederick, Douglas Fairbanks, Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino, Wallace Reid. With so many important players, Paramount was able to introduce "block booking", which meant that an exhibitor who wanted a particular star's films had to buy a year's worth of other Paramount productions.
It was this system that gave Paramount a leading position in the 1920s and 1930s, but which led the government to pursue it on antitrust grounds for more than twenty years. The driving force behind Paramount's rise was Zukor. Through the teens and twenties, he built the Publix Theatres Corporation, a chain of nearly 2,000 screens, ran two production studios, became an early investor in radio, taking a 50% interest in the new Columbia Broadcasting System in 1928. In 1926, Zukor hired independent producer B. P. Schulberg, an unerring eye for new talent, to run the new West Coast operations, they purchased the Robert Brunton Studios, a 26-acre facility at 5451 Marathon Street for US$1 million. In 1927, Famous Players-Lasky took the name Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation. Three years because of the importance of the Publix Theatres, it became Paramount Publix Corporation. In 1928, Paramount began releasing Inkwell Imps, animated cartoons produced by Max and Dave Fleischer's Fleischer Studios in New York City.
The Fleischers, veterans in the animation industry, were among the few animation producers capable of challenging the prominence of Walt Disney. The Paramount newsreel series Paramount News ran from 1927 to 1957. Paramount was one of the first Hollywood studios to release what were known at that time as "talkies", in 1929, released their first musical, Innocents of Paris. Richard A. Whiting and Leo Robin composed the score for the film. By acquiring the successful Balaban & Katz chain in 1926, Zukor gained the services of Barney Balaban, his brother A. J. Balaban, their partner Sam Katz (who would run the Paramount-Publix theatre chain in New York City from the thirty-five-stor