Sol C. Siegel
Siegel in 1958
Born(1903-03-30)March 30, 1903
Kalvarija, Lithuania
DiedDecember 29, 1982(1982-12-29) (aged 79)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeHillside Memorial Park Cemetery
EducationColumbia University Graduate School of Journalism
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1934–1968
Ruth E. Shor
(m. 1932; died 1962)
Helen J. Waite
(m. 1972)

Sol C. Siegel (March 30, 1903 – December 29, 1982) was an American film producer. Two of the numerous films he produced, A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Early life and career

Sol C. Siegel was born on March 30, 1903, in Kalvarija, Lithuania. In the early 1930s, Siegel was sales manager of the Brunswick-Columbia record label.[1] In 1934, he began his Hollywood career by assisting his brother, Moe Siegel, with the merger of six small production studios into Republic Pictures. He stayed on at Republic as an executive producer, working with Gene Autry and John Wayne.

Sol C.Siegel was born March 30 or 31st (local records lost during WWII) in Kalvarija, Poland, now Lithuania.

During a contract dispute between Republic Studios and Gene Autry Mr. Siegel brought in a member of a singing group called "The Sons of the Pioneers", whose name was Leonard Slye, and changed his screen name to Roy Rogers.[2]


In October 1940, Siegel left his position as head of Republic Studios to be a producer at Paramount Pictures.[3]

In 1946, he moved to 20th Century Fox.[4] Two of the films he produced there, A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. He also produced The Iron Curtain (1948) and later the Marilyn Monroe musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as well as the star-studded High Society for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer starring Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, and Louis Armstrong.


In 1956, Siegel joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[5] Towards the end of the year, Dore Schary was fired as head of production and Siegel was rumoured to be given his job.[6] However Ben Thau got the job and Siegel remained a producer, making Les Girls, Man on Fire, Merry Andrew, and Some Came Running.

Siegel was appointed head of studio operations at MGM for three years in April 1958.[7] The following month he was appointed vice president in charge of production.[8] By this stage, the studio had already greenlit a number of movies that would go on to be major successes, including Ben-Hur and North by Northwest.[9]

During Siegel's time, MGM produced the major Cinerama epic How the West Was Won.[4][10] He was also the subject of an extortion attempt.[11]

The success of Ben-Hur encouraged Siegel to authorise a series of remakes at MGM such as Cimarron, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Mutiny on the Bounty. All these films lost money for the studio.[12] This — along with a number of other box office failures — led to him being replaced as head of production in January 1962 by Robert M. Weitman.[13]

Siegel then began working as an independent producer.[5] He ran his own production company from 1964 to 1967.

Siegel died of a heart attack in Los Angeles on December 29, 1982, aged 79.[4]

Personal life

He was married to Ruth (Shor) Siegel until her death in 1962; together they had three sons, Andrew, Norman, and Richard.[4]

Selected filmography

Unmade films


  1. ^ "Sales Mgrs.: There's Hope". Billboard. May 5, 1958. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  2. ^ Sol C. Siegel, as told to Andrew Siegel, Mr. Siegel's youngest son
  3. ^ SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD. New York Times 9 Oct 1940: 30.
  4. ^ a b c d "SOL C. SIEGEL DEAD; HEADED PRODUCTION OF FILMS AT M-G-M". The New York Times. December 31, 1982.
  5. ^ a b Sandra Brennan (2014). "Sol C Siegel". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  6. ^ O'Neill Drama Terrific in Impact, Real Triumph for March and Eldridge Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 16 Nov 1956: B7.
  7. ^ "Sol C. Siegel Chosen to Head MGM Studio" Los Angeles Times 23 Apr 1958: 5.
  8. ^ "Siegel Made Loew's V-P" Los Angeles Times 22 May 1958: C9.
  9. ^ "MGM to Make Huge Schedule of New Films" Los Angeles Times; Jan 22, 1958; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times (1881-1990) pg. B20
  10. ^ "MGM, With 44 Films, Maps Plans Into 1960" Los Angeles Times 08 July 1959: C10.
  11. ^ "CHIEF AT MGM TARGET OF $100,000 EXTORTION: Suspect Seized by FBI" Los Angeles Times 16 Jan 1959: 1.
  12. ^ "Studio Mutiny Over 'Bounty' Film Quelled" Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times 01 Mar 1961: B7.
  13. ^ MGM Undergoes Change of Guard: Weitmain Replaces Sol Siegel; Sullivan, Crawford to Spain Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times 06 Jan 1962: A6.
  14. ^ Martin Will Star in 'Subterraneans': Freed Plans Modern Jazz Tale; Martha Hyer Sought for 'Dolls' Scott, John L. Los Angeles Times 08 Dec 1958: C15.
  15. ^ 'Defiant Ones' Is Festival Favorite: Kramer and Stars in Berlin; Webb Readies Newspaper Tale Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 02 July 1958: B7.
  16. ^ 'Atlantis' Will Be Conceived by Pal: Moulin Rouge to Go Legit; Two McIntires Sipt at U-I Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 04 May 1960: B10.
  17. ^ Dick Clark to Star in Theater Movies: 'Spinster' Grabbed by MGM; India Sends Unique Feature Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 25 Mar 1959: C11.
  18. ^ Shaggy Dog' Cast Will Kid Monsters: Jean Hagen Completes Roster; New Film Faster, Less Distorted Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 30 July 1958: A9.
  19. ^ Conquest of Mars Told by Bradbury: MGM Will Picturize Novel; Walters Explains 'Jumbo' Yen Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 15 Feb 1960: C9.
  20. ^ MGM Reactivates True Olympic Tale: It's 'Seven From America'; Single Projector Hits 360 Deg. Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 18 Mar 1960: A9.
  21. ^ Kazan 'Alligators' Acquired by MGM: Barry Jr. Assigns 'Widower;' Presley as Siegel's Mr. Adam? Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 09 Dec 1960: C11.
  22. ^ New Impetus Lent Activity at MGM: Siegel Cites Impressive List of Stories, Stars, New Faces Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 09 Apr 1959: B9.
  23. ^ FILM LAND EVENTS: Lyons Assigned to 'County Fair' Los Angeles Times 25 June 1959: B9.
  24. ^ 'Only in America' Secured by MGM: Newman Plans Chekhov Novelty; Fox Wilshire Takes 'Sheba' Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 22 Oct 1959: B11.
  25. ^ MGM Has 30 Films Ready or in Production: Successful Year Seen With 'Charlemagne,' Cinerama in Story Form, Heading Offerings Los Angeles Times 16 Feb 1960: 16.
  26. ^ Five Pictures Put on Bresler's S1ate: 'Lonely Londoners' to Parrish; Production in Spurt at MGM Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 07 July 1960: C9.
  27. ^ MGM Buys Rights To Steinbeck Novel The Washington Post and Times-Herald 19 Dec 1960: B8.
  28. ^ MGM Record Picture Schedule Set for 1961 Los Angeles Times 09 Jan 1961: A9.
  29. ^ Shirer Best Seller on Nazis Bought: MGM Secures 'Third Reich'; Of Puppets and Improvising Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 09 Jan 1961: C13.