Vincent Sherman (Abraham Orovitz)

Vincent Sherman

Vincent Sherman was born Abraham Orovitz, to Jewish parents. He was born and grew up in the small town of Vienna, Georgia, where his father was a dry-goods salesman. Not long after graduating from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, he became a professional actor. Vincent Sherman arrived in New York to sell a play and soon became a stage director and actor. As a stage actor he made his debut in May 1936 in Bitter Stream which also had Frances Bavier, later of Andy Griffith Show fame. He arrived in Hollywood during the early talkie years, where he appeared in William Wyler’s 1933 film Counsellor at Law starring John Barrymore. In 1938, Sherman signed on at Warner Bros. as a director. His first film as a director was the 1939 horror film The Return of Doctor X, which starred Humphrey Bogart. The 2006 release of The Return of Doctor X included a director’s commentary that Sherman had recorded that year at the age of ninety-nine. Sherman quickly built a reputation as a rewrite artist – his ability to take any script he was given and turn it into an absolute blockbuster. It was these skills that led him to much bigger and star-studded pictures. Sherman was initially known as a “woman’s director” during the mid ’40’s, but he eventually became a well-rounded filmmaker as his career went on. After a very successful Hollywood film career, Sherman ended his career in television. However, in 2004, he was the oldest of 21 individuals interviewed in the documentary film “Imaginary Witness,” a work that chronicled sixty years of film-making that dealt in some way with the Holocaust. Sherman was married to Hedda Comorau from 1931–1984. He had two children with Comorau: a son, Eric Sherman, and a daughter, Hedwin Naimark. He had a number of high-profile affairs during his life, including a three-year relationship with Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. In his memoir Studio Affairs: My Life as a Film Director, he went into detail about his relationship with Crawford, as well as his relationship with Rita Hayworth. During the last nine years of his life, he was in a romantic relationship with Francine York. Sherman was a good friend of Errol Flynn. Sherman died less than a month shy of his 100th birthday, on June 18, 2006, at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.

Born

  • July, 16, 1906
  • USA
  • Vienna, Georgia

Died

  • June, 18, 2006
  • USA
  • Los Angeles, California

Cause of Death

  • natural causes

Other

  • Body donated to medical science

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