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Vincent Sherman

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Vincent Sherman
On set of The Hasty Heart (1949), L-R: Patricia Neal, Vincent Sherman and Wilkie Cooper (cinematographer)
Abraham Orovitz

(1906-07-16)July 16, 1906
DiedJune 18, 2006(2006-06-18) (aged 99)
Years active1933 - 1983
Spouse(s)Hedda Comorau (1931-1984; her death)

Vincent Sherman (born Abraham Orovitz, July 16, 1906 – June 18, 2006) was an American director and actor who worked in Hollywood. His movies include Mr. Skeffington (1944), Nora Prentiss (1947), and The Young Philadelphians (1959).

He began his career as an actor on Broadway and later in film. He directed B-movies for Warner Bros. and then moved to directing to A-pictures. He was a good friend of actor Errol Flynn, whom he directed in Adventures of Don Juan (1949). He directed three Joan Crawford movies: The Damned Don't Cry (1950), Harriet Craig (1950), and Goodbye, My Fancy (1951).

Early life

Sherman was born Abraham Orovitz to Jewish parents.[1] He was born and raised in the small town of Vienna, Georgia, where his father was a dry-goods salesman.[2] Not long after graduating from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, he became a professional actor.[3]


Sherman arrived in New York City 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 included Frances Bavier, later known for her role on The Andy Griffith Show.[4] He arrived in Hollywood during the early sound era, 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 99.

Sherman quickly built a reputation for his ability to rewrite any script he was given and turn it into the basis for a successful film. It was these skills that led him to much bigger and star-studded pictures.[3][5] Sherman was initially known as a "woman's director" during the mid 1940s, but his range expanded as his career developed.[2]

After his film career wound up, Sherman ended his career in television. In 2004, he was the oldest of 21 individuals interviewed in the documentary film Imaginary Witness, a work that chronicled 60 years of film-making about the Holocaust.[6]

Personal life

Sherman was married to Hedda Comorau from 1931 until her death in 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 on-set affairs with Bette Davis and a three-year relationship with Joan Crawford. In his memoir Studio Affairs: My Life as a Film Director, he described his relationships with Crawford and Rita Hayworth. During the last nine years of his life, he was in a romantic relationship with Francine York.[citation needed]


Sherman died on June 18, 2006, 28 days before his 100th birthday, at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.[3]


Director (feature film)

Year Title Notes
1939 The Return of Doctor X
1940 Saturday's Children
The Man Who Talked Too Much
1941 Flight from Destiny
1942 All Through the Night
Across the Pacific
1943 The Hard Way
Old Acquaintance
The Present with a Future Short film
1944 In Our Time
Mr. Skeffington
1945 Pillow to Post
1946 Janie Gets Married
1947 Nora Prentiss
The Unfaithful
1948 Adventures of Don Juan Alternative title: The New Adventures of Don Juan
1949 The Hasty Heart
1950 Backfire
The Damned Don't Cry
Harriet Craig
1951 Goodbye, My Fancy
1952 Lone Star
Affair in Trinidad
1957 The Garment Jungle
1958 The Naked Earth
1959 The Young Philadelphians
1960 Ice Palace
1961 A Fever in the Blood
The Second Time Around
1967 Cervantes Alternative title: Young Rebel


Year Title Role Notes
1933 Counsellor at Law Harry Becker
1934 Speed Wings Mickey
The Crime of Helen Stanley Karl Williams
One Is Guilty William Malcolm
Hell Bent for Love Johnny Frank
Midnight Alibi Black Mike
Girl in Danger Willie Tolini


  1. ^ Sherman, Eric. "Vision of Vincent". Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Rode, Alan. "In Memoriam: Vincent Sherman". Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "Vincent Sherman". Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  4. ^ Internet Broadway Database,( Vincent Sherman
  5. ^ "Biography". Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  6. ^ Presskit from, accessed January 16, 2011.
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