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Sam Wood

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Cause of death  Heart attack
Height  1.83 m
Role  Film director

Name  Sam Wood
Years active  1917–1949
Sam Wood Sam Wood

Full Name
  Samuel Grosvenor Wood
Born  July 10, 1884 (1884-07-10) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation  Film director, writer, producer, actor, real estate broker
Died  September 22, 1949, Hollywood, California, United States
Spouse  Clara L. Roush (m. 1908–1949)
Movies  Gone with the Wind, A Night at the Opera, For Whom the Bell Tolls, A Day at the Races, Goodbye - Mr Chips
Similar People  Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Gary Cooper, Thomas Mitchell, Chico Marx

Children  K. T. Stevens, Jeane Wood


Samuel Grosvenor Wood (July 10, 1883 – September 22, 1949) was an American film director and producer, who was best known for directing such Hollywood hits as A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and The Pride of the Yankees. He was also involved in a few acting and writing projects.


Life and career

Sam Wood Sam Wood

Wood was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began his career as an actor, and worked for Cecil B. De Mille as an assistant in 1915. A solo director by 1919, Wood worked throughout the 1920s directing some of Paramount Pictures's biggest stars, among them Gloria Swanson and Wallace Reid.

Sam Wood Sam Wood

He joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1927, where he spent most of his career. While filming the Marx Brothers' A Day at the Races, Wood became exasperated by the brothers' lack of seriousness on the set and shouted, "You can't make an actor out of clay!" Groucho Marx immediately replied, "Nor a director out of Wood!"

Sam Wood Sam Wood

Wood directed Ginger Rogers through her Oscar-winning performance in Kitty Foyle (1940). He himself was nominated for Best Director, one of his three career nominations in the category.

Wood continued to have a large number of box office hits in his career, right up to and including his last film, the gritty Western Ambush (1950), although he died before the film was released.

Political beliefs

Wood became increasingly and aggressively conservative. In 1943, he tamped down much of the anti-fascist content of For Whom the Bell Tolls, saying "It would be the same love story if they were on the other side." In 1944, he founded and served as president of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. The organization quietly lobbied the House Un-American Activities Committee to examine Communist elements in the movie industry, which they did in 1947. Wood had been keeping a black notebook in which he wrote down the names of those he considered subversive. His daughter Jeane Wood said that his crusade "transformed Dad into a snarling, unreasoning brute." Shortly following a 1949 meeting of his Motion Picture Alliance in which he had raged against a liberal screenwriter who was suing the group for slandering him, Wood suffered a fatal heart attack. He had added a condition to his will: no one, including his children, could collect their inheritance until they filed a legal affidavit affirming that they had never been Communists.


Wood was married to Clara L. Roush from 1908 to his death in 1949. One of Wood's daughters, Gloria, was film and television actress K.T. Stevens. Another daughter was also an actress, Jeane Wood.


Wood died from a heart attack, in Hollywood, at the age of 65. His grave is located in Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Wood received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6714 Hollywood Boulevard on February 8, 1960.


Wood is played by John Getz in Jay Roach's Trumbo.

Earlier films

With Academy Award nominations and wins in the table


Sam Wood Wikipedia