John Malcolm Stahl was an American film director and producer.
He was born Jacob Morris Strelitsky in Baku (Azerbaijan) to an eastern European Jewish family. When he was a child, his family left the Russian Empire and moved to the United States, settling in New York City. At a young age, Strelitsky began working in the city's growing motion picture industry and directed his first silent film short in 1914.
John M. Stahl graduated from Quincy (Illinois) High School, 1881.
He took the name John Malcolm Stahl and in the early 1920s, signed on with Louis B. Mayer Pictures in Hollywood. In 1924 he was part of the Mayer team that founded MGM Studios. In 1927, Stahl was one of the thirty-six founding members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. With the industry's transition to talkies and feature-length films, Stahl successfully made the adjustment. From 1927 through 1930 Stahl was an executive at the short-lived independent studio Tiffany Pictures, and renamed the company "Tiffany-Stahl Productions".
For Universal Pictures, he directed the 1934 film Imitation of Life, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. The following year, he directed Magnificent Obsession, starring Irene Dunne and Robert Taylor.
John Stahl continued to produce and direct major productions as well as filler shorts up to the time of his death. Some of his other notable directorial work was for The Keys of the Kingdom in 1944 and the 1945 film noir, Leave Her to Heaven starring Gene Tierney, who was nominated for Best Actress.
Stahl died in Hollywood in 1950 of a heart attack, aged 63. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
On February 8, 1960, for his contributions to the motion pictures industry, Stahl received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6546 Hollywood Boulevard.
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Member American Academy Political and Social Science, Illinois History Society, American Flag Association (life), S.A.R., S.R., Illinois Society War of 1812 (ex-president), Writers Guild (past master), Drama League America (life. Clubs: National Arts (New York). Mason (32°,Kiloton). Traveled abroad, 1888, 95, 99, to study agricultural and economics conditions.
Specially known as writer on economic-agricultural subjects and lecturer on authors he has known personally, and literature subjects.
Married Mary Chouteau Platt, June 25, 1900. Children: Mary Edith, Chouteau Platt.