HARRY SALTZMAN Biography - Bussiness people and enterpreneurs


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Harry Saltzman (October 27, 1915 - September 28, 1994) was a theatre and film             
producer best known for his mega-gamble that led to him co-produce the James               
Bond film series with Albert R. Broccoli. He lived most of his life in Denham,             
Saltzman was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada but ran away from home at                 
the age of 15, according to daughter Hilary Saltzman, as reported in the Ian               
Fleming Foundation documentary: "Harry Saltzman: Showman" and about the age of             
17 had hooked up with a circus. It's neither clear how long he traveled with the           
circus (daughter guesses several years), but it's definite that by 1939 he                 
served in the Canadian Army in France.                                                     
After a mysterious assignment (apparently Saltzman got some "up close and                 
personal" first hand experience with clandestine activities working in some               
capacity as an "intelligence field officer") during WW-II after the war Saltzman           
ended up in Paris, France. There he met the war refugee and eventually his                 
Romanian-born wife Jaquie while operating as a talent scout or procurer for               
European productions on stage, television and in film.                                     
Whatever the exact nature of his business, he accumulated a huge number of                 
entertainment business contacts and became "a contact" when someone had a talent           
or production problem. Despite such interpersonal successes, those were lean               
years for the Saltzman family and though he gradually began to produce stage               
plays with some success, the family was quite poor according to son Steven.               
Saltzman moved the family of four to Britain in the mid-fifties where he started           
Woodfall productions, again produced theater, and then entered the film business           
producing The Iron Petticoat (1956) which was a theatre adaptation to film.               
According to the narrative in the documentary: "The landmark film introduces a             
new genre, the kitchen sink movie'," and thereafter other critically acclaimed             
social dramas such as 1959's Look Back in Anger and 1960's Saturday Night and             
Sunday Morning, but began casting around for something which would be more                 
profitable than these modestly successful but high quality films.                         
"My father, I think, was an incredible visionary, and creative person."                   
"He always felt some of the best scripts were to be found in theatre, and that             
they were seen by only a few people, and that a way to let more people                     
experience the medium that he felt was under viewed and under appreciated was to           
go into films."                                                                           
"He always felt, the films he made during Woodfall were seminal, they gave him             
the direction [for the rest of his life] and they were films that brought him             
tremendous joy that he'd made them."                                                       
In early 1961, excited by reading the James Bond novel Goldfinger, he made a bid           
to land film rights to the character. Partnering with Albert R. Broccoli in 1962           
Saltzman co-founded Danjaq, LLC, a holding company responsible for the copyright           
and trademarks of James Bond on screen, the parent company of EON Productions,             
which they also set up as the film production company producing the Bond films.           
The moniker Danjaq is a combination of Broccoli's and Saltzman's wives' first             
names, Dana and Jaquie.                                                                   
In 1975 after financial difficulties due to Bond-unrelated ventures, Saltzman             
sold his 50% stake in Danjaq to United Artists Corporation. Concurrently, his             
beloved wife Jaquie was diagnosed with terminal cancer and according to                   
interviews given by his daughter Hilary and son Steven in the documentary "Harry           
Saltzman SHOWMAN" his health also declined and he became depressed, sold the               
English country mansion where he loved to hold production meetings in the                 
rooftop pool, and moved to Florida. As related by friend Roger Moore, Jaquie               
died while The Spy Who Loved Me was shooting, which places her passing in late             
1976 or early 1977. Saltzman all-but-retired from the movie business thereafter           
until he undertook to produce Nijinsky in 1980 and the 1988 British-Italian-Yugoslavian   
co-production Time of the Gypsies.