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December 8

December 8, 1916 – Director and Disney Legend Richard O. Fleischer is Born

Image credit: wikipedia

Image credit: wikipedia

“I called my father in New York that night and told him the story. He said, ‘Of course you must take that job without any question. Just do one thing. Give a message to Walt from me, tell him that he’s got great taste in directors.’”

On December 8, 1916, Richard O. Fleischer was born in Brooklyn, New York. Son of famous animator and producer Max Fleischer (Betty Boop, Popeye), Richard grew up around the entertainment field and attended the Yale School of Drama before joining the New York RKO-Pathe News, where he wrote newsreel commentaries and directed wartime documentaries. Soon after, he moved to Hollywood, where he directed several film noirs, including Bodyguard and The Clay Pigeon. In 1952, after he directed The Happy Time, starring Bobby Driscoll, he got a call from the Walt Disney Studios, asking him to direct the new live-action film, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The film was a great success for the studio, as well as for Fleischer. After its release, he went on to direct such classics as Doctor Dolittle and Tora! Tora! Tora! He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2003, and passed away of natural causes in 2006.


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