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Max Gordon (producer)

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Max Gordon (producer)

Max Gordon
Max Gordon)
Born Mechel Salpeter
(1892-06-28)June 28, 1892
New York City
Died November 2, 1978(1978-11-02) (aged 86)
New York City
  • Producer
Spouse(s) Mildred Bartlett (aka Raye Dean)
Max Gordon

(June 28, 1892 - November 2, 1978) was an American theatre and film producer. His credits included My Sister Eileen, which he produced both on stage and on film.


  • Biography 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Cliff Gordon
Lewis and Gordon split

Born Mechel Salpeter, Gordon was the youngest son of immigrants from Poland. His older brother, Cliff, used the stage name of "Gordon," and Max then used it also. Cliff, an entertainer in vaudeville, died at age 32 (in 1913).

Then in his early 20s, Gordon within months formed a vaudeville agency with Albert Lewis, his late brother's former vaudeville and burlesque partner.[1] They specialized in providing sketches for shows, and their material, and performers (e.g. Phil Baker and Lou Holtz),[1] played the Keith and Orpheum circuits. It was on May 24, 1921, the tail end of this period- months before the team produced their first play- that Gordon wed Mildred Bartlett, of Amsterdam, New York. Bartlett gave up her acting career- she performed in films under the name Raye Dean- a few months before the wedding at the request of her fiance.[1]
Gordon soon became one of New York's most successful producers, from the Roaring Twenties and [1] It was in these years that Gordon gradually became playwright Kaufman's producer of choice - 10 shows in 25 years- starting in 1931 with the Astaires' final musical, The Bandwagon.[6] Gordon had even greater luck with the married playwrights Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin. For Kanin's Born Yesterday - it ran 1,642 performances- producer Gordon even had a hand in discovering its star, Judy Holliday ("The minute she walked in, I knew she was it.").[6]

His reputation during this era was immortalized in Cole Porter's song "Anything Goes" from the musical of the same name:

When Rockefeller still can hoard enough
money to let Max Gordon
produce his shows--
Anything goes!

See also

  • Beloff, Ruth. Gordon, Max. Encyclopaedia Judaica. Eds. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Vol. 7. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 772-773. 22 vols.


  1. ^ a b c d Margaret Case Harriman (1944). Take Them Up Tenderly,: A Collection of Profiles. Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 31–43. 
  2. ^ Gordon, Max [né Mechel Salpeter]. (1892-1978). Oxford Companion to American Theatre, 2004, p272.
  3. ^ Listing, Accessed 01 Dec 2007.
  4. ^ Groucho Marx (1959). Groucho and Me. Bernard Geis.  
  5. ^ Cullen, Frank, Hackman, Florence, and McNeilly, Donald. Vaudeville, old & new (2007), Routledge, ISBN 0-415-93853-8, p. 448
  6. ^ a b Max Gordon (1963). Max Gordon Presents. Bernard Geis. p. 133. 

External links

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