Presidents of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)

by cts-6 | created - 20 Jun 2015 | updated - 8 months ago | Public

The Academy was organized by 36 Hollywood dignitaries at a banquet on January 11, 1927.

1. Douglas Fairbanks

Actor | The Thief of Bagdad

Douglas Fairbanks was born Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman in Denver, Colorado, to Ella Adelaide (Marsh) and Hezekiah Charles Ullman, an attorney. His paternal grandparents were German Jewish immigrants, while his mother was from an Anglo family from the South. He was raised by his mother, who had ...

Served 1927-29

2. William C. de Mille

Director | The Splendid Crime

William Churchill de Mille, the older brother of Hollywood legend Cecil B. DeMille (W.C. retained the family spelling of his name) and father of Tony Award-winning choreographer Agnes de Mille, was born in Washington, North Carolina, on July 25, 1878. His father, Henry C. DeMille, was a playwright ...

Served 1929-31

3. M.C. Levee

Producer | Ruth of the Range

President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1931 to 1932

Served 1931-32

4. Conrad Nagel

Actor | The Ship from Shanghai

Conrad Nagel was born on March 16, 1897 in Keokuk, Iowa, USA as John Conrad Nagel. He was an actor, known for The Ship from Shanghai (1930), Quality Street (1927) and Kongo (1932). He was married to Michael Coulson Smith, Lynn Merrick and Ruth Helms. He died on February 24, 1970 in New York City, ...

Served 1932-33

5. Theodore Reed

Director | Those Were the Days!

Theodore Reed was born on June 18, 1887 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He was a director and producer, known for Those Were the Days! (1940), What a Life (1939) and The Nut (1921). He died on February 22, 1959 in San Diego, California, USA.

Served 1933-34

6. Frank Lloyd

Director | Mutiny on the Bounty

Frank Lloyd was an unpretentious, technically skilled director, who crafted several enduring Hollywood classics during the 1930's. He started out as a stage actor and singer in early 1900's London and was well-known as an imitator of Harry Lauder. After several years in music hall and with touring ...

Served 1934-35

Last founding member of the Academy to serve as its President

7. Frank Capra

Director | It's a Wonderful Life

One of seven children, Frank Capra was born on May 18, 1897, in Bisacquino, Sicily. On May 10, 1903, his family left for America aboard the ship Germania, arriving in New York on May 23rd. "There's no ventilation, and it stinks like hell. They're all miserable. It's the most degrading place you ...

Served 1935-39

Capra took command when the influence and popularity of the Academy was at its lowest ebb. By 1935, the Academy -- which had been created by a few producers, directors and stars as a way to derail the rising labor union movement that coincided with the end of the silent film era -- was seen by most of Hollywood as nothing more than a promotional tool for the famous and powerful at the detriment of everybody else in the film industry. Membership was quickly dwindling and the Board of Governors feared that the Academy would become defunct before its tenth year. Capra was selected, in part, because he had just become the first producer and director from what was then a "Poverty Row" studio (Columbia) to win Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director (for "It Happened One Night"). Among the reforms he instituted were a greater focus on the "arts and sciences" of the film industry, the severing of the meddling influence that the studios bosses had on the Academy, and the ending of any attempts by the Academy to act as a pseudo labor union. And to demonstrate the Academy's new-found openness to people outside the star system, he also introduced the Oscar categories for Supporting Actor and Actress.

8. Walter Wanger

Producer | Cleopatra

A graduate of Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, Walter Wanger was among the more literate and socially conscious American film producers of his time. At the peak of his career, his salary was exceeded only by that of Louis B. Mayer at MGM. Wanger had served in the air force on the Italian front ...

First presidency 1939-41

9. Bette Davis

Actress | All About Eve

Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Ruth Augusta (Favor) and Harlow Morrell Davis, a patent attorney. Her parents divorced when she was 10. She and her sister were raised by their mother. Her early interest was dance. To Bette, dancers led a glamorous life, but...

Served 1941

First woman president of the Academy

Resigned after two months -- the Board of Governors refused to consider any of her proposals because of her personality, which they thought was too brash and opinionated.

10. Walter Wanger

Producer | Cleopatra

A graduate of Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, Walter Wanger was among the more literate and socially conscious American film producers of his time. At the peak of his career, his salary was exceeded only by that of Louis B. Mayer at MGM. Wanger had served in the air force on the Italian front ...

Second presidency 1941-45

11. Jean Hersholt

Actor | Greed

If ever there was a Great Dane in Hollywood it was Jean Hersholt - and one of its great hearts as well. He was from a well-known Danish stage and entertainment family that had toured throughout Europe performing with young Jean as an essential cast member. He graduated from the Copenhagen Art ...

Served 1945-49

12. Charles Brackett

Writer | Sunset Blvd.

Charles Brackett, born in Saratoga Springs, New York, of Scottish ancestry, followed in his attorney-father's footsteps and graduated with a law degree from Harvard University in 1920. He practised law for several years, before commencing work as drama critic for The New Yorker (1925-29), in ...

Served 1949-55

13. George Seaton

Writer | Miracle on 34th Street

Working his way up from general factotum and gag writer to highly versatile writer/director, George Seaton was involved in many aspects of the entertainment industry along the way.

He was born George Stenius of Swedish parentage (his family hailed from Stockholm) in South Bend, IN, and grew up in ...

Served 1955-58

14. George Stevens

Director | Giant

George Stevens, a filmmaker known as a meticulous craftsman with a brilliant eye for composition and a sensitive touch with actors, is one of the great American filmmakers, ranking with John Ford, William Wyler and Howard Hawks as a creator of classic Hollywood cinema, bringing to the screen ...

Served 1958-59

15. B.B. Kahane

Producer | The Lady in Question

B.B. Kahane was born on November 30, 1891 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was a producer, known for The Lady in Question (1940), Her First Beau (1941) and Those High Grey Walls (1939). He died on September 18, 1960 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Served 1959-60 (his death)

16. Valentine Davies

Writer | Miracle on 34th Street

Valentine Davies was born on August 25, 1905 in New York City, New York, USA. He was a writer and producer, known for Miracle on 34th Street (1947), It Happens Every Spring (1949) and The Glenn Miller Story (1954). He died on July 23, 1961 in Malibu, California, USA.

Served 1960-61 (his death)

17. Wendell Corey

Actor | Rear Window

Wendell Corey was a hard-working American character actor who appeared in numerous movies and television productions in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Born on March 20, 1914 in Dracut, Massachusetts, in the northeastern part of the Commonwealth near the New Hampshire border, Corey was the son of a ...

Served 1961-63

18. Arthur Freed

Producer | An American in Paris

Producer, songwriter and author, brother to Ralph Freed, Walter and Ruth Freed. He was educated at the Phillips Exeter Academy, and became associated with Gus Edwards musical acts. He performed in vaudeville with Louis Silvers, with whom he wrote revues for New York restaurants. During World War I,...

Served 1963-67

19. Gregory Peck

Actor | To Kill a Mockingbird

Eldred Gregory Peck was born on April 5, 1916 in La Jolla, California, to Bernice Mary (Ayres) and Gregory Pearl Peck, a chemist and druggist in San Diego. He had Irish (from his paternal grandmother), English, and some German, ancestry. His parents divorced when he was five years old. An only ...

Served 1967-70

20. Daniel Taradash

Writer | From Here to Eternity

Daniel Taradash was born on January 29, 1913 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Daniel Irwin Taradash. He was a writer, known for From Here to Eternity (1953), Picnic (1956) and Morituri (1965). He was married to Madeleine Forbes. He died on February 22, 2003 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Served 1970-73

21. Walter Mirisch

Producer | In the Heat of the Night

Walter Mirisch and brothers Marvin Mirisch and Harold Mirisch were one of the most successful producing teams in Hollywood history. Their Mirisch Company produced such diverse hits as В джазе только деву...

Served 1973-77

22. Howard W. Koch

Producer | The Manchurian Candidate

Getting his start in the movie business in Universal's contract and playdate department in New York City, Howard W. Koch moved on to 20th Century-Fox as a film librarian and then entered production as second assistant director on The Keys of the Kingdom (1944). After many films as assistant ...

Served 1977-79

23. Fay Kanin

Writer | Teacher's Pet

This screenwriter and playwright began working in Hollywood in the early 1940s, usually in collaboration with her husband, Michael Kanin, and blossomed after his retirement as a writer and producer of some of the small screen's most distinguished TV-movies. Statuesque, articulate, with the air of a ...

Served 1979-83

24. Gene Allen

Art_director | My Fair Lady

Gene Allen was born on June 17, 1918 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Eugene Allen. He was an art director and production designer, known for Моя прекрасная леди (1964), A Star Is Born (1954) and ...

Served 1983-85

25. Robert Wise

Director | West Side Story

Robert Earl Wise was born on September 10, 1914 in Winchester, Indiana, the youngest of three sons of Olive R. (Longenecker) and Earl Waldo Wise, a meat packer. His parents were both of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent. At age nineteen, the avid moviegoer came into the film business through an ...

Served 1985-88

27. Karl Malden

Actor | On the Waterfront

Born to a Czech mother and a Serbian father in Chicago as Mladen Sekulovich, on March 22, 1912, Karl Malden did not speak English until he was in kindergarten. After graduating from high school in the nearby steel town of Gary, Indiana, Malden worked in the industry for three years until 1934, when...

Served 1989-92

28. Robert Rehme

Producer | Beverly Hills Cop III

Robert Rehme, a film producer and executive in the entertainment industry, has had over 35 years experience in exhibition, distribution and production.

Working as a theater usher at the age of 16 in his hometown of Cincinnati and received his Bachelors Degree from University of Ohio, Cincinnati. His...

First presidency 1992-93

29. Arthur Hiller

Director | Love Story

Arthur Hiller was born on November 22, 1923 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He was a director and producer, known for История любви (1970), The Hospital (1971) and See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989). He was married to Gwen Hiller. ...

Served 1993-97

30. Robert Rehme

Producer | Beverly Hills Cop III

Robert Rehme, a film producer and executive in the entertainment industry, has had over 35 years experience in exhibition, distribution and production.

Working as a theater usher at the age of 16 in his hometown of Cincinnati and received his Bachelors Degree from University of Ohio, Cincinnati. His...

Second presidency 1997-2001

31. Frank Pierson

Writer | Dog Day Afternoon

Frank Pierson was born on May 12, 1925 in Chappaqua, New York, USA as Frank Romer Pierson. He was a producer and writer, known for Собачий полдень (1975), Presumed Innocent (1990) and Хлад&...

Served 2001-05

32. Sidney Ganis

Producer | Akeelah and the Bee

Sidney Ganis was born on January 8, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA.

Served 2005-09

33. Tom Sherak

Producer | The One

Tom Sherak was born on June 22, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Thomas Mitchell Sherak. He was married to Madeleine. He died on January 28, 2014 in Calabasas, California, USA.

Served 2009-12

34. Hawk Koch

Producer | Hostage

Hawk Koch was born on December 14, 1945 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Howard Winchel Koch Jr. He is a producer and assistant director, known for Заложник (2005), Виpтуозность (1995)...

Served 2012-13

35. Cheryl Boone Isaacs

Alien Trespass

Cheryl Boone Isaacs was born in 1949 in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. She is known for her work on Инопланетное вторжение (2009), Тупак: B&...

Served 2013-17

First African-American president of the Academy

36. John Bailey

Cinematographer | In the Line of Fire

John Bailey was born on August 10, 1942 in Moberly, Missouri, USA as John Ira Bailey. He is known for his work on На линии огня (1993), The Search for Signs of Inteligent Life in the Universe (1991) and Silverado (1985). He has been ...

Served 2017-present



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