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Subject: Film, TV exec James T. Aubrey was born 100 years ago today (died 1994)

Greenlit "Gilligan's Island ", " The Beverly Hillbillies", other classiic shows
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Date Posted: Friday, December 14, 04:28:38pm
In reply to: . 's message, "Writer- director Shyam Benegal is 84, writer Leonardo Boff is 80, writer Stewart Brand is 80, athlete Charlie Griffith is 80, actress Janette Scott is 80" on Friday, December 14, 04:25:43pm

James Thomas Aubrey Jr. (December 14, 1918 September 3, 1994) was an American television and film executive.

President of the CBS television network from 1959 to 1965, he put some of television's most enduring series on the air, including Gilligan's Island and The Beverly Hillbillies. Under Aubrey, CBS dominated American television the way General Motors and General Electric dominated their industries. The New York Times Magazine in 1964 called Aubrey "a master of programming whose divinations led to successes that are breathtaking".

Aubrey replaced CBS Television president Louis Cowan, who was slowly dismissed after the quiz show scandals.

Despite his successes in television, Aubrey's abrasive personality and oversized ego "Picture Machiavelli and Karl Rove at a University of Colorado football recruiting party" wrote Variety in 2004 led to his firing from CBS amid charges of improprieties.

"The circumstances rivaled the best of CBS adventure or mystery shows," declared The New York Times in its front-page story on his firing, which came on "the sunniest Sunday in February" 1965. He earned the nickname "Smiling Cobra" for his brutal decision-making ways. Aubrey governed CBS with a firm grip, and it did not go unnoticed. He was suddenly dismissed in February 1965. Aubrey offered no explanation following his dismissal, nor did CBS President Frank Stanton or Board Chairman William Paley.

After four years as an independent producer, Aubrey was hired by financier Kirk Kerkorian in 1969 to preside over Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's near-total shutdown, during which he slashed the budget and alienated producers and directors but brought profits to a company that had suffered huge losses. In 1973, Aubrey resigned from MGM, declaring his job was done, and then vanished into almost total obscurity for the last two decades of his life.

Hollywood executive Sherry Lansing, a close friend of Aubrey's for two decades, told the Los Angeles Times in 1986:

Jim is different. He does his own dirty work. Jim is one of those people who are willing to say, "I didn't like your movie." Directness is disarming to people who are used to sugar-coating. It's tough for people who need approval to see somebody who doesn't. Myths and legends begin to surround that kind of person.


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Yes, Aubrey was married to the lovely actress Phyllis Thaxter, known for film/Tv work like "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), "Twilight Zone's "Young Man's Fancy" (1961), and as 'Ma Kent' in 1978 blockbuster film "Superman"!They were married from 1944 to 1962, the unoin producing 2 children, including actress Skye Aubrey (who is 73 next week)!Friday, December 14, 07:03:47pm

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