Barbara McLean

Active - 1929 - 1956  |   Born - Jan 1, 1909   |   Died - Mar 28, 1996   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Adventure

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Biography by AllMovie

In a traditionally male-dominated industry, film editor and producer Barbara McLean proved that forthright women could rise to the top behind the scenes in Hollywood. A native of Palisades Park, NJ, McLean dreamed of becoming an actress and so headed west. Her father owned a film laboratory and McClean had spent her summers working there for him. When acting jobs failed to manifest, McLean started working for Sol Wurtzle and in 1929 edited the Mary Pickford vehicle Coquette. McClean next became Daryl Zanuk's personal assistant before he founded 20th Century Fox. She first served as the editor of feature film Gallant Lady (1933). McLean subsequently edited films for the next 15 years and during that period, was only one of eight other female editors. At her peak McLean earned an unprecedented 25,000 dollars annually. It's been estimated that she viewed and cut well over three million feet of film. As an editor, McLean was given free rein to trim whatever she saw fit. She proved herself worthy of the freedom and earned eight Oscar nominations. McLean won her only Oscar in 1945 for Wilson (1944). McLean was well-known for forthrightly giving her opinion and as she was typically the only woman in the production house, her colleagues listened. Over the years, McLean was consulted on everything from screen test results to costuming. With her husband, director Robert D. Webb, McLean produced Seven Cities of Gold (1955). In 1960, McLean became the head of the Fox Feature Editorial division.

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