Sam Zimbalist entered the film industry in 1920, as a 16-year-old film cutter at the old Metro Studios. Zimbalist remained at Metro when it merged with the Goldwyn Company in 1924 and metamorphosed into MGM. In 1929, he was promoted to assistant producer under the aegis of MGM executive Hunt Stromberg. He became a full producer in 1936, beginning with modestly budgeted programmers and graduating to such super-productions as King Solomon's Mines (1950) and Quo Vadis (1951). Sam Zimbalist was deep into the production of MGM's biggest-ever effort, the 1959 remake of Ben-Hur, when he died suddenly at the age of 54.