Vincent Sherman

Active - 1933 - 2003  |   Born - Jul 16, 1906   |   Died - Jun 18, 2006   |   Genres - Drama, Crime

Share on

Biography by Hal Erickson

Born Abram Orovitz, the Vienna, GA native Vincent Sherman became a professional actor not long after he graduated from Oglethorpe University. Like many other Broadway regulars, Sherman arrived in Hollywood in the early talkie years, where he appeared in such films as Counsellor-at-Law (1933). In 1938, Sherman signed on at Warner Bros. as a director; he received his first directorial credit for the 1939 Return of Dr. X, starring Humphrey Bogart.

Sherman began at the studio's B-unit, and quickly built a reputation for his ability to take any script, no matter how weak or mediocre, and turn it into a five-star blockbuster; this inveterate talent yielded increasingly bankable projects over time, and by 1942 Sherman was helming such A-list pictures as Humphrey Bogart's All Through the Night (1942), Bette Davis' Old Acquaintance (1943) and Mr. Skeffington (1944), and Joan Crawford's Goodbye My Fancy (1950). In the mid-'50s, the inane HUAC damaged Sherman's career (thanks to his WPA involvement, some two decades prior), which forced him onto McCarthy's "Gray List"; this restrained the progress of his career by six or seven years, but Sherman rebounded, with such pictures as The Garment Jungle (1957), The Naked Earth (1958), Ice Palace (1960), Fever in the Blood (1961), and the 1966 Cervantes, which became his final theatrical film. Sherman spent the next three decades in television, directing such made-for-TV movies as The Last Hurrah (1978) and Women at West Point (1979), and helming episodes of such series as The Waltons, Baretta, and Trapper John, M.D.

Despite a long marriage to Hedda Comorau, Sherman engaged in a number of high-profile Tinseltown affairs (which his wife, according to his personal website, accepted unblinkingly, as "part and parcel" of the Hollywood lifestyle); these included a three-year entanglement with the irascible Joan Crawford. A good friend of actor Errol Flynn, the patient Sherman helped see the ever-inebriated Flynn through the arduous production schedule of The Adventures of Don Juan (1949).

In his later years, Sherman published the autobiographical career overview Studio Affairs. He made his final bigscreen appearance in the 1995 retrospective documentary Forever Hollywood. Sherman died eleven years later, at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital in Woodland Hills, CA on June 18, 2006, one month shy of his 100th birthday.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography