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Why is this site named Tyrone Power, King of 20th Century Fox? Is "King of 20th Century-Fox" a title pulled out of thin air by the webmaster?

Not so. To understand, let's take a look back at the Golden Era of Hollywood.

In the golden era of film making, from the mid-thirties to the mid-fifties, there were five big theater-owning studios. Those five were Lowe's Inc, which was parent company of MGM; Paramount Pictures Inc.; Twentieth Century-Fox; RKO-Radio Pictures; and Warner Brothers. Additionally, there were smaller companies, such as Columbia and Universal.

The studios put actors under contract to work exclusively for them. They paid the actor a weekly salary and assigned the actor his movie roles. Actors were obligated to act in the movies assigned by their own studio and were not allowed to go to other studios to seek more attractive film offers. ¹Sometimes, however, studios would "loan" an actor out to another studio.

Tyrone Power was with 20th Century Fox almost from the beginning of the studio. In May 1935, 20th Century-Fox was formed when two companies, the two-year-old Twentieth Century Pictures and the financially sinking Fox Film merged. Darryl F. Zanuck, co-founder of Twentieth Century Pictures (along with Joseph Schenck) became head of production at the newly-formed company. Zanuck was faced with securing actors for the studio. Just three months after the merger, 20th Century-Fox's biggest star, Will Rogers, died in an airplane crash. Fox did have other stars, but not a huge star, except for child-actress Shirley Temple . They were badly in need of a leading man who would be to them what Clark Gable was to MGM. At the end of 1936, Zanuck found a young man who would ascend the heights of stardom at a dizzying speed. Tyrone Power, then twenty-two, made his first film as a star that year. He stayed with them for years, finishing up his contract obligations in 1955.

Tyrone was commonly called "King of 20th Century-Fox". He was their number one male lead for years, helping fill the studio coffers with the many boxoffice-successful movies that he made. Production chief Darryl F. Zanuck took special care to guide his career; to put him in the best movies; to give him the best supporting cast and an A-list crew. Ty served up hit after hit, building up the studio profits. Not only was Ty given the choice roles, but he was also given special privileges not accorded the other actors. Fellow 20th Century-Fox actor Victor Mature once commented to the effect that there were other actors who roamed the Fox lot, such as Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda, Don Ameche but "Tyrone Power was king".

¹Note: This page's title picture is from a scene from MGM's Marie Antoinette, released in 1938. This was the only movie during his long career with 20th Century-Fox for which Darryl F. Zanuck loaned out Tyrone Power. Zanuck was so unhappy with the way MGM featured Tyrone in the movie that he refused to allow him to be loaned out again, despite the various requests from other studios. Zanuck vowed that he would never again let his star be shown to such disadvantage.... and he never did. Only in 1953, when Ty asked for permission to seek out his own movie roles while he finished out his movie obligations to Fox did he begin making movies for other studios.
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