Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea--
Irwin Allen's Bio
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Irwin Allen's Bio as prepared and written by the powers-that-be within 20th Century Fox.  This bio is taken from Voyage's syndication package issued in 1968 upon the original entry of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea into the syndication marketplace.  There was no cable TV at the time.  Voyage was "stripped" Monday through Friday in most markets in early access time--five or six o'clock.  As a public service, I have minimally edited Fox's original release.
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     In his return to television, Irwin Allen, the man who created the first celebrity panel show and the mystery guest for TV, has chosen the most ambitious series ever undertaken, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.

     VOYAGE, starring Richard Basehart, David Hedison and Bob Dowdell, is based on creator-writer-director-producer Allen's successful 1961 box-office hit of the same name.

     In its transition to television, Allen was determined that the video version be fashioned with the meticulous care of a motion picture.   The result is a series of tremendous proportion.  This, however, is Irwin Allen's style and forte.

     In an era when many of the motion picture industry's critics have accused Hollywood of "mass production" techniques, Irwin Allen has consistently produced highly exploitable and successful pictures in the best tradition of men like Cecil B. DeMille, Walt Disney and George Stevens.

     Allen's career reads like one of the Horatio Alger stories.  He was born in New York, June 12, 1916, attended public schools and later Columbia University where he majored in journalism and advertising. He came to Hollywood in 1938 as editor of "KEY" magazine. Less than a year after his arrival, he was invited by radio station KLAC to produce a one-hour show. He wrote, produced, directed and narrated a program that shortly enjoyed 22 sponsors and ran continuously for 11 years.

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     The success of the radio show prompted the Atlas Feature Syndicate to offer him a Hollywood news column. Allen took on the role and his "Hollywood Merry-Go-Round" soon appeared daily in 73 newspapers around the world.

     With the advent of television, Allen created the first celebrity panel show produced in the United States. Through the show's four-year history, over 1,000 film stars and Hollywood celebrities made their TV debuts on his "Hollywood Merry-Go-Round."

     But Allen, whose reserve of energy, like his interests, is boundless, continued to add to his fields of operations. In 1944, while juggling his radio show and newspaper column, he opened a literary agency representing writers and literary material for the radio and film industries. He obtained the motion picture rights to Rex Beach's "The World in His Arms" which he sold to Universal-International. He was subsequently granted the franchise to represent all of the Rex Beach material. He also represented such important literary figures as Fanny Hurst, P.L. Wodehouse, Ben Hecht and Lois Joseph Vance as well as the Duel, Sloan and Pearce, Harcourt-Brace and Putnam publishing houses.

     Allen eventually became one of Hollywood's outstanding "packagers" of motion picture deals. Inevitably, he was drawn into production himself. His first production partnership was with RKO for the Groucho Marx-Jane Russell-Frank Sinatra feature "Double Dynamite." He followed "Dynamite" with "Where Danger Lives" with Robert Mitchum and Claude Rains and "A Girl in Every Port" starring Groucho Mark, William Bendix and Marie Wilson.

     While still at RKO, Allen launched a project recognized throughout the industry as a superb artistic achievment--his production of Rachel Carson's "The Sea Around Us." Allen wrote the screenplay and produced the magnificently successful film for which he won an Academy Award.

     By this time, Allen had dropped all his other projects, and was concentrating full-time on film production.  He formed Windsor Productions through which he produced and direct "The Animal World" and "The Story of Mankind" for Warner Brothers.

     In 1959, Allen wrote and produced his gigantic story of the big top, "The Big Circus" with Victor Mature, Rhonda Fleming, Kathryn Grant, Peter Lorre, Red Buttons and David Nelson. On of the biggest moneymakers of the year, the film was shot at MGM and released by Allied Artists.

     In 1960, Allen moved to 20th Century-Fox where his first film, "The Lost World" with Michael Rennie, David Hedison, Jill St. John, Fernando Lamas, Claude Rains and Ray Stricklyn, was one of the studio's biggest box-office hits of the year.

     Allen's key to success is basically his modernized version of the "one-man show." He surrounds himself with the most able and experienced technicians and artists in the motion picture industry to work under his guidance and supervision. Allen's incredible capacity for work, his almost frighteningly accurate memory and his scrupulous attention to detail in every phase of production have won him the respect and admiration of his co-workers. His results on the screen have made him one of the most talked about young men in Hollywood and his effect at the box-office has made him one of the most sought after producer-directors in the industry.

Picture Credits . . . . .

1951 - Double Dynamite, RKO
1952 - A Girl in Every Port, RKO
1953 - The Sea Around Us, RKO
1954 - Dangerous Mission, RKO
1956 - The Animal World, RKO
1957 - The Story of Mankind, Warner Brothers
1959 - The Big Circus, Allied Artists
1960 - The Lost World, 20th Century Fox
1961 - Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, 20th Century Fox
1962 - Five Weeks In A Balloon, 20th Century Fox.
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