Happy birthday to Herbert F. Solow, born December 14, 1930.
Herbert Franklin Solow (also known as Herb Solow) was the Executive in Charge of Production on behalf of Desilu Studios on the first and second seasons of the show.
Herbert F. Solow got started in show business in an inauspicious fashion, starting in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency in New York City shortly after his graduation from Dartmouth College in 1953. After his promotion to the position of talent agent in 1956, Solow moved to NBC as Program Director of California National Productions which included managing the NBC Film Division. In 1960 Solow was transferred to Los Angeles, shortly before NBC, responding to government regulations dissolved the NBC Film Division. Solow then joined CBS as Director of Daytime Programs for the West Coast, and then subsequently returning to NBC a year later as Director of Daytime Programs.
He left his NBC Daytime Programs position and joined Desilu Studios in 1964, as the assistant of studio creative head Oscar Katz. Appointed Vice President of Production a year later, Solow personally oversaw the development, sales, and production of Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and Mannix.
After Desilu was sold off and merged with Paramount Studios, Solow joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as Vice President of Television Production, overseeing the development and series production of Medical Center, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (produced by and co-starring James Komack), and Then Came Bronson (produced by Robert Justman and Robert Sabaroff).
After this, Solow was appointed Vice President of Worldwide Motion Picture and Television Production for MGM. During this stint, he hired Gene Roddenberry to write and produce a theatrical film, Pretty Maids All in a Row, based on the novel by Francis Pollini and directed by Roger Vadim. The film featured James Doohan, William Campbell and Dawn Roddenberry in the cast. Other films made under his helm included Robert Altman’s Brewster McCloud (1970, with Sally Kellerman, William Windom, Rene Auberjonois, John Schuck and Bert Remsen), Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point (1970, with Paul Fix and Lee Duncan), Kelly’s Heroes (1970, with Perry Lopez, Tom Troupe and David Hurst), The Strawberry Statement (1970, with Kim Darby and Bert Remsen), Alex in Wonderland (1970, with Dick Geary) and The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight (1971, with Harry Basch, James Sloyan and directed by James Goldstone).
In 1973, he left MGM to become an independent filmmaker and formed Solow Productions. He co-created and produced the television series Man from Atlantis. He was also involved in the production of the English movie Brimstone and Treacle. His last feature film production was Saving Grace, co-starring Edward James Olmos.
Solow is a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America and serves on the Foreign Film, Documentary, and Special Effects Committees of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is currently an independent writer-producer and also lectures on television and film production.
Herb is married to Yvonne Fern Solow and has co-authored two Trek-related books: The Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook (with Yvonne) and Inside Star Trek: The Real Story (with Robert Justman). He also co-produced and hosted the documentary based on the latter book.
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