James Marion Fidler (1900 - 1988)

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Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Death: Died in Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation: Radio/TV Commentator
Managed by: Tim Stamps
Last Updated:

About James Marion Fidler

Jimmie Fidler was an American columnist, journalist and radio and television personality. He wrote a Hollywood gossip column and was sometimes billed as Jimmy Fidler.

Born on August 24, 1900 in St. Louis, Missouri, Fidler was a former Hollywood publicist who became a syndicated columnist with his "Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood" column in 187 outlets, including the New York Post and the Los Angeles Times. In 1933-34 his 15-minute NBC radio show, Hollywood on the Air, sponsored by Tangee lipstick, was broadcast from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. He was regarded in Hollywood as a genuine threat to gossip queen Louella Parsons, especially after he scooped her in November 1935 on a major story about Clark Gable, an incident so embarrassing to Parsons that she lied about it in her autobiography.

Fidler interviewed film personalities for the Hollywood segments of Fox Movietone News. Such was Fidler's influence that a negative comment by him could affect the box office drawing power of a star. According to Time, in January 1938 he was sued for libel by Constance Bennett for $250,000 after he reported she snubbed Patsy Kelly on a Hal Roach movie set and that studio workmen bought flowers for Kelly but none for Bennett.

In 1938 Fidler made a short MGM documentary film, Personality Parade, about actors making the change from silent films to talkies. It featured clips of more than 60 performers whose careers began in silent films.

By 1950, Fidler was earning more than $250,000 a year and was heard by 40 million listeners over 486 radio stations. During 1952-53, he hosted the live television drama series, Hollywood Opening Night on NBC.

For his contribution to the radio industry, Fidler has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6128 Hollywood Blvd.


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Jimmie Fidler's Timeline

August 24, 1900
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
August 9, 1988
Age 87
Los Angeles, California, United States