This Week In Film History 04-11-10

April 12, 1911: Cartoonist Winsor McCay brings his popular Little Nemo in Slumberland characters to animated life in Little Nemo and the Princess.

April 17, 1924: The merger of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures and the independent Louis B. Mayer Company is announced.

April 12, 1932: The first “all-star” (John Barrymore (Bio), Wallace Beery (bio), Joan Crawford (Bio), Greta Garbo, et al.) movie, MGM’s Grand Hotel, opens.

April 17, 1937: A manic “darn-fool duck” named Daffy makes his debut in the Warner Bros. cartoon Porky’s Duck Hunt, directed by Tex Avery.

April 11, 1938: The first step towards industry child labor reform is taken when The Kid star Jackie Coogan sues his mother and stepfather to recover his earnings.

April 15, 1942: Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy team up for the first time in MGM’s Woman of the Year (Movie Bio).

April 11, 1955: Marty, the first film made from a TV teleplay, opens and will go on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

April 16, 1958: B-movie impresario William Castle launches his “gimmick” films by insuring each viewer of Macabre against death by fright with Lloyd’s of London.

April 17, 1960: Jane Fonda, daughter of Henry, makes her film debut in Joshua Logan‘s comedy Tall Story, starring alongside Anthony Perkins.

April 13, 1964: Sidney Poitier becomes the first African-American to win the Best Actor Academy Award for Lilies of the Field.

April 15, 1990: Alone at last: iconic leading lady of silent and sound cinema and latter-day recluse Greta Garbo passes away at age 84.

April 16, 1991: David Lean, director of such epics as The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, passes away at the age of 83.