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Douglas Shearer

Douglas Shearer


Douglas Graham Shearer (November 17, 1899 – January 5, 1971) was a Canadian-American pioneering sound designer and recording director who played a key role in the advancement of sound technology for motion pictures. He won seven Academy Awards for his work. In 2008, he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. Douglas began his journey into cinema by studying experimental electricity at Northern Electric Company before joining MGM in 1925. Initially exploring lighting and cameras, he pivoted to sound when the era of sound pictures emerged in 1928. He pioneered synchronizing musical soundtracks with film scenes, notably in the groundbreaking "The Broadway Melody," which won the 1929 Oscar for Best Picture. As head of MGM's sound department until his retirement, Shearer revolutionized sound recording, winning an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording for "The Big House." His groundbreaking work at MGM significantly enhanced the technical aspects of filmmaking. His legacy was recognized even in death, receiving a front-page obituary in The New York Times—an honour typically reserved for industry giants and heads of state.

  • Known For: Sound
  • Birthday: 1899-11-17
  • Place of Birth: Westmount, Québec, Canada
  • Also Known As: Douglas Graham Shearer, Douglas G. Shearer