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He also worked on December Bride, The George Gobel Show and Mr Adams and Eve before a four-year period producing and directing The Jack Benny Show (1960-63).
He and Benny became good friends, and Benny's daughter was later to write, "Fred De Cordova was, next to George Burns, my father's closest friend and confidant."De Cordova later compared Benny to some of the guests he handled on The Tonight Show: Many people I've worked with carry a large entourage, and make sure the entourage precedes them to alert everyone who is coming next.
In 1938 he joined Alfred Bloomingdale Productions, where he worked as dialogue director on several shows, notably the 1943 editiion of Ziegfeld Follies, which had an illustrious line-up of credits – it starred Milton Berle, Ilona Massey and Eric Blore, was directed by John Murray Anderson, had songs by Ray Henderson and Jack Yellen, costumes by Miles White and choreography by Robert Alton.
The following year De Cordova was offered a Hollywood contract as a dialogue director at Warner Bros.
He then moved to Universal, where he found a niche directing their medium-budget comedies and adventures, maintaining a brisk pace for undemanding fare such as the Sonja Henie musical The Countess of Monte Cristo (1948) – like Durbin, Henie was coming to the end of her screen career – and the De Carlo films The Gal Who Took the West (1949), Buccaneer's Girl (1950) and The Desert Hawk (1950, in which De Carlo played Scheherazade).
In 1988 he wrote an autobiography, Johnny Came Lately, the title reflecting the fact that Carson came late into his career, when the producer was already 60 years old. The problem with these questions now is: they're only good at identifying someone over age 41 now!!