You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Dawn Steel

Dawn Steel

Dawn Steel's merchandising prowess became legendary and attracted the attention of studio head Michael Eisner, who offered her a chance to produce films. In 1982 Steel set out to persuade her employers to allow her to produce Flashdance. This huge success would be the first of a long line of successes that resulted in Steel’s ascent to President of Production when Eisner left the studio. She became the second female studio production head in studio history.

Film Industry in the United States

The history of Jewish women’s contribution to the Hollywood film industry has been one of gradual progression toward ever higher levels of participation. For most of Hollywood’s history, the dominant tendency was to achieve a universal image that revealed no traces of ethnic heritage. This trend held until the 1960s and affected all ethnic groups. Only a few dozen Jewish actors were able to make their way into stardom under these constraints. Since the 1960s, however, Hollywood films have reflected a higher degree of ethnic diversity. The result of this change is that increasing numbers of Jewish actors have been able to establish careers in Hollywood.

Advertising and Consumer Culture in the United States

In the twentieth century, Jewish women played a disproportionate role in the development of American consumer culture because of a combination of factors. For one, American industry became increasingly consumer-oriented, and consumer industries were comparatively open to small entrepreneurs. For another, Jewish immigrants and their children tended to display strong entrepreneurial tendencies.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Dawn Steel." (Viewed on December 19, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/10457>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs