Joseph Herman Pasternak was a Hungarian-born American film producer in Hollywood.
Born to a Jewish family in Szilágysomlyó, Austria-Hungary, Pasternak was a successful film producer in Germany and Austria by the time he was 28 years old.
Pasternak worked for Universal Pictures in Europe, where he made German-language musicals for the international market. He hit upon a successful formula, building light musical comedies around an adolescent soprano. Following the establishment of the Nazi regime, Pasternak emigrated to Universal's Hollywood studio in 1936. He adapted his usual format for English-speaking audiences, casting 14-year-old Canadian singer Deanna Durbin in Three Smart Girls. The film became a huge hit and saved Universal from bankruptcy. Pasternak produced a string of Durbin musicals, and soon discovered another talented soprano, Gloria Jean. who began her own successful series in 1939. Pasternak proved to be a real asset for the studio, generating a number of popular films through 1941, including Destry Rides Again and Seven Sinners.
In 1941 Pasternak moved to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he continued to produce operetta films, featuring the rich singing voices of Kathryn Grayson, Jane Powell, and Mario Lanza. His biggest MGM success came with The Great Caruso. He continued to make musicals for MGM into the 1960s, with Elvis Presley or Connie Francis.