|Height:||183 cm (6' 1'')|
|Birth Day:||December 5, 1905|
|Death Date:||Apr 23, 1986 (age 80)|
|Height:||183 cm (6' 1'')|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Otto Preminger died on Apr 23, 1986 (age 80).
While training to be an actor, he appeased his father by studying law at the University of Vienna.
Preminger was born in 1905 in Wischnitz, Bukovina, Austro-Hungarian Empire (present-day Vyzhnytsia, Ukraine), into a Jewish family. His parents were Josefa (née Fraenkel) and Markus Preminger. The couple provided a stable home life for Preminger and his younger brother Ingwald, known as "Ingo", later the producer of the original film version of M*A*S*H (1970).
After the assassination in 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which led to the Great War, Russia entered the war on the Serbian side. Bukovina was invaded by the Russian Army and the Preminger family fled. Like other refugees in flight, Markus Preminger saw Austria as a safe haven for his family. He secured a position as public prosecutor in Graz, capital of Styria. When the Preminger family relocated, Otto was nearly nine, and was enrolled in a school where instruction in Catholic dogma was mandatory and Jewish history and religion had no place on the syllabus. Ingo, not yet four, remained at home.
When the war came to an end, Markus formed his own law practice. He instilled in both his sons a sense of fair play as well as respect for those with opposing viewpoints. As his father's practice continued to thrive in postwar Vienna, Otto began seriously contemplating a career in the theater. In 1923, when Preminger was 17, his soon-to-be mentor, Max Reinhardt, the renowned Viennese-born director, announced plans to establish a theatrical company in Vienna. Reinhardt's announcement was seen as a call of destiny to Preminger. He began writing to Reinhardt weekly, requesting an audition. After a few months, Preminger, frustrated, gave up, and stopped his daily visit to the post office to check for a response. Unbeknownst to him, a letter was waiting with a date for an audition which Preminger had already missed by two days.
He juggled a commitment to university (attendance of which his parents insisted upon) and to his new position as a Reinhardt apprentice. The two developed a mentor-and-protege relationship, becoming both a confidant and teacher. When the theater opened, on 1 April 1924, Preminger appeared as a furniture mover in Reinhardt's comedic staging of Carlo Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters. His next appearance came the next month with William Dieterle (who would later move to Hollywood) in The Merchant of Venice. Other notable alumni with whom Preminger would work the same year were Mady Christians, who died of a stroke after having been blacklisted during the McCarthy era, and Nora Gregor, who was to star in Jean Renoir's La Règle du jeu (1939).
In 1930, a wealthy industrialist from Graz approached Otto with an offer to direct a film called Die große Liebe (The Great Love). Preminger did not have the same passion for the medium as he had for theater. He accepted the assignment nonetheless. The film premiered at the Emperor Theater in Vienna on 21 December 1931, to strong reviews and business. From 1931-35, he directed twenty-six shows.
On 3 August 1932, he wed a Hungarian woman, Marion Mill. The couple married only thirty minutes after her divorce from her first husband had been finalized.
In April 1935, as Preminger was rehearsing a boulevard farce, The King with an Umbrella, he received a summons from American film producer Joseph Schenck to a five o'clock meeting at the Imperial Hotel. Schenck and partner, Darryl F. Zanuck, co-founders of Twentieth Century-Fox, were on the lookout for new talent. Within a half-hour of meeting Schenck, Preminger accepted an invitation to work for Fox in Los Angeles.
Preminger's first assignment was to direct a vehicle for Lawrence Tibbett. Preminger worked efficiently, completing the film well within the budget and well before the scheduled shooting deadline. The film opened to tepid notices in November 1936. Zanuck gave Preminger the task of directing another B-picture screwball comedy film Danger – Love at Work. Simone Simon was cast but later fired by Zanuck and replaced with Ann Sothern. The premise was that eight members of an eccentric, wealthy family have inherited their grandfather's land, and the protagonist is a lawyer tasked with persuading the family to hand the land over to a corporation that believes there is oil on the property. One of the female members of the wealthy family provides the romantic interest.
In November 1937, Zanuck's perennial emissary Gregory Ratoff brought Preminger the news that Zanuck had selected him to direct Kidnapped, which was to be the most expensive feature to date for Twentieth Century-Fox. Zanuck himself had adapted the Robert Louis Stevenson novel. After reading Zanuck's script, Preminger knew he was in trouble since he would be a foreign director directing in a foreign setting. During the shooting of Kidnapped, while screening footage of the film with Zanuck, the studio head accused Preminger of making changes in a scene; in particular, one with child actor Freddie Bartholomew and a dog. Preminger, composed at first, explained, claiming he shot the scene exactly as written.
Preminger wanted stage actor Clifton Webb to play Waldo and persuaded his boss to give Webb a screen test. Webb was cast and Mamoulian was fired for creative differences, which also included Preminger wanting Dana Andrews to be a more classy detective instead of a gumshoe detective. Laura started filming on 27 April 1944, with a projected budget of $849,000. After Preminger took over, the film continued shooting well into late June. When released, the film was an instant hit with audiences and critics alike, earning Preminger his first Academy Award nomination for direction.
Forever Amber, based on Kathleen Winsor's internationally popular novel published in 1944, was Zanuck's next investment in adaptation. Preminger had read the book and disliked it immensely. Preminger had another bestseller aimed at a female audience in mind, Daisy Kenyon. Zanuck pledged that if Preminger did Forever Amber first, he could go to town with Daisy Kenyon afterwards. Forever Amber had already been shooting for nearly six weeks when Preminger replaced director John Stahl. Zanuck had already spent nearly $2 million on the production.
Fallen Angel (1945) was exactly what Preminger had been anticipating. In Fallen Angel, a con man and womanizer ends up by chance in a small California town, where he romances a sultry waitress and a well-to-do spinster. When the waitress is found killed, the drifter, played by Dana Andrews, becomes the prime suspect. Linda Darnell played the doomed waitress. Centennial Summer (1946), Preminger's next film, would be his first shot entirely in color. The reviews and box office draw were tepid when the film was released in July 1946, but by the end of that year Preminger had one of the most sumptuous contracts on the lot, earning $7,500 a week.
In May 1946, Marion asked for a divorce, after meeting a wealthy (and married) Swedish financier, Axel Wenner-Gren. The Premingers' divorce ended smoothly and speedily. Marion did not seek alimony, only personal belongings. Axel's wife, however, was unwilling to grant a divorce. Marion returned to Otto and resumed appearances as his wife, and nothing more. Preminger had begun dating Natalie Draper, a niece of Marion Davies.
Only after turning to his revised script did Preminger learn Zanuck had recast Linda Darnell. Zanuck was convinced that whoever played Amber would become a big star, and he wanted that woman to be one of the studio's own. Zanuck had bought the book because he believed its scandalous reputation promised big box-office returns, and was not surprised when the Catholic Legion of Decency condemned the film for glamorizing a promiscuous heroine who has a child out of wedlock, and successfully lobbied 20th Century Fox to make changes to the film. Forever Amber opened to big business in October 1947, and garnered decent reviews. Preminger called the film "the most expensive picture I ever made and it was also the worst".
Preminger maintained a busy schedule, working with writers on scripts for two planned projects, Daisy Kenyon (1947) and The Dark Wood; the latter was not produced. Joan Crawford starred in Daisy Kenyon alongside Dana Andrews, Ruth Warrick and Henry Fonda. Variety proclaimed the film "high powered melodrama surefire for the femme market". After the modest success of Daisy Kenyon, Preminger saw That Lady in Ermine as a further opportunity. Betty Grable was cast opposite Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. The film had previously been another Lubitsch project, but after Lubitsch's sudden death in November 1947, Preminger took over. His next film was a period piece based on Lady Windermere's Fan. Over the spring and early summer of 1948 Preminger turned Oscar Wilde's play into The Fan (1949), which starred Madeleine Carroll; the film opened to poor notices.
From the mid-1950s, most of Preminger's films used animated titles designed by Saul Bass, and many had jazz scores. At the New York City Opera, in October 1953, Preminger directed the American premiere (in English translation) of Gottfried von Einem's opera Der Prozeß, based on Franz Kafka's novel The Trial. Soprano Phyllis Curtin headed the cast. Preminger also adapted two operas for the screen during the decade. Carmen Jones (1954) is a reworking of the Bizet opera Carmen to a wartime African-American setting while Porgy and Bess (1959) is based on the George Gershwin opera. His two films of the early 1960s were Advise & Consent (1962), a political drama from the Allen Drury bestseller with a homosexual subtheme' and The Cardinal (1963), a drama set in the Vatican hierarchy for which Preminger received his second Best Director Academy Award nomination.
Beginning in 1965, Preminger made a string of films in which he attempted to make stories that were fresh and distinctive, but the films he made, including In Harm's Way (1965) and Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970), became both critical and financial flops. Preminger's Hurry Sundown (1967) is a lengthy drama set in the U.S. South and was partly intended to break cinematic racial and sexual taboos. However, the film was poorly received and ridiculed for a heavy-handed approach, and for the dubious casting of Michael Caine as an American Southerner.
Preminger died in his home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 1986, aged 80, from lung cancer while suffering from Alzheimer's disease. He was survived by three children; his son, Erik, and twin daughters, from his marriage to Hope Bryce. Preminger was cremated and his ashes are in a niche in the Azalea Room of the Velma B. Woolworth Memorial Chapel at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.
Otto was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire to a Jewish Attorney General father. Otto married Marion Mill in 1932, Mary Gardner in 1951, and Hope Bryce in 1971.
Currently, Otto Preminger is 116 years, 8 months and 10 days old. Otto Preminger will celebrate 117th birthday on a Monday 5th of December 2022. Below we countdown to Otto Preminger upcoming birthday.