Otto Ludwig Preminger was born in Wiznitz, Bukovina, Austria-Hungary. His father was a prosecutor, and Otto originally intended to follow his father into a law career; however, he fell in love with the theater in his 20’s and became one of the most imaginative stage producers and directors. He was only 24 when engaged by Max Reinhardt to take over his theatre where he produced all kids of plays. He directed his first film in 1931, and came to the US in 1936 to direct ‘Libel’ on the Broadway stage. He then moved to Hollywood where he signed with Fox becoming the first independent producer / director .He alternated between stage and film until the great success of Laura (1944) made him an A-list director in Hollyood.
For two decades after “Laura was released in 1944, Preminger ranked as one of the top directors in the world. His powers began to wane after Advise & Consent (1962), and by the end of the decade, he was considered washed-up. However, such was the potency of his craftsmanship that he continued to direct major motion pictures into the 1970s, with Rosebud (1975) getting scathing reviews. His last directorial effort was The Human Factor (1979), which won him respectful notices.
Otto Preminger died on April 23, 1986 in New York City from the effects of lung cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. He was 80 years old.
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