Michael Curtiz

Hungarian-american Film Director
Born Dec 24, 1886

Michael Curtiz was an Academy award winning Hungarian-American film director. He had early credits as Mihály Kertész and Michael Kertész.

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1888 Birth Curtiz was born Mihaly Kertesz to a Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary in 1888 (then Austria-Hungary), where his father was a carpenter and his mother an opera singer. … Read More


1912 23 Years Old 1 More Event
He worked as Mihály Kertész at the National Hungarian Theater in 1912. … Read More
1913 24 Years Old In 1913 Curtiz began living in various cities in Europe to work on silent films. … Read More
1914 25 Years Old After World War I began in 1914, he returned to Hungary where he served in the army for a year, before he was wounded fighting on the Russian front. … Read More
1917 28 Years Old He was then assigned to make fund-raising documentaries for the Red Cross in Hungary. In 1917 he was made director of production at Phoenix Films, the leading studio in Budapest, where he would remain until he left Hungary. … Read More
1918 29 Years Old 1 More Event
By 1918 he had become one Hungary's most important directors, having by then directed about 45 films. … Read More


1925 36 Years Old He married his second wife, Lili Damita, in 1925 and they divorced in 1926. … Read More
1926 37 Years Old 1 More Event
…  But Moon of Israel caught the attention of Jack and Harry Warner, and Harry went to Europe in 1926 just to meet Curtiz and watch him work as director. … Read More
1927 38 Years Old On a visit to Hollywood in 1927, Ilya Tolstoy, Leo Tolstoy's son, who had been a friend of Curtiz in Europe, wanted him to direct several films that would be based on his father's novels. … Read More


1929 40 Years Old Wallis' wife, the actress Louise Fazenda, and Curtiz's third wife, Bess Meredyth, an actress and screenwriter, had been close since before Curtiz's marriage to Meredyth in 1929.
1930 41 Years Old In 1930 Curtiz directed Mammy (1930), Al Jolson's fourth film after being in Hollywood's first true talking picture, The Jazz Singer (1927). … Read More
1935 46 Years Old But it was not until 1935 that Curtiz's career really took off. … Read More


1941 52 Years Old Edward G. Robinson starred in his second film directed by Curtiz in 1941, The Sea Wolf. … Read More
1942 53 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1942 Curtiz directed another air force film, Captains of the Clouds, about the Royal Canadian Air Force. … Read More
1947 58 Years Old In 1947 he directed William Powell and Irene Dunne in Life With Father, a family comedy. … Read More


1951 62 Years Old Also in 1951, he directed another biopic, I'll See You in My Dreams, with Doris Day and Danny Thomas. … Read More
1954 65 Years Old 1 More Event
White Christmas (1954), Curtiz's second adaptation of an Irving Berlin musical, was a major box office success, the highest-grossing film of 1954. … Read More
1961 72 Years Old Curtiz was frequently unfaithful, and had numerous affairs; Meredyth once left him for a short time, but they remained married until 1961, shortly before Curtiz's death. … Read More
1962 73 Years Old 1 More Event
He died from cancer on April 10, 1962, aged 75. … Read More
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