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Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Joseph L. Mankiewicz



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Also Known As: Joseph Leo Mankiewicz,Joseph Mankiewicz,Joseph Mankiewicz Died: February 5, 1993
Born: February 11, 1909 Cause of Death: heart failure
Birth Place: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: Writer ... director screenwriter producer actor translator of silent film titles journalist


Having followed brother Herman J. Mankiewicz's footsteps into motion pictures, Joseph L. Mankiewicz went from prominent writer to prolific producer to esteemed director over the course of his long career. Along the way, he won a total of four Academy Awards - two for writing and two for directing. Mankiewicz entered the business as a writer, working for Paramount Pictures and later MGM, where he segued into producing. He was finally given a shot at directing after 20 years in Hollywood, and almost immediately earned a reputation as a literate director with films like "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" (1947) and "A Letter to Three Wives" (1948). He hit directorial peak with "All About Eve" (1950), a showbiz slice-of-life that earned a record 14 Academy Award nominations and won six. From there, he directed the excellent, but little-known spy movie "5 Fingers" (1952) and steered Marlon Brando toward a third Oscar nomination for his performance in "Julius Caesar" (1953). After helming "The Barefoot Contessa" (1954), he helmed the musical "Guys and Dolls" (1955) and personal favorite "The Quiet American" (1958), before running into behind-the-scenes trouble on "Suddenly, Last Summer" (1959). But his career came crashing down under the immense weight of "Cleopatra" (1963), a massively over-budget epic that nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox and left him a pariah in the eyes of the industry. Though he would only direct one more feature, Mankiewicz sealed his legend as an esteemed member of a prominent Hollywood clan.

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