Moved with family to Kassel, Germany at age seven (date approximate)
Joined Max Reinhardt's Deutsches Theatre company on part-time basis while still attending college
Stage debut for Reinhardt in "Das Mirakel", using the stage name Murnau (after a small town in Bavaria) for the first time
After college graduation, joined Reinhardt full-time as actor and assistant director
Joined the Army when WWI broke out; first served as a driver on the Eastern front of battle; after service in the infantry, joined the air force, surviving seven crashes
Plane accidentally landed in Switzerland due to fog; was interned in Andermatt; subsequently worked as an actor there in plays staged in Bern and Zurich; directed a play, "Marignano"; also made propaganda compilation films for German Embassy in Bern
Co-founded (with Conrad Veidt and others) production company Murnau Veidt Filmgesellschaft; made film directing debut with company's first production, "Der Knabe in Blau/The Blue Boy"
First film in collaboration with cinematographer Karl Freund, "Satanas"
First film in collaboration with screenwriter Carl Mayer, "Der Bucklige und die Tanzerin/The Hunchback and the Dancer"
Earliest surviving film, "Der Gang in die Nacht/Journey in the Night", starring Veidt
Directed the film generally regarded as his first masterpiece, "Nosferatu"
Sole original comedy as director, "Die Finanzen des Grossherzogs/The Finances of the Grand Duke"
Hired by UFA in the mid-1920s
Appeared in the film "Der Film im Film", directed by Friedrich Porges
Co-wrote the screenplay for "Komodie des Herzens" with film's director Rochus Gliese; script credited onscreen to 'Peter Murglie'
Received considerable international acclaim for his landmark film, "Der letzte Mann/The Last Laugh" (first film for UFA)
Last German film, UFA's "Faust"
Immigrated to USA (Hollywood) after he was signed by William Fox to a four-year contract
Directed first American film. "Sunrise/Sunrise: A Story of Two Humans"; received special Academy Award for artistic merit, arguably the first recipient of the Best Picture Oscar as the award won by "Wings" was voted by the public
Last film for Fox, "City Girl"
Co-directed and co-wrote last film "Tabu" (with Robert Flaherty; Murnau killed a week before premiere)
"Sunrise" voted in a CAHIERS DU CINEMA poll as "the most beautiful film there is"
Was the subject of the French-made TV production, "Cineastes de notre temps: Murnau/Cineastes of Our Times: F.W. Murnau", directed by Alexandre Astruc
Was the subject of another made-for-TV film, "Phantombilder", directed by Frieda Grafe and Enno Patalas
Portrayed by John Malkovich in the speculative feature "Shadow of the Vampire"