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 Ernst Lubitsch

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Ernst Lubitsch

Legendary Motion Picture Director and Producer. He entered show business instead of following in his father's footsteps and being a tailor. By 1911 he had become a member of Max Reinhardt's Deutsches Theatre, and the next year made his acting debut in the film 'Das Mirakel.' He continued acting in German films throughout the Teens, though by the end of the decade he had retired from acting to concentrate solely on directing, which he had been doing since 1914. The film that established his reputation as a director was 'Die Augen der Mumie Ma' ('The Eyes of the Mummy Ma'), which starred Pola Negri, one of his most famous stars during this period, and Emil Jannings. In 1922 he left Germany for Hollywood to make 'Rosita,' starring Mary Pickford, who signed him to Warner Brothers. Gradually he stopped making historical pictures and dramas to concentrate solely on the genre that became his trademark, the lightweight sophisticated romantic comedy. His films were also known for subtle snubs at the current social mores and conveying sexuality in such a way that got by the censors and forced the audience to use their own imaginations. This special ingredient common to all of his films was known as "the Lubitsch touch." Among his Hollywood films were 'The Marriage Circle' (1924), 'Lady Windermere's Fan' (1925), 'The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg' (1927), 'Monte Carlo' (1930), 'The Merry Widow' (1934), 'Bluebeard's Eighth Wife' (1938), 'Ninotchka' (1939), 'The Shop Around the Corner' (1940), and 'To Be or Not to Be' (1942). He was made head of production at Paramount in 1935, the same year that the Nazis took away his German citizenship because he was Jewish. In 1936 he left the field of production, however, and returned to directing. By the early Forties he was working at 20th Century Fox, though a heart condition cut down on the amount of time he could spend in the director's chair. In March of 1947 he received a special Academy Award for his pioneering work in the film industry. Later that year he suffered his sixth heart attack and passed away at the age of fifty-five.

Bio by: Carrie-Anne


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 16 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8495
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ernst Lubitsch (28 Jan 1892–30 Nov 1947), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8495, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .