Joseph L. Mankiewicz Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
Joseph L. Mankiewicz was born on February 11, 1909, in Pennsylvania, USA. His parents were Johanna (Blumenau) and Franz Mankiewicz. He also had a brother, Herman and a sister, Erna. His brother would also go on to work in the film industry.
As a teenager, Mankiewicz attended Stuyvesant High School. He graduated from this high school in 1924. As a young adult, Mankiewicz attended Columbia University. He enrolled in the school in the fall of 1924. He later graduated from this same school in 1928. After graduating, he moved to Germany, where he attended the University of Berlin. There, he studied drama.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz's first job in the film industry was working for UFA Studios, where he wrote English subtitles that were to be used in German movies. He did this for some time before moving back to the United States and settling in Hollywood, California. In 1929, he got a job with Paramount Pictures, where he began working as a screenwriter. While with Paramount Pictures, he wrote several things in which he was uncredited for.
In 1934, after over a decade working in the film industry, he became a producer with MGM. He produced several movies while working with his company.
In 1943, Joseph L. Mankiewicz began working for 20th Century Fox. This time, he was working as both a screenwriter and a producer. While working with his company, he got his first chance to direct a movie, in 1946. He began directing the film Dragonwyck. However, he could not complete his job, or the movie, as he became too ill. It was not until the next year that he directed a successful film, The Ghost of Mrs. Muir. He did several more projects with 20th Century Fox before leaving the company in 1951.
After leaving 20th Century Fox, Mankiewicz started his own film company, which he called Figaro. For the rest of his film writing career, Mankiewicz worked within his own film company. The last film which he produced was called Sleuth, which came out in 1972. However, he continued to work as a screenwriter until 1985.
Some of the most famous films he has worked on are listed below:
A Letter to Three Wives
A Christmas Carol (1938)
All About Eve
Guys and Dolls
People Will Talk
Awards and Accomplishments
Throughout his long film career, Joseph L. Mankiewicz won over twenty awards and was nominated for two dozen more. Some of his most prestigious awards are listed below:
Academy Awards Oscar for Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay (All About Eve) (A Letter to Three Wives)
Bodil Award for Best American Film (Julius Caesar)
Writer’s Guild of America Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement (1963)
Director’s Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award (1986)
Online Film & Television Association Hall of Fame (2002)
He earned his star on the walk of fame in 1960.
Joseph Mankiewicz was first married to Elizabeth Young in 1934. This couple had one son together, Eric. However, the marriage did not last and ended in divorce in 1937. He was married again to Rose Stradner in 1939. This couple had two sons together, Christopher and Tom. This marriage sadly ended in 1958 with Stradner’s death. He was married for the third and final time to Rosemary Matthews in 1962. This couple had one daughter together, Alexandra. The couple was married until Mankiewicz death.
Joseph Mankiewicz died on February 5, 1993, Mount Kisco, New York, USA. The cause of his death was heart failure. He was 83 years old when he passed away.