Joseph L. Mankiewicz(1909–1993)

Date of Birth 11 February 1909, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA
Date of Death 5 February 1993, Bedford, New York, USA  (heart failure)
Birth Name Joseph Leo Mankiewicz
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on February 11, 1909, Joseph Leo Mankiewicz first worked for the movies as a translator of intertitles, employed by Paramount in Berlin, the UFA's American distributor at the time (1928). He became a dialoguist, then a screenwriter on numerous Paramount productions in Hollywood, most of them Jack Oakie vehicles. Still in his 20s, he produced first-class MGM films, including The Philadelphia Story (1940). Having left Metro after a dispute with studio chief Louis B. Mayer over Judy Garland, he then worked for Darryl F. Zanuck at 20th Century-Fox, producing The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), when Ernst Lubitsch's illness first brought him to the director's chair for Dragonwyck (1946). Mankiewicz directed 20 films in a 26-year period, successfully attempted every kind of movie from Shakespeare adaptation to western, from urban sociological drama to musical, from epic film with thousands of extras to a two-character picture. A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950) brought him wide recognition along with two Academy Awards for each as a writer and a director, seven years after his elder brother Herman J. Mankiewicz won Best Screenplay for Citizen Kane (1941). His more intimate films like The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), The Barefoot Contessa (1954)--his only original screenplay--and The Honey Pot (1967) are major artistic achievements as well, showing Mankiewicz as a witty dialoguist, a master in the use of flashback and a talented actors' director (he favored English actors and had in Rex Harrison a kind of alter-ego on the screen).

Spouse (3)

Rosemary Mathews (14 December 1962 - 5 February 1993) (his death) (1 child)
Rose Stradner (28 July 1939 - 27 September 1958) (her death) (2 children)
Elizabeth Young (20 May 1934 - 20 May 1937) (divorced) (1 child)

Father of Eric Reynal with his first wife, producer Christopher Mankiewicz and writer-director Tom Mankiewicz with his second, and Alexandra Mankiewicz with his third.
Brother of writer Herman J. Mankiewicz and Erna Mankiewicz.
Uncle of Don Mankiewicz and the late novelist Johanna Mankiewicz Davis.
(1950-1951) President of the Screen Directors Guild.
To date the only filmmaker to have won Oscars for writing and directing two years in a row. (2011).
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945". Pages 714-722. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987. Biography in: Cheryl Bray Lower & R. Barton Palmer, "Joseph L. Mankiewicz: Critical Studies and Guide to Resources with Annotated Bibliography and Filmography." Pages 5-23. Jefferson NY: McFarland & Co., 2001.
Granduncle of Timothy, Jesse, Antonia and Nick Davis (Johanna's children), John Mankiewicz (Don's son), Ben Mankiewicz and Josh Mankiewicz (Frank's sons).
Uncle of Frank Mankiewicz, noted writer and Democratic political strategist who once worked as Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's press secretary. Frank Mankiewicz serves as Vice Chairman of Hill & Knowlton Public Relations in Washington, DC.
Directed 12 different actors in Oscar-ominated performances: George Sanders, Anne Baxter, Bette Davis, Celeste Holm, Thelma Ritter, Marlon Brando, Edmond O'Brien, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison, Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier. Sanders and O'Brien won Oscars for their performances in one of Mankiewicz's movies.
Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1983
Suffered from a painful dermatological condition which caused his fingertips to split open. This ailment was often brought on by the stress of filmmaking, and he can be seen in many photographs wearing white film editor's gloves while directing.
Ernst Lubitsch was his cinematic idol.
Was awarded the Italian Order of Merit in 1965, in gratitude for his having made four movies in Italy. He was the first American to receive the honor.
Obliged as a disciplinary measure to write some episodes of the TV series The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin (1954), he wrote a script in which the dog behaved like a perfect coward and, instead of saving a boy from a fire, made him fall down into the flames.
Upon his death, his remains were interred at Saint Matthew's Episcopal Churchyard in Bedford, Westchester County, New York.
Distantly related to Zev Chafets. Chafets' cousin, Joseph Stenbuck, was married to his sister, Erna Mankiewicz.
He is still one of only three film directors to win the Academy Award for Best Director two years in a row, winning for A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950). The other directors are John Ford, who won for The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and _How Green Was My Valley (1941), the most recent director to achieve this is 'Alejandro G. Iñárritu', who won for _Birdman (2014)_ and _The Revenant (2015)_.
He directed two films which featured Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony as major characters: Julius Caesar (1953) and Cleopatra (1963).
As an MGM producer in 1938, rewrote F. Scott Fitzgerald's screenplay of the Erich Maria Remarque novel "Three Comrades." Fitzgerald from then on would refer to him as "Monkeybitch." Fitzgerald nevertheless received his only screen credit for the adaptation.