Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


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Otto Preminger

Otto Preminger

At the premiere of Exodus (1960), Jewish comedian Mort Sahl is reported to have exclaimed, "Otto, let my people go!", which was ironic given that Preminger himself was Jewish.

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 705-707. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945." Pages 888-898. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.

Brother of producer Ingo Preminger.

Chief executive at the Theater in Josefstadt in Vienna from 1933 to 1935.



Collaborated with Max Reinhardt before emigrating from Austria to the United States.

Directed 9 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Clifton Webb, Maggie McNamara, Dorothy Dandridge, Frank Sinatra, James Stewart, Arthur O'Connell, George C. Scott, Sal Mineo and John Huston.

During the filming of Saint Joan (1957), Jean Seberg (playing Joan) was about to be burned at the stake. To the horror of the cast and crew, the pile of wood below her actually caught fire. Despite cries and screams of horror Preminger would not allow the flames extinguished until he had filmed the scene (from "Played Out: The Jean Seberg Story" by David Richards).

Father, with ecdysiast of renown Gypsy Rose Lee, of producer-screenwriter Erik Lee Preminger.

For his appearance in "Batman" (1966), Preminger was paid $2,500, the standard fee for actors who appeared in the show after asking for a role. The Screen Actors Guild got wind of this, and ordered that none of their members were to work for Preminger unless he paid the SAG dues for his appearance in Batman, and various other monies he owed them dating back to his acting career. As a result, Preminger ended up $7,600 out of pocket from his turn as Mr. Freeze.

Had a degree in law.

His 1977 autobiography "Preminger: An Autobiography" was ghostwritten by June Callwood who also ghost-wrote Barbara Walters 1970 book "How to Talk With Practically Anybody About Practically Anything".

His affair with Dorothy Dandridge was portrayed in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999) (TV).

Insisted that Robert Mitchum actually slap Jean Simmons for their scenes in Angel Face (1952)

Interred at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York, USA.

Interviewed in Peter Bogdanovich's "Who the Devil Made It: Conversations With Robert Aldrich, George Cukor, Allan Dwan, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Chuck Jones, Fritz Lang, Joseph H. Lewis, Sidney Lumet, Leo McCarey, Otto Preminger, Don Siegel, Josef von Sternberg, Frank Tashlin, Edgar G. Ulmer, Raoul Walsh." NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.

Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956.

The Austrian Post AG issued a special Stamp in Preminger's Honor on February 5, 2010 in the Series "Austrians in Hollywood". Face Value of the Stamp 0.55 Euro.

Twins with Bryce: Victoria and Mark (b. 3 October 1960) (they were 11 at the time of their parents' marriage)

Was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx, New York.

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