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Film, the Arts, & Media

Hungarian Coat of Arms
Nobel Prize Winners and Famous Hungarians
 by Bryan Dawson

Did you know... According to the Associated Press, (AP-NY-10-26-96 1604 EDT) people with some claim to Hungarian ancestry have been nominated for Oscars 136 times since 1929, when the first ones were handed out, and have taken home more than 30 of the golden statuettes. Since the AP article was released in 1996, there have been more Oscar nominations and winners such as Adrien Brody for "The Pianist" and multiple Oscar nominations for Frank Darabont ("The Green Mile," and "Shawshank Redemption." The Hungarian-born founder of the Paramount Pictures Empire and Loew's Theatres also produced the world's first full-length motion picture.

There's an old joke from the '30s about a sign on a movie studio wall reading "It's not enough to be Hungarian. You have to have talent." The joke refers to how a relatively small country had such an impact on the history of the movies. Another sign above MGM's commissary wrote: "Just because you're Hungarian, doesn't mean you're a genius!"

The Hungarian genius doesn't stop at Hollywood. Pulitzer Prize winners; Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame inductees; Grammy and Tony Award winners; the 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll; the founders of Constructivism and the Bauhaus School; comedy and television pioneers; the greatest magicians; digital art and animation pioneers; and some of the greatest composers and conductors all include Hungarians.

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Click to [Submit] a Famous Hungarian. Please include a Web or other resource for verification purposes. To maintain the high standards and integrity of this site, submissions cannot be accepted without a verifiable resource. COPYRIGHT: Please ask for permission and CITE this source before using this information.


Adolph ZukorAdolph Zukor - (b. 1873, Ricse, Hungary, d. 1976, Century City, CA) 
"Mr. Motion Pictures" and Oscar Winner

Zukor and DeMille Producer and Founder of the Paramount Pictures Empire and Loew's Theatres. Produced the first full-length motion picture, "The Prisoner of Zenda." Received a special Academy Award in 1948 for his "contribution to the industry." One of the original studio "moguls." Zukor arrived in the US at 16, got one of his first jobs as a furrier's apprentice. Zukor worked his way up to become a well-heeled Chicago furrier and, in 1903, teamed with Marcus Loew to open the first of a series of penny arcades. Two years later the team formed Loew's Consolidated, with Zukor as treasurer of the far-flung empire of theaters. 80 years later, he was still going to work every day at Paramount Pictures. Adolph Zukor ruled Paramount Studios with an iron hand for decades, forming alliances with such other powerful and influential figures like these, shown left to Right: Jesse L. Lasky, Adolph Zukor, Samuel Goldfish (later Goldwyn), Cecil B. DeMille and Albert Kaufman

- More at Hollywood.com
Joseph PulitzerJoseph Pulitzer
PublisherResponsible for building of the Statue of Liberty

He was a veteran of the Civil War and a member of the 1st New York Cavalry Regiment which he joined almost immediately upon his arrival in the US. After a time in NewYork sweatshops, he went west and became a reporter. He saved his money, bought partial ownership of the Westliche Post, and when successful sold it. He then bought the St. Louis Dispatch which he merged with the Evening Post, and once that was a success, went to New York, bought the New York World, and a publishing tycoon was born. He then turned his attention to the Statue of Liberty which sat disassembled in disgrace with New York refusing to pay for its erection. Pulitzer started a fund with this aim and put the name of anyone donating to this project in his newspaper. He understood snob appeal and the rest is history.

This from www.pulitzer.org:

"In the latter years of the 19th century, Joseph Pulitzer stood out as the very embodiment of American journalism. Hungarian-born, an intense indomitable figure, Pulitzer was the most skillful of newspaper publishers, a passionate crusader against dishonest government, a fierce, hawk-like competitor who did not shrink from sensationalism in circulation struggles, and a visionary who richly endowed his profession. His innovative New York World and St. Louis Post-Dispatch reshaped newspaper journalism. Pulitzer was the first to call for the training of journalists at the university level in a school of journalism. And certainly, the lasting influence of the Pulitzer Prizes on journalism, literature, music, and drama is to be attributed to his visionary acumen. In writing his 1904 will, which made provision for the establishment of the Pulitzer Prizes as an incentive to excellence, Pulitzer specified solely four awards in journalism, four in letters and drama, one for education, and four traveling scholarships."


Andrew VajnaAndrew Vajna
Producer, Hollywood Legend: President of Cinergi Productions, co-Founder of Carolco Pictures

Another Hungarian-born Hollywood "Mogul." Fled Soviet troops and left Hungary in 1956. During a career that spanned the globe, he has been one of the most important producers in Hollywood for the past 20 years. Carolco made motion picture history when it introduced a new cinematic hero, Rambo. Other Carolco projects include Music Box, Total Recall, Air America and Jacob's Ladder. Other films include Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Terminator, Color of Night, Judge Dredd, The Scarlett Letter, Oliver Stone's Nixon, Evita, An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, Shadow Conspiracy, Out of Order / A Miniszter félrelép and The 13th Warrior. Also founded Cinergi. 

His recent film, An American Rhapsody, won international critical acclaim.  The film was close to Andrew Vajna as he is also Hungarian and left the country as a child. 

- Read more at Hollywood.com or this article.


George Cukor with Audrey HepburnGeorge Cukor - (b. 7/7/1899, New York, d. 1/23/1983, Los Angeles)
Double Oscar Winning Director (seen on left with Audrey Hepburn)

Best known in his earlier days as the man who brought many a classic costume novel to the screen, George Cukor's 50-plus year directing career later expanded to include thrillers, screwball romantic comedies, and even musicals. 

Cukor lead eight of his leading ladies to Best Actress-nominated performances and himself received five Best Director nominations over the course of his career. Received the coveted prize for "Wizard of Oz," "My Fair Lady."  Other well-known films include "It Should Happen to You" (1954) and A Star is Born (1954).

- Read more at Reel Classics or see film summaries and commentary here!
- Filmography and more at IMDB


William FoxWilliam Fox - (born Vilmos Fried, 1/1/1879, Tulchva, Hungary, d. 5/8/1952, New York)
Producer and Hollywood Mogul - Founder of Fox Studios! 

Fox began his US career in the garment trade and moved into the penny arcade business in 1904. He went on to develop successful film exhibition, distribution, and production operations, merging all three interests with the formation, in 1915, of the Fox Film Corporation, one of the most powerful and creative studios of the silent era. At the peak of his power, Fox owned over 500 movie houses in the US (he bought control of the giant Loew's, Inc.) and the Gaumont Theatres chain in Great Britain. By the end of the 1920s the company had accumulated several top stars and directors and produced a number of prestigious films; the stock market crash of 1929, however, forced the overextended Fox to sell his shares in the corporation. His company merged with 20th Century Pictures to form 20th Century Fox in 1935. In 1936, a year after Fox studios merged with 20th Century, Fox bribed a judge during the liquidation of his holdings in bankruptcy proceedings. His sentence, a year in prison, began in 1941. Paroled in 1943, he was a pariah in Hollywood. Though secure from his many patent holdings, the industry for which he had been so visionary was closed to him. No industry representative came to eulogize at his funeral.

Fox LogoFox invented the global media newsgathering organization emulated today by CNN, BBC, ITN, DW and others. Fox secured his place in history by commercializing talking pictures and then introducing a larger movie screen.  Read about his patent fights for Talking Pictures and more at Media Visions.com

- See his impressive Filmography at IMDBFabulousFox.com, or William Fox


Miklos RozsaMiklós Rózsa - (b. 1907, Budapest)
Triple Oscar Winning Film Composer 
 
Miklos Rozsa's exquisite string arrangements, powerful use of percussion and unconventional approach to composition would revolutionize the film score, raising the field to greater dramatic and evocative heights. A born musician, Rózsa began studying the violin at age five and became steeped in the folk music of his native land, an influence that could be detected in much of his later work. While his parents tried to steer him towards a more practical lifestyle, insisting he major in chemistry at the University of Leipzig, it wasn't long before he was enrolled in Leipzig Conservatory, training in musicology, preparing him for a long, successful and influential career in music. Ben Hur He began scoring films for fellow Hungarian Alexander Korda in England in the 1930s and went with him to Hollywood to make The Thief of Bagdad (1940). Rózsa's work ranges from the The Jungle Book (1942) to the intimate, disturbing accompaniment for Spellbound (1945) to the epic, scores of Julius Caesar (1953), Ben-Hur (1959) and El Cid (1961).  For twenty years, from 1945 to 1965, he was a professor at the University of Southern California, teaching and continuing to compose classical works. 

Trivia: It was Rosza who began the vogue for recorded film scores, and he remained the most recorded of film composers for at least 40 years. Rozsa came up with the "dum dum dum dum" beginning of Dragnet!

- See Miklos Rozsa 
- The Ensemble Sospeso has an excellent article on Miklos
- Read more on Hollywood.com or IMDB with an extensive Filmography


Bela LugosiBéla Lugósi
Actor - The Original Dracula! 

Born Béla Ferenc Deszö Blaskó in Lugos, Hungary, in the Bánát, another part of Hungary awarded to Rumania.

Some early tidbits:

  • At the age of 13, Lugosi ran away from home to become an actor, but instead found himself working in the mines at Resicabanya (now Resita, Romania), located about 200 miles south of Lugos.
  • At about the age of 17, he moved to Szabadka (now Subotica, Vojvodina, after Serbian annexation). He lived with his sister and widowed mother and went to work in the railway yard.
  • It was in Szabadka that Lugosi got his first opportunity on the stage - as a chorus boy in an operetta, which was produced in the Nepszinhaz, or People's Theatre.
  • By 1903, Lugosi was appearing at the Ferenc Jozsef Szinhaz (Franz Joseph Theatre) in Temesvar, the capital of Lugosi's home province of the Banat.
  • In 1914, he enlisted in the Hungarian army. He was discharged in 1916 after convincing officials that he was "mentally unstable." Not soon after, he was married to Ilona Szmik on June 25, 1917. It was also during this time that he began appearing in movies. His first picture was A Leopárd, in which he played the lead role.
  • He emigrated to the United States of America in December of 1920 with the Treaty of Trianon in which virtually all of the towns he lived and worked in, including his birthplace, were awarded to other countries.
  • DraculaHis first American film was 1923's The Silent Command, a suspenseful spy movie in which Bela played the bad guy. He officially became a US citizen on June 26, 1931. He took on the role of Count Dracula in Horace Liveright's play in place of actor Raymond Huntley in 1929. It played for 33 weeks on Broadway, and also toured the entire West Coast. Soon after, the rights to play were picked up by Universal Studios. Universal wanted Lon Chaney, Sr. to play the lead role, but Chaney died of throat cancer in 1930. It wasn't until after Chaney's death that Bela was even considered for the part of Count Dracula. The rest is history!

Bela had a truly remarkable film career. See:

Listen!Click HERE to listen to Bela speak as Dracula or hear many more at The Pit!

- Visit the Béla Lugósi Homepage and see Béla Lugósi Films
-
See the well-designed Chamber of Dr. Werdegast for more, including bio, filmography and pictures! or IMDB


Franz LisztFranz Liszt - (b. Oct. 22, 1811 - Doborján, Hungary (AKA, Raiding after Austrian annexation); d. July 31, 1886 - Bayreuth, Germany)
Classical Composer, "Greatest Pianist of All Time"

A truly monumental composer. From the Franz Liszt Page: "Franz Liszt has emerged as one of the most awe-inspiring figures in all of music history. Regarded as the greatest pianist of all time, who outplayed such greats as Chopin and Thalberg, his genius extended far beyond the piano to expand musical composition and performance well beyond its 19th Century limitations. His unique compositions bewildered, inspired and inflamed the imaginations of his own era, yet quite miraculously he also laid the seeds for a series of schools that would flourish in the near and distant future. Namely, the Late Romantic, Impressionist and Atonal schools. For this Liszt is unique, and his immense-influence... monumental. He invented the symphonic poem, a new and elastic single-movement form, which many subsequent composers, like Richard Strauss & Saint-Saëns, embraced and is at the core of much contemporary and even popular music forms today."

- For a short biography and zipped MIDI files, see The Classical Music Page or Visit The Franz Liszt Page
- You can hear MIDI recordings of many Liszt favorites at the Classical Music Archive.  
- The American Liszt Society maintains an excellent site with numerous links as well as a list of "Liszt Medal of Excellence" recipients. 
- For those of you interested in studying music, visit the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. This world-renowned and former Royal Academy had Liszt as it's first President, and was home to such great musicians as Dohnanyi and Kodaly.


Tony CurtisTony Curtis 
Oscar-Nominated Actor, Artist, and Hollywood Legend!

The COOLEST cat ever to grace Hollywood! The son of a Hungarian immigrant (who had been an amateur actor in Budapest), Curtis was involved with street gangs as a child, but eventually joined the Navy during World War II. Upon his release, he used the GI educational program to study drama at New York's Dramatic Workshop. While playing the lead in a production of "Golden Boy," a Universal talent scout spotted him and Bernie Schwartz was signed to a seven-year contract (starting at $100 a week). His name was changed to "Anthony Curtis." He started his career at the movies in 1949. Tony has been called by critics, "The World's Favorite Movie Actor." Star of 106 films, including "The Defiant Ones," in 1958 (Oscar Nomination!), "Some Like it Hot" with Marilyn Monroe in 1959, "Trapeze," "Spartacus," "the Great Race,"  "Sweet Smell of Success" and "The Boston Strangler," in 1968. He also played the title role in a film about his fellow countryman, Houdini with his first wife, Janet Leigh, with whom he fathered the beautiful Jamie Lee Curtis. My favorite Tony quote:

"What's the secret to a long and happy life? Young women's saliva!"

As an artist, he has won international acclaim. From his site: "His bright acrylic canvases, which have been compared to Matisse, assemblages, collages and boxes are in the private collections of Billy Wilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Frank and Kathy Lee Gifford, Lew Wasserman, Frank Sinatra, Arsenio Hall, Walter Mathau, Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. Tony's originals are also on display at the Butler Institute of American Art, the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, The Toronto Museum, National Hungarian Museum, Harrods Department Store, Spago Restaurant, The Navy Memorial, The Mirage in Las Vegas, and the Caitlyn Gallery in St. Louis."

Gypsy princeTony writes about his painting on the right:

"My father and mother were Hungarian. When I was a young boy, my father regaled me with stories of the Hungarian countryside and gypsies. Living and growing up in New York City, I felt like a gypsy in that huge metropolis. Thus, you see the Gypsy Prince. It is based on a portrait of yours truly."

- For more biographical info, visit: IMDB or Mr. Showbiz 
- The Official Tony Curtis Fan Page with great picture gallery and links
- See a Tony Curtis Fan's Page
- See and BUY Tony's Art on tonycurtis.com!


Gene Simmons of KISSGene Simmons of KISS
Legendary Rock-n-Roller!

Born Chaim Witz in Haifa Israel in 1949, his mother Florence was a Hungarian survivor of a Nazi concentration camp, and his father Yechiel was a carpenter. Five years after his birth his parents separated, and when Chaim was only nine his mother brought him to live in the "Land of Opportunity" - the United States of America. Mother and son settled in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. Here's what Gene once said in a Goldmine interview with Ken Sharp:  

"I was starting to learn English by watching TV, but certainly when I saw Pinocchio I thought the little cricket was talking to me. 'You, Gene, I'm talking to you. When you wish upon a star your dreams come true.'" 

Gene also used comic books to learn English and was fascinated by the colors and pictures. The step from comics to horror movies and thrillers was a natural one after seeing a documentary on the great Lon Chaney. After seeing the historic Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 Gene's life was changed. It would be in this, his fifteenth year, that his mother would give him a secondhand Kent guitar, which she purchased for $15.

"When I saw the Beatles on that program in 1964, I said, “Gee, you don’t have to get in line and do stuff like the Temptations, you can pick up a guitar and you don’t have to dance, you certainly don’t need a band in back of you, and anybody can do it." - Guitar Player 1978

Gene Speaks Hungarian, Turkish, Hebrew, and Spanish. He was also a sixth-grade teacher in Spanish Harlem! 

- Read all about KISS at the KISS Asylum 
- Read about Gene at Kissinuk.com, The Gene Simmons Biography, or Kiss Online.com


Kate Seredy - Award-winning, Hungarian-born writer and illustrator of children's books.Kate Seredy (b. 11/10/1899 Budapest, d. 3/7/1975 Middletown, New York)
Award-winning, Hungarian-born writer and illustrator of children's books.

Kate Seredy won the Newbery Medal once, the Newbery Honor twice, the Caldecott Medal once, and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award. Most of her books were written in English, which was not her first language.Kate won the Newbery Medal once, the Newbery Honor twice, the Caldecott Medal once, and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award. Most of her books were written in English, which was not her first language.

Kate Seredy was the only child of a schoolteacher, Louis Peter Seredy, and his wife, Anna Ireny. Seredy received a diploma to teach art from the Academy of Arts in Budapest. During World War I Seredy traveled to Paris and worked as a combat nurse. After the war she illustrated several books in Hungary. In 1922 Seredy moved from Budapest to the United States. She studied English, working as an illustrator and artist to support herself, while preparing to illustrate children's books. From 1933-1934 Seredy owned a children's bookstore. Though the store wasn't a success, she later credited it with helping her to understand children and what made a good children's book.

Seredy had twelve children's books published, but she considered herself an illustrator before an author. She had a unique style, primarily based on drawing, and considered her books "an excuse for making pictures." Her papers and illustrations are held at the May Massee Collection at Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, and the University of Oregon Library.

- read more on Wikipedia


Brent SpinerBrent Spiner - (b. 2/2/1949, Houston, TX)
Actor and Trekkies' favorite android, Lieutenant Commander Data!

"Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Spiner moved to New York after college, where he performed in numerous off-Broadway plays. "The play that finally pushed me over into the serious-actor category was a public theater production of 'The Seagull' [Anton Chekhov] for Joseph Papp," he says. Spiner eventually won roles in the Broadway musical productions of "Sunday in the Park with George," "The Three Musketeers" and "Big River," which was based on the story of Huckleberry Finn.

After moving to Los Angeles in 1984, Spiner appeared in the Westwood Playhouse production of "Little Shop of Horrors." His other credits include the Woody Allen film "Stardust Memories," a cameo in the movie "The Miss Firecracker Contest" and guest-starring roles in such television series as Cheers, Twilight Zone, Night Court and Hill Street Blues. Spiner has also featured in the films "Phenomenon," "Independence Day" and "Out to Sea." In 2000, Brent portrayed Stromboli in Disney's musical live action version of "Geppetto." Spiner also appeared in the 2000 mini-series "A Girl Thing."  - from Star Trek.com

- See the interview in Timeout NY Magazine 
- See his filmography, pictures, and more at IMDB


Paul NewmanPaul Newman - (b. 1/26/25, Cleveland)
Oscar Winning Actor - Eight Oscar Nominations!

His numerous acclaimed films include: "Cool Hand Luke," "Hud," "The Hustler," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Sting," "The Verdict," "Absence of Malice," "The Verdict," and "The Color of Money" in which he finally won the Oscar on his seventh try. Paul Newman has managed to maintain his matinee-idol status for over 40 years. His famous baby blues were as striking at 70, when he collected his eighth Best Actor Oscar nomination, for 1994's Nobody's Fool, as they had been at 30, when he made his feature-film debut in 1954's The Chalice. Newman was born in the brew-drenched burg of Cleveland, Ohio, the second and youngest child of German and Hungarian parents. His father was a partner in a successful sporting goods store, and thus Newman was raised in Cleveland's swanky Shaker Heights. suburb.

"The embarrassing thing is that the salad dressing is out-grossing my films."

In the twilight of his storied career, he became an ardent philanthropist; by the time the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored him with its Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994, Newman had raised over $80 million in support of various charities. Proceeds from his "Newman's Own" line of food products go to charity.

  • Nominated for Best Actor 1958 : CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF

  • Nominated for Best Actor 1961 : THE HUSTLER

  • Nominated for Best Actor 1963 : HUD

  • Nominated for Actor 1967 : COOL HAND LUKE

  • Nominated for Best Picture 1968 : RACHEL, RACHEL, Producer

  • Nominated for Best Actor 1981 : ABSENCE OF MALICE

  • Nominated for Best Actor 1982 : THE VERDICT

- AMC TV and IMDB are excellent resources for all sorts of Paul Newman info. 
- You can also visit a Paul Newman Biography


CurtizMichael Curtiz - (b. Manó Kertész Kaminer, 12/24,1898 Budapest, d. 4/10/1962, Hollywood, California)
Oscar Winning Director of "Casablanca"

From IMBD: He got his diploma at the School for Dramatic Arts in 1906. First he went to Pécs, then Szeged. He began acting in and then directing films in his native Hungary in 1912. The next year he went to Denmark to study the newest achievements of the new art in the studios of the then flourishing Nordisk company. Here he worked as assistant and director, acting as the main character in Atlantis (1913). Having returned in 1914 he went to the Jenõ Janovics film factory in Kolozsvár (Cluj). In 1915 he moved back to the capital. In 1916 he worked for the Kinoriport, then he became a director for Phönix until Fall 1918. He shot 38 production in Hungary altogether. In 1919 he filmed the popular poem of Antal Farkas with the title Jön az öcsém (1919). During the Commune he settled down in Vienna. He was one of the most productive and most educated artist in Hungary at the beginning of the era of the silent film.

Bogart BacallAfter WWI he continued his filmmaking career in Austria and Germany and into the early 1920's when he directed films in other countries in Europe. Moving to the US in 1926, he started making films in Hollywood for Warner Bros. and became thoroughly entrenched in the studio system. His films during the 30's and 40's encompassed nearly every genre imaginable and some, including Casablanca (1942) (see him on the right directing Bogart and Bacall) and Mildred Pierce (1945), are considered to be film classics. Other credits include: 1935's Captain Blood, 1936's The Charge of the Light Brigade, 1938's Angels With Dirty Faces (Oscar nomination), 1938's The Adventures of Robin Hood,  1938's Four Daughters (Oscar nomination), 1940's The Sea Hawk, 1942's Yankee Doodle Dandy (Oscar nomination),  1943's This Is the Army, 1946's Night and Day and 1954's White Christmas. He even directed one of Elvis Presley's most credible films, King Creole in 1958. He died of cancer in 1962.

Trivia: Member of the Hungarian fencing team at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics!

- See Arjan's Michael Curtiz page for movie posters, pictures, trivia, and more!  (Thanks for the images)
- See his filmography and more at IMDB or Hollywood.com


Frida KahloFrida Kahlo (b. 1907, in Coyoacán, Mexico City; died 13th. July, 1954)
Acclaimed Artist and Mexican Icon: One of the most influential artists of the middle twentieth century

She was born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón. Her father, Guillermo Kahlo, was a Jewish Hungarian immigrant photographer who had been born in Germany. Her mother, Matilde Calderon, was a Catholic Mexican whose origins were Spanish and Native American. She died when Frida Kahlo was in her twenties. Frida Kahlo suffered from polio when she was six. Nevertheless she was very tomboyish which won her father's favor. It was not common for girls to go to school at that time in Mexico, but her father had advanced ideas and in 1922 he sent her to the Preparatoria (National Preparatory School) which was the most prestigious educational institution in Mexico. The school had only just started taking girls, and Frida Kahlo was one of only 35 girls out 2000 pupils. It was at school where she met her future husband Diego Rivera who was fulfilling a mural painting commission there. 

In 1925 when she was 18 she was in a bus which collided with a tramcar causing serious injuries to her leg and pelvis. The accident destroyed her dream of becoming a doctor and affected the rest of her life. During her convalescence she started painting and sent some of her work to Diego Rivera. They would marry in August 1929. She shared his faith in communism and passionate interest in the indigenous cultures of Mexico. Rivera encouraged Kahlo in her work, extolling her as authentic, unspoiled and primitive, and stressing the Indian aspects of her heritage. During this period "Mexicanismo," the fervent embrace of pre-Hispanic Mexican history and culture, gave great currency to the notion of native roots.

The suffering of women is a constant theme in her sometimes shocking pictures. The Frida Kahlo Museum was opened in her house in Coyoacán in 1958.

Nicolas Muray (1892-1965) was a close friend and lover of Frida Kahlo. The Hungarian-born photographer's celebrity portraits appeared regularly in Vanity Fair and Harper's Bazaar. He also took numerous photographs of Kahlo and purchased many of Kahlo's paintings, helping her financially while she was struggling during her brief eleven-month divorce from Rivera. She was having an affair with Muray when she and Rivera filed for divorce in 1939; although it is unclear whether the cause of the separation was Kahlo's or Rivera's infidelity. These intimate letters attest to Kahlo's close relationship with Muray.

Salma Hayek portrays her in the Hollywood film on Frida's life.

- Read more about her


Mariska HargitayMariska Hargitay - (b. 1/23/64, Los Angeles)
Actress

The beautiful and talented daughter of Jayne Mansfeild and Mickey (Miklós) Hargitay, and a wonderful actor in her own right. Now starring in "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit." Hargitay is also known to millions of viewers from her recurring role on ER as Dr. Greene's (Anthony Edwards) girlfriend Cynthia Hooper in the 1997-98 season of the top-rated show. 

She also gained notice as a cast regular in the sitcom "Can't Hurry Love," guest roles on NBC's "Seinfeld," "Ellen," "thirtysomething," "Wiseguy" and "In the Heat of the Night" and as a regular on the popular series Falcon Crest and Prince Street. Hargitay was also seen in the made-for-television movies The Advocate's Devil and Night Sins. Her film credits include the critically acclaimed Leaving Las Vegas.

Miss Beverly Hills (1982).  She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, California; B.A., Theater. 

- See NBC.com for more!


Chuck CsuriCharles A. Csuri
"Father of Digital Art!"

"Charles Csuri could have played professional football. Named "All-American" for football at Ohio State, Csuri turned down offers to play professionally and chose to study art at the graduate level. In school, he became friends with Roy Lichtenstein; afterwards, both of them joined the faculty at Ohio State where he is now Professor Emiritus. Painting and teaching, Csuri became interested in the digital computer as a means of imaging in 1964, when he saw a computer generated face in a publication from the Department of Electrical Engineering. This started Csuri down the path which made him a Computer Graphics Pioneer." 

"...The goal is to achieve a balance between technology and an aesthetic domain to make a meaningful artistic statement."

Co-founder of Cranston and Csuri Productions whose credits include the acclaimed "Living Body" series. He has directed over 25 major research projects for the National Science Foundation, Navy and Air Force and the findings have been applied to flight simulation, computer aided design, and the special effects industry. In 1995 Csuri was featured in the cover article for Smithsonian Magazine. His work has been exhibited at, among other venues, the Smithsonian Institution and the Institute for Contemporary Art in London. He is represented in a number of collections, including that of New York's Museum of Modern Art.

- See this great article at Ohio State: Digital Patriarch or see his Ohio State professional profile
- For more see the Charles Csuri: Computer Artist 


Albrecht DurerAlbrecht Durer (b. 5/21/1471, Nürnberg, d. 4/6/1528)
Reniassance Master - perhaps the Greatest "German" artist of the Renaissance era. Also the most important of the Renaissance Mathematicians - Father of Descriptive Geometry

Albrecht Durer was the third son of Albrecht Ajtos and Barbara Holfer. He was one of their eighteen children. The Ajtos family came from Hungary. The name Ajtos means "door" in Hungarian. When Albrecht Ajtos senior and his brothers came to Germany they chose the name Türer which sounds like the German "Tür" meaning door. The name changed to Dürer but Albrecht Dürer senior always signed himself Türer rather than Dürer.

Durer began his career in the Imperial Free City of Nürnberg with his father, a Hungarian goldsmith who had emigrated to Germany in 1455. Despite his goldsmith origins, however, by 1484 Durer had already begun painting. In 1486 he was apprenticed to the painter and printmaker Michael Wolgumut and began to work with woodcuts and copper engravings as well. His mastery of perspective came through his study of geometry and mathematical theories of proportion. Fascinated by mathematics, Durer traveled extensively. Durer began to explore the "mathematical secrets of art" and delved yet more deeply into the study of mathematics. 

After returning to Nürnberg, Dürer's health became still worse. He did not slacken his work on either mathematics or painting but most of his effort went into his work Treatise on proportion. Durer expressed his theories on proportion in The Four Books on Human Proportions. Although it was completed in 1523, Dürer realised that it required mathematical knowledge which went well beyond what any reader could be expected to have, so he decided to write a more elementary text. He published this more elementary treatise, in four books, in 1525 publishing the work through his own publishing company. This treatise, Unterweisung der Messung mit dem Zirkel und Richtscheit, is the first mathematics book published in German (if one discounts an earlier commercial arithmetic book) and places Dürer as one of the most important of the Renaissance mathematicians. Dürer's remarkable achievement was through applying mathematics to art, he developed such fundamentally new and important ideas within mathematics itself and gave rise to the field of "descriptive geometry."

- See Albrecht Durer
- See the History of Mathematics at the University of St. Andrews in the UK


Gerard SchurmannGerard Schurmann: World-renowned Double Oscar Winning Composer: Orchestrated "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Exodus"

Gerard Schurmann was born of a Dutch father and Hungarian mother in the former Dutch East Indies. He left his home at an early age and grew up in England in the care of an uncle, thus avoiding the Japanese occupation of the islands. Influences from his colorful background manifest themselves in music of a distinctive character. Inherent in his individual musical language are the intervals derived from pentatonic scales which he absorbed as a boy from the local gamelan music of Java and from the Hungarian heritage of his mother, a gifted pianist and accompanist. These melodic derivations, with their harmonic resonances, give rise to an exotic and often heightened emotional intensity in his music.

At the age of 17, Schurmann volunteered for active wartime flying duty in the Dutch 320 Squadron of the Royal Air Force. In addition to his operational duties in Coastal Command, he was invited by the British Council to give piano recitals and make recordings for the troops. At the end of the war, Schurmann combined his by now busy concert career as a pianist with the position of acting Cultural Attaché at the Netherlands Embassy in London.  He later became resident orchestral conductor at Dutch Radio. At the end of his contract, he returned to England determined to devote his life mainly to composition, henceforth limiting his conducting activities to guest appearances. As a composer, Schurmann found himself able to earn a living by writing music for films.

In 1980, he was invited by the U.S. State Department to tour orchestras and universities in the United States, a five months visit also partly sponsored by the British Council. In 1981, he moved to the USA, where he settled in the Hollywood Hills, California. He continued to receive many commissions for concert works and became associated with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He scored many films and won Oscars for his orchestration of Lawrence of Arabia and Exodus. He also received two Oscar nominations (The Two-Headed Spy, and The Ceremony).

Trivia:

  • He was invited to choreograph to music the Fountains of Bellagio, the most ambitious WET Design water feature to date.

- See Gerard Schurmann.com


Rachel WeiszRachel Weisz (b. 3/7/71, London), Actress and Model

Film credits include: The Mummy, The Mummy II, Enemy at the Gates, Stealing Beauty, Chain Reaction, Swept from the Sea, Sunshine, Beautiful Creatures. 

Rachel studied English at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.  She formed the Talking Tongues theater company and at 1991's Edinburgh Festival won a student drama award for a play she wrote and acted in.
Her mother, Edith, is a Viennese-born psychotherapist (wanted to act herself, encouraged Rachel to try theatre). Her father, George, is a Hungarian-born inventor credited with inventing life-saving respiratory medical equipment.

- Biography at Heavenly Celebrities
- bio and filmography at IMDB.com
- For pictures: Rachel Weisz Picture Galleries or Actress Archives.com 
- A filmography at videoflicks.com


George KepesGyorgy Kepes (b. Selyp, Hungary in 1906, d. 1/16/2002)
Painter, designer, author and educator who founded and directed the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT

Gyorgy Kepes was the greatest pioneer in the marriage of art and technology in America, if not the world. He was a visionary, a towering intellect and a breathtaking artist. He single-handedly created the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT and turned it into an internationally acclaimed program for the development of the finest in late 20th-century art. His work will endure for many centuries to come,” said Alan Brody, associate provost for the arts.

Kepes studied painting at the School of Arts in Budapest. The horrors of World War I convinced him that “only film could bring into a single focus my joy in the visual world and the social goals to be realized in this world,” he wrote. In 1930 he went to Berlin, collaborating on film, stage and exhibitions, and graphic design with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, one of the principals in the Bauhaus movement. Kepes came to the United States in 1937 as head of the Light and Color Department of the Institute of Design in Chicago, then known as the New Bauhaus. He joined MIT in 1946 as associate professor of visual design, becoming a full professor in 1949. He was appointed Institute Professor in 1970. Kepes founded the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) in 1967 and served as its director until 1972. 

In addition to his career as an artist and an educator, Kepes was a prolific author. He published “The Language of Vision,” a summary of educational ideals and methods, in 1944; “The New Landscape in Art and Science” in 1956, and the seven-volume “Vision and Value” series in 1965 and 1966. Throughout his career, Kepes continued working as a designer, producing both small and large-scale works. The First and Second Church in Boston commissioned him to make stained glass windows, and he designed a window and all sculpture for a church in Japan. His paintings are included in 30 permanent collections including the Brooklyn Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington and the Whitney Museum in New York City. In 1995 the Hungarian government endowed a museum in Eger, Hungary, devoted to housing a major collection of Kepes’ paintings, drawings and photographs as well as his archives. A permanent collection of his photographs is in Hungary’s National Photography Museum. The Kepes Prize is presented annually at MIT. 

Among many tributes, Kepes was awarded the Fine Arts Medal of the American Institute of Arts and Letters. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1996, he received both the Medal of Honor and the Middle Cross of the Republic of Hungary.

See MIT Tech Talk or Gyorgy Kepes, Exemplar of the Visual Arts (includes a gallery)


Uri GellerUri Geller - (b. 1946, Israel)
Psychic/Entertainer

Some call him "One of the Most Controversial Men of Modern Times," Uri is undoubtedly the most famous psychic in the world, first known for his spoon bending.   His "powers" have been under scientific scrutiny for years. Visit "Uri Geller," for biographical information, a picture gallery, paranormal research, Uri's paintings, and more.  

Uri's own home page at www.urigeller.com is also a great resource on his activities.


Stefan HatosStefan Hatos (b. Aurora, Illinois, on 8/ 20/1920, d. Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake, California 1999)
Television producer of "Let's Make a Deal" fame

Stefan Hatos was a first generation American with Hungarian parents.  His father was an iron peddler by trade. Stefan was the second of three sons and a daughter. He began playing piano and oboe at age eight. While attending college on a music (and basketball) scholarship, he played Oboe and English Horn with the Detroit Civic Symphony and also played Tenor & Bass Saxophone in dance bands to work his way through school. He got his start in media when he became staff announcer at a Detroit radio station and later on the NBC radio network. 

He was always more interested in writing and production than in performing. While an announcer, he wrote episodes of The Lone Ranger (1940), The Green Hornet, and a psycho-thriller Hermit’s Cave. After serving 37 months as commanding officer of PT 328 during WWII, and surviving being wounded twice, he returned to CBS Radio as a Staff Director and Writer in New York and Chicago.  He next joined ad agency Foote, Cone & Belding as staff Producer-Director for radio shows Readers Digest with big name stars and The Wayne King Show (CBS Radio).  He directed Lucky Strike Hit Parade for NBC Radio. 

Stefan HatosHe moved into television in 1949, and created and produced one of the first nighttime game shows on the first inter-connected network of seventeen TV stations on ABC-TV. The name of the show was Fun for the Money. He produced numerous radio and television shows and hit it big with "Let's Make a Deal" with Monty Hall which debuted in 1963 and ran for over 4,600 shows and continues today in syndication!

Trivia:

  • He was among those photographed for LIFE magazine at the liberation of a Prisoner of War camp at Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo in August, 1945

Read more on the Official Let's Make a Deal Website (thanks for the above information!)


FlipperIván Tôrs - (b. 6/12/1916 d. 6/4/1983)
Producer/Director, Underwater Film Pioneer

Although Ivan Tors died in 1983, his impact on conservation, wildlife awareness, and even recreational scuba has been huge. By means of his work as a filmmaker and producer, Ivan brought the underwater world home to millions via television and movies. He is the man who created Sea Hunt in the 1960s, but even back in 1958 he was innovating underwater cinematography with features like "Underwater Warrior." Another milestone in Tors' career was the 1960s TV series "Flipper," forever endearing the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin to Homo sapiens. Other Ivan Tors productions included "Namu, the Killer Whale," "Around the World Under the Sea," and "Hello Down There." Other television series created by Ivan Tors during the 1970s included "The Aquarians," "Primus," and "Salty." By means of his creative cinematography and innovative narrative, Ivan Tors communicated his vision of the sea to so many when so few knew what wonders lie beneath the sea. Tors also handled underwater sequences for the early Bond films such as "Thunderball."

Inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame. Though he worked extensively with captive dolphins and other animals, he spent much of his later years campaigning against dolphin captivity...

- See his filmography here


Peter LorrePeter Lorre - (born Lászlo Loewenstein, 6/26/1904 Rozsahegy [Rosenberg], Hungary, d. 3/23/1964) 
Actor: Chaplin called him "the greatest actor alive"

CasablancaSuperstar of Horror film classics, some with countryman Bela Lugosi, as well as acclaimed supporting roles in "Casablanca," the "Maltese Falcon," and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Born in Rozsahegy, Hungary (now Ruzomberok, Slovakia after the Treaty of Trianon), his grandfather was a rabbi and his father, Alois Loewenstein, was a middle-class landowner. After the family fortune was decimated by the 1919 Hungarian Communist revolution, Alois relocated his family in Vienna and attempted to settle his son into a respectable career as a banker. "Laczy," however, was determined to become an actor, and spent much of the 1920s learning his trade in various small theatrical companies. In 1928, at the recommendation of his mentor Jacob Moreno, he adopted the stage name Peter Lorre. During the late 1920s and early 1930s Lorre made an impression in the art theaters of Berlin. In 1931 Lorre had a phenomenal success with his first film appearance as a serial killer in Fritz Lang's thriller "M,"  now considered a classic of German cinema. Peter Lorre's performance in M remains one of the greatest in the history of cinema. 

Peter Lorre and Humphrey Bogart in the Maltese FalcolnAlmost as quickly as he achieved world-wide fame, Lorre became typecast. In spite of his diminuitive size, Lorre became synonymous with dread. Fleeing the Nazi machine, Lorre left Germany in 1933, landing in England, where Alfred Hitchcock exploited his image by casting him in is first English-speaking role as the head of a ring of kidnappers who menace young Nova Pilbeam in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934). He then relocated to southern California, and, for better or worse, settled in as a permanent resident of Hollywood's star colony.  Two years later Hitchcock cast him in a similar role in Secret Agent. For Mad Love (1935), his first American film and a rare foray into horror for MGM, Lorre's head was shaved, further emphasizing his bulging eyes and giving him a slick, reptilian appearance. In his second Hollywood outing he met with more critical acclaim as yet another murderer, Raskolnikov, in Sternberg's version of Crime and Punishment (1935). Between 1937 and 1939 Lorre stepped into a more conventional role, playing the Japanese detective Mr. Moto in eight films for 20th Century-Fox. By the end of the decade, Lorre's face and silken voice had become so recognizable that he was caricatured in Warner Bros. cartoons and on Spike Jones records. During the 1950s, health problems forced Lorre to take fewer roles, although he did expand his repertoire with a musical, Silk Stockings (1957) and several comedies. His comedic talent was displayed in a 1960s series of comedy/horror films for American-International Pictures. His precise timing and droll delivery in The Raven (1963) suggested that Hollywood never fully explored Lorre's range as an actor.

Vincent Price said of him, "His voice. . . face . . . the way he moved . . . laughed.  He was the most identifiable actor I have ever known."

Trivia

  • Brecht wrote a Broadway musical for him and invited him to play Hamlet with his Berliner Ensemble.
  • He was the first director in post-WWII Germany to make a film critical of the Nazis.
  • He talked Humphrey Bogart into marrying Lauren Bacall!
  • Was the very first James Bond villain; he played Le Chiffre in a 1954 version of Casino Royale on TV.
  • During the anti-Communist witch hunts of the late 1940s, Federal agents came to his house to question him about whether or not he knew any suspicious persons. He responded by telling them the names of everyone he'd ever met. They left him alone after that.
  • He's mentioned in the novels On the Road, Catcher in the Rye, and Under the Volcano.

Listen!Click HERE to Listen to Peter or hear more at The Pit

- See Walking the Shark: a Peter Lorre Page for more; Peter Lorre by Michael Ferguson; The Peter Lorre Story, with numerous pictures and anecdotes; more biographical info, filmography, and more at IMDB; or his filmography


Harry HoudiniHarry Houdini (b. 3/24/1874, Budapest, d. 10/31/1926, Detroit)
The "Greatest Magician on Earth," Actor, Pioneer Pilot

Houdini fascinated audiences with his great escapes and illusions for decades.  To this day he is the one magicians aspire to. He was honored as first to fly a plane in Australia and also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his film career.

Harry HoudiniHarry was the third of five children. When he was about four years old, his father, Rabbi Dr. Mayer Samuel Weiss, who was a religious scholar and teacher, moved the family to Appleton, Wisconsin where he became the first rabbi of a new congregation. He told everyone for his entire life that he was born in Appleton, so they would accept him as an American. In later years, in a magazine interview, Houdini said about Appleton, "the greatest escape I ever made was when I left Appleton, Wisconsin." He was always concerned about physical fitness and staying in shape. He won awards in track and swimming and later used these talents as an escape artist.

When I was 15, I read an autobiography by the French Magician named Jean Robert-Houdin. This changed my life forever. I wanted to be just like Robert-Houdin, so I added the letter “I” which means “like” to his name, and I became Houdini. He career was storied to the say the least.  In 1926, he lay underwater over 90 minutes in a sealed casket to beat the world record. Later that year, on October 22, 1926, while in his dressing room at the Princess Theater in Montreal with several students from McGill University, he was asked if he could actually withstand a punch to the stomach thrown by any man. This is something he would routinely do, but before he could prepare himself by tightening his stomach muscles, J. Gordon Whitehead hit him three times. He didn’t know it at the time, but his appendix had burst. He did several shows at the Garrick after that, but soon became ill. Nine days later in room 401 of Detroit's old Grace Hospital, he died from peritonitis, which is inflammation of the appendix. He died at the age of 52, on October 31, -- Halloween.

Trivia: "Genius of Escape Who Will Startle and Amaze"

  • Fellow Hungarian (see him on this page) Tony Curtis played Harry in the film.

  • A US stamp was issued in his honor

- See Houdini Biography or The Houdini Tribute for more.
- Learn all about Houdini, hear his voice (VERY RARE!), see many photos and resources, and buy stuff at Hounidiana - an amazing site full of information - "The Largest Electronic Archive in the World on Houdini" - or Shop at Houdini.com.  
- See videos and other multimedia at Houdini Tribute.  Read a more detailed biography at Houdini: A Biographical Chronology
______
His brother, Theo, known as "Hardeen" was also a well-known act, performing many of Houdini's astonishing escapes.


Mark Knopfler - Dire StraitsMark (b. 8/12/1949, Glasgow) and David Knopfler (b. 12/27/1951)
Legendary, Grammy Award-winning Rock Musicians of Dire Straits: "The Sultans of Rock" and "the finest British band of all time."

Mark Freuder Knopfler was born to Erwin Knopfler and Louisa Mary Knopfler. Erwin Knopfler, an architect, was a Hungarian Jew who had fled from the Nazis in 1939, and settled in Glasgow. A daughter, Ruth had been born in 1947. Later, in 1952, Mrs. Knopfler gave birth to a second son, David. When Mark was seven or eight, the Knopflers moved from Glasgow to Newcastle. 

Dire Straits was formed in London by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar) and his brother David (guitar), with John Illsley (bass), and Pick Withers (drums). In the late 70s, the band emerged with a refreshing rock sound mixed with blues, jazz and even country. The band's sound was strengthened by the meshing of players and Knopfler's lyrics. Mark Knopfler is and always has been the face and force of Dire Straits. Their first demo gets airtime thanks to a chance friendship with London Radio DJ Charlie Gillent. Dire Straits (named after their financial condition) then is born. A record company deal and the first album, the self-titled Dire Straits, follow the next year. Thus began the meteoric rise of the one of the finest British band of all time.

The first single of their album Brothers In Arms, "Money For Nothing," went to Number 1 on pop and rock charts. Follow-up hits included the Top 10 "Walk Of Life" and "So Far Away." The band used the popularity of the "new" CD format to give listeners longer versions of their songs. Tracks such as "Your Latest Trick" and "Brothers In Arms" became even more of a treat to listeners with the longer format. The LP sold over 9 million copies in the U.S. and many more millions around the world. The LP went #1 in Canada, Brazil, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, France, German, Greece, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Israel. 1986 Grammy Awards: Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal ("Money For Nothing") and Best Country Instrumental Performance ("Cosmic Square Dance" awared to Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins).

Trivia:

  • Prior to forming the band, Knopfler worked as a rock critic and taught English.
  • "Money For Nothing" with Sting as guest vocalist, is Dire Straits' first American Number 1 single.
  • Knopfler scored the film Wag The Dog.

- See discography and more on neck-and-neck.com
- Read more on The Sultans of Rock or
- the official Mark-Knopfler.com or
- Rock on the Net


Louis CKLouis CK (Szekely) (b. 9/12/1967, New York)
Emmy Award-winning comedian and writer, television and film producer and director

Louis CK uses his peculiar last name because his "Hungarian name has too many letters." It is funny too, and tells you a lot about this comic genius.

Though his first foray into comedy in 1984 was unsuccessful, by 1989 he was appearing on virtually all the popular comedy shows of the time from Evening at the Improv, MTV Half Hour Comedy Hour, Comic Strip Live, and Comedy on the Road. He was even on Star Search but lost to a fellow named Steve Mc'grew. Besides writing and doing standup comedy, Louis has directed over half a dozen crowd-pleasing short films which have aired on Bravo and the Independent Film Channel. His feature debut, "Tomorrow Night," received popular acclaim after being screened at the Sundance Film Festival. His film, "Ceasar's Salad," in 1990, earned a Silver Plaque Award from the Chicago Film Festival. The New Orleans Film and Video Festival gave it the "Best Comedy" award. Louis was on his way!

The next phase of Louis' career was in Television comedy writing, something which has earned him Four Emmy Nominations and one EMMY AWARD WIN! In 1993, The Conan O'brien Show hired Louis as a writer. He was a member of the original writing staff that launched the show. Louis also made his network television debut as a stand up on Conan; he was the first stand up comedian to appear on Conan's show!

In 1996, Louis made his own HBO Half Hour stand up comedy Special. And he got hired as a Producer and writer on the Chris Rock Show on HBO, where in 1999, he won an Emmy for his work. He also Created and starred in a show for comedy Central called "Louis C.K.'s Filthy Stupid Talent Show." In 2000 Louis directed and wrote his first studio movie, called "Pootie Tang" starring a character Louis created on the Chris Rock show. In 2001, he made his very first appearence on the Tonight Show on NBC. He also co-wrote Down To Earth, starring Chris Rock. In 2003 - 2004, Louis was a big hit at the Montreal Comedy Festival and the Aspen Comedy Festival and he signed with CBS and Warner Brothers to do another sitcom pilot. This one was called "Saint Louie."

This year, 2005, has been an incredible year for Louis. especially April. In that one month, he wrote, Executive Produced and starred in a sitcom pilot for HBO, shot his second HBO half hour standup special in New York, and his wife gave birth to his second daughter, all within two weeks of each other! The standup special turned out great and premiered on August 19th of 2005. The pilot was picked up by HBO for series and Louis is currently in production, writing, producing and starring in 12 episodes of the show which will begin airing in 2006. This show will mark HBO's first multi-camera sitcom(in front of an audience) ever.

Awards

- Won Emmy Award for best writing on a variety show 1999
- Ace Award for best variety show (producer) 1997
- Grand Prize at Aspen Shortfest for "Ice Cream" 1993

- See his wonderful debut on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno!
- See other performances, filmography, and even purchase his videos on his official site: www.louisck.com
- Read a recent review from the UK on Chortle.com


Franz LeharLehár, Franz (b. 4/30/1870 Komárom (now called Komarno in Slovakia after annexation at Trianon) - d. 10/24/1948, Bad Ischl, Austria)
Foremost composer of 20th century operettas.

Best known as a composer of operettas, he studied with his father, a military bandmaster, and at the age of 15, from 1882 to 1888 he was a pupil at the Prague Conservatory, studying violin and music theory. On the advice of Dvorak, he concentrated on composition.

After graduation, he played violin in the opera orchestra at Elberfeld. Later, he joined his father's band, the Fiftieth Infantry, in Vienna, as assistant bandmaster. In Vienna, he also free-lanced as a conductor, and in the Spring of 1902, became conductor at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. His opera Wiener Frauen was produced there in November, 1902. From that time, he lived in Vienna, and devoted his time to composition.

“The man in the street may love The Merry Widow,” observed Ernest Newman, “but the musician, in addition to loving it, admires and wonders at it, so fresh and varied is the melodic invention in it, so deft, for all their economy, the harmonization and the scoring.”

Franz Lehar wrote nearly forty operettas. His greatest success was The Merry Widow, which was first produced at Theater an der Wien on December 30, 1905. which had more than five thousand performances. At one time, it ran simultaneously in five different languages in five different theaters, all in Buenos Aires. Other major successes include The Count of Luxemburg (1911) and Land of Smiles (1923), Gypsy Love, Eva and other sonatas, symphonic poems, marches, and dances. In February 1935 Lehár decided to found his own publishing house in order to have the greatest possible control over the performance and availability of his works. He incorporated Glocken Verlag Vienna on 15 February 1935. He reacquired most of his oeuvre from other publishers to whom he had previously sold various rights and devoted much time to the publication of definitive editions. He died in Bad Ischl on 24 October 1948.

- Read more Here or at this great biography "Franz Lehár Considered from the Objectivist Point of View"
- Read more about him and his family's military history at Austro-Hungarian Army.com


Gabe CsupoGábor Csupó - (b. 1952, Budapest)
Co-founder of Klasky-Csupo, one of the world's leading independent animation studios, Founder of Tone Casualties, Musician. 5 EMMYS and 2 CABLE ACE Awards - produced Rugrats and the Simpsons

The RugratsWalt Disney eat your heart out. But there is no dispute that this Hungarian born genius is the leader of the new generation of animation. He received his animation education at Hungary's famed Pannonia studio. In 1975 he fled Communist Hungary by walking for 2.5 hours through a darkened railway tunnel to Austria. Eventually in Stockholm, he helped produce Sweden's first animated feature. While in Stockholm, he met graphic designer Arlene Klasky. The couple relocated to Los Angeles, California and formed Klasky Csupo, Inc. in late 1981 in the spare room of their apartment. Klasky Csupo has won 5 EMMYS and 2 CABLE ACE Awards plus a host of other top honors.  They produced Rugrats, the Simpsons, and even the opening to the hit show "In Living Color."  

- Visit KlaskyCsupo.com for more info on the company and background on Gábor. 
- See his music at Liquid Fire, the title of his new CD, "A hypnotic musical journey for dark ambient, electronic, trip-hop, drum & bass, acid jazz, avant-dance and progressive groove lovers. East meets West with a bang." The site's main page plays a modern rendition of the Kossuth Anthem!
- Read an interview at Club Cool Tunes
- Read a history of Hungarian Animation


The RamonesTommy Ramone (b. 1/29/1952, Budapest, Hungary)
Drummer and Producer of the Legendary, Pioneering Punk Rockers, the Ramones!

Born Thomas Erdelyi, he emigrated from Hungary at the age of four. The Ramones formed in 1974, after the foursome graduated or left high school in Forest Hills, New York. The original lineup featured Joey on drums, Dee Dee sharing guitar with Johnny, and Tommy as manager, but soon became the band's drummer. In the mid-'70s, the Ramones shaped the sound of punk rock in New York with simple, fast songs, deadpan lyrics, no solos, and an impenetrable wall of guitar chords. Each band member changed his name to Ramone. 

"All the better-known punk groups that followed - The Sex Pistols, The Clash, whoever - they would be the first ones to say that without the Ramones the whole punk movement never would have happened," Spin magazine editor-in-chief Alan Light. The Ramones have released 14 studio albums of "arguably the greatest American Rock-n-Roll ever," contributor Fred Mintz.

Tommy's last show was May 4, 1978, at CBGB in New York. Tommy left under amiable terms, citing a dislike of touring and desire to be a producer.  He returned to produce the albums Road to Ruin and Too Tough To Die.

Trivia:

  • Where did the name "Ramones" come from?

    There have been numerous answers given to this question.  One is that Paul McCartney used the name Paul Ramone when the Beatles were know as the Silver Beatles.  Another explanation is that while in the Beatles, Paul would use the surname Ramone when checking into hotels to hide his true identity.  Dee Dee said the band liked producer Phil Ramone (Billy Joel, Simon and Garfunkel).

- See RollingStone.com or 
- VH1.com


6-time Oscar Winner Georege PalGeorge Pál (b. 1/2/1908, Cegléd, Hungary, d. 5/2/1980, Beverly Hills, California) - 
Cartoonist - Winner of SIX Oscars, and pioneer of stop-action animation!

"Before Spielberg... Before Lucas... There was...George Pal, The original Wizard of Sci-Fi & Fantasy!"

George Pal Hollywood Walk of fameSince the early history of animation, Hungarians have been involved in this field (see Csupo above), and this history dates back to its earliest in 1914, and then follows through to Paramount Studios in Hollywood when in the 1940s Hungarian émigré George Pal developed methods of integrating animated special effects with live action. These methods were to become the accepted process for motion pictures for decades thereafter. In the annals of Hollywood, George Pal will always be remembered as a titan. A brilliant visionary who profoundly shaped the art of motion pictures. As an animator, Pal was a pioneer of stop-action animation and a peer of Walt Disney and Walter Lantz.

George Pal and DisneyGeorge Pal was born into a Hungarian theatrical family. Both parents, Maria and George Pal, Sr., were famous stage celebrities. George attended the Budapest Academy to train as an architect, but a clerical error put him in illustration classes... A medical school just down the street offered classes in anatomy to its students. Pal found that by simply slipping on a white smock, he could sneak into the classes and learn anatomy. "The doctors," he says, "had to learn how to draw muscles and bones -- no matter how badly -- so that they knew them. I drew pretty good. So I reproduced my drawings and sold them to the medical students. I had to make money somehow. I think the medical professor got suspicious because so many students turned in similar drawings. But he let it pass." ... as they say, the rest is history. George graduated with an architectural degree when Hungary was in no need of architects, but there were jobs for animation illustrators at Hunnia films. Pal convinced his girlfriend Zsoka to marry him, and only then found that his new job was un unpaid apprenticeship. They migrated to Berlin (Zsoka's excellent idea), where he found similar (but paid) work at the famous UFA studio. Within sixty days, he was in charge of their cartoon production. The rising tide of Nazi Germany pushed Pal to move to Holland. where he created his revolutionary short, "Ship of the Ether." As World War II loomed on the horizon, Pal realized an old dream and headed to the U.S. for Hollywood. 

George PalIt was there that Pal was to profoundly influence the movie industry and shape the imaginations of a later generation of filmmakers. Working at Paramount, Pal applied his experience in animation to create a beautiful series of musical short subjects. "George Pal's Puppetoons" utilized meticulously carved wooden puppets and stop-action photography to create three-dimensional animation the likes of which had never been seen before. Puppets gracefully twirl and swoop in a ballroom to the strains of a Strauss waltz. The Puppetoons earned Pal an Academy Award (Oscar) - the first of six in his career.

In the '50s Pal turned to live-action films as a producer (as did his friend Walt Disney seen with Pal and Lantz on the right). His first film. "Destination Moon," (Oscar)  was a 'futuristic documentary' chronicling man's exploration of Earth's nearest neighbor. As veteran director Robert Wise observes in the documentary, "’Destination Moon’" was a major turning point in film history." He later brought to the screen such classics as H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" (Oscar) and "The Time Machine" (Oscar), and "When World Collide" (Oscar).. But there was a warm and gentle side to this artist as well. Today Pal is also honored for the beautiful and charming fantasies "Tom Thumb," (Oscar) "The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm" (his son David was also an animator), and "7 Faces of Dr. Lao." Pal's cinematic legacy can be traced today in the works of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Gene Roddenberry.

Trivia

  • Co-Authored "Time Machine II," a sequel to the H.G. Wells classic.
  • He designed the Morlocks in The Time Machine.
  • Some familiar puppets he created are the Pillsbury Doughboy and the Planter's Peanut Guy!

- For more biographical information, see IMDB, The Legacy Of George Pal, A Brief Biography of George Pal, The Time Machine, or Sci-fi station.com
- Read a history of Hungarian Animation 
- See a filmography I, filmography II (IMDB), or filmography III, and purchase his videos at Moviegoods.com or Videoflicks.com
- Purchase the video of his legendary career, "The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal"


Christoph DohnanyiKristof (Christoph) von Dohnányi - (b. 9/28/1929, Berlin)
Conductor (Cleveland) of the "Country's Greatest Orchestra" Time Magazine, 1994

Born in Berlin, Christoph von Dohnanyi began the study of the piano as a 5-year-old, and although he studied law in Munich after the war, he decided to devote himself exclusively to music. His most important teacher was his grandfather, the composer Ernst von Dohnanyi, with whom he studied at the Florida State Universitry. Dohnanyi also took conducting courses in Tanglewood under Leonard Bernstein. His career began when Sir Georg Solti called him to the Frankfurt Opera in 1953, where he was choral conductor and later orchestral conductor. He then took posts in various German cities before serving as principal conductor and general manager of the Hamburg State Opera from 1978 to 1984. As a regular guest at the Salzburg Festival, Christoph von Dohnányi has led the Vienna Philharmonic in several new productions. He has conducted such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, New York Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared in major international opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Scala, Milan and Vienna State Opera.

Dohnanyi was appointed music director of the Cleveland Orchestra in 1984. "They don't have to love you, but respect is essential," he says of his relationship with the players. Today, Dohnanyi and the Cleveland Orchestra are considered as one of the great musical teams of our time, both in the U.S. and internationally. His programs in Cleveland have drawn widespread admiration and won him the ASCAP Prize for progressive concert programs in 1989. 

From Case Western Reserve University: "Under your direction, the Cleveland Orchestra has become the most recorded American orchestra, and has brought insight and enjoyment to millions of listeners and fame to this community through your performances here and throughout the world. Christoph von Dohnanyi, musician, leader, adventurer, world citizen, and our close partner in this extraordinary neighborhood known as University Circle. On the recommendation of the University Faculty and the vote of the Board of Trustees, it is a privilege to admit you to the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. In token of this act, we bestow upon you the hood of this University and grant you this diploma."

Trivia:

  • His father, Dr. Hans von Dohnanyi (b. 1/1/1902, d. 4/8/1945) was a WWII hero of German resistance! He played a major role in helping to plan the September 1938 and October 1939 coup attempts and was later hanged by the Gestapo. (See Military)

- See Honoring conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi on his 70th birthday
- See Classical Plus and listen to audio clips, see a more detailed bio, and buy his CD's


Erno DohnanyiErno (Ernst) von Dohnányi - (b. 1877, Pozsony, Hungary (now Bratislava after Czech and Slovak annexation) d. -1960)
Pianist, composer, conductor, and pedagogue.

He had appeared as a pianist and conductor in concert venues throughout Europe and the United States in the five decades since his graduation from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, giving fifteen hundred concerts within the first thirty years of his career. In addition to having received much critical acclaim for his piano-playing, conducting, and composition, he had taught at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik and later at the Franz Liszt Academy. By 1937 Dohnányi was serving as the director of the Franz Liszt Academy, the president and conductor of the Budapest Philharmonic Society, the music director of the Hungarian Radio, and a member of the Hungarian Senate, while continuing to compose and tour internationally. When Hungary became aligned with Nazi Germany in 1941, Dohnányi devoted him self to fighting political injustices. He ultimately resigned from the directorship of the Liszt Academy after being instructed to dismiss György Faragó, a former student of Dohnányi’s who taught piano at the academy, because Faragó was half-Jewish. Dohnányi also continued to employ all the Jewish members of the Budapest Philharmonic until 11 May 1944, two months after Germany occupied Hungary, at which time Dohnányi disbanded the orchestra rather than implement anti-Semitic regulations.

The new Russian-controlled Hungarian Government, which was angry with Dohnányi for having signed anti-Soviet legislation as a member of the Hungarian Senate, listed Dohnányi as a war criminal and petitioned the American authorities to extradite him.  To add to Dohnányi’s misery, he learned that his son Matthew, who had become a Captain in the Hungarian Army, had died in a Russian concentration camp. Just a few months later, Dohnányi learned that his other son, Hans (father of the famous conductor Christoph von Dohnányi, see below), had been executed by the Nazis for his involvement in Hungary’s 20 July 1944 assassination plot against Hitler. Dohnányi, fearing for his own life, accepted an offer from Árpád Bubik, who had once been his secretary, to escape Europe and move to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Following the success of a 1948-1949 tour of the United States, Dohnányi was offered positions at several American universities.  However, Dohnányi received an invitation from Karl Kuersteiner, who was the Dean of the FSU School of Music, to become Professor of Piano and Composition at FSU.  Kuersteiner, who had studied violin at the Franz Liszt Academy, enticed the seventy-two-year-old Dohnányi with Florida’s temperate climate and an easy schedule.  Dohnányi accepted FSU’s offer of a professorship starting in the fall semester of 1949.

Erno Dohnanyi

Dohnanyi (left), Bartok (center), Kodaly (right) in 1900

Since Dohnányi’s death, the faculty, students, and alumni of the FSU School of Music have continued to recognize his contributions to the School. In 1987, the School of Music named the 218-seat lecture/recital hall in the Housewright Music Building the “Ernst von Dohnányi Recital Hall,” and in 1998 the School of Music established the “Ernst von Dohnányi Collection” in the Warren D. Allen Music Library. In cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Hungary, this extensive collection of books, scrapbooks, recordings, and manuscripts will soon become the American Branch of the International Dohnányi Research Center. The faculty of School of Music also awards outstanding students and alumni who have demonstrated excellence in performance or composition with the "Ernst von Dohnányi Citation." Recipients of this prestigious award include Pulitzer-prize winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, who is now on faculty at FSU as the Francis Eppes Professor of Music. Beginning January 31 through February 2, 2002, the School of Music will continue to honor Dohnányi’s legacy by hosting an International Ernst von Dohnányi Festival.

Trivia:

  • His son, Dr. Hans von Dohnanyi (b. 1/1/1902, d. 4/8/1945) was a WWII hero of German resistance! He played a major role in helping to plan the September 1938 and October 1939 coup attempts and was later hanged by the Gestapo. (See Military)

- See Florida State University or its Dohnanyi Photo Page or
- Buy the book, "Ernst von Dohnanyi: A Bio-Bibliography"


Joe EszterhasJoe (Joszef) Eszterhás - (b. 11/23/1944, Csákánydoroszló, Hungary)
Prolific Screenwriter (Basic Instinct, Sliver, Flashdance) "Highest-paid writer in Hollywood"

Writing must run in his genes.  His father, Istvan Eszterhas, was a renowned novelist and author of more than 30 Hungarian historical novels. His mother, Maria Biro, diagnosed as a schizophrenic, died when Eszterhas was 23. Joe Eszterhas began his journalistic career as a reporter for Rolling Stone. Prior to that, Joe worked as a reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In 1974, Eszterhas authored the popular, award-winning novel Charlie Simpson's Apocalypse. The book was optioned by Hollywood, and though it has not as yet been filmed, it served as the key for Eszterhas' entree into scriptwriting. He is best known for his vicious, sexy, highly literate crime and mystery scripts: The Jagged Edge (1985), Betrayed (1988), and the Sharon Stone starmaker Basic Instinct (1989). 

At one point Eszterhas was the highest-paid writer in Hollywood, receiving $3 million up-front money for Basic Instinct alone. Other credits include: Burn Hollywood Burn: An Alan Smithee Film  (1998); Telling Lies in America  (1997); Jade (1995); Showgirls (1995); Sliver  (1993); Checking Out  (1989); Music Box  (1989); Big Shots  (1987); Hearts of Fire  (1987); Flashdance  (1983); and F.I.S.T.  (1978)

- Read more at E! Online or IMDB!


Claude SchonbergClaude-Michel Schönberg (b. 7/6/1944, Vannes, France)
Acclaimed Grammy and Tony Award-winning Writer, Composer, and Producer of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon

Les MiserablesBorn of Hungarian parents, Claude-Michel began his career as a singer, writer and producer of popular songs. Schonberg began his collaboration with Alain Boublil in 1973 with the first-ever staged French rock opera La Revolution Francaise, which played to capacity audiences and sold over 350,000 double albums. A year later he sang his own music and lyrics on an album which spawned the hit single "Le Premier Pas'. In 1978, he and Boublil started work on the musical Les Misérables which was presented at the Palais des Sports in Paris in September 1980. The concept album won two gold discs in 1981. When the show was produced on Broadway in 1987, Schönberg won Tony Awards for best score and book, and a Grammy for Best Original Cast recording.

Schonberg and Boublil's next project, Miss Saigon, was acclaimed both in London (1989) and New York (1991), and has been successfully presented in many countries throughout the world. He lives in Paris with his wife and two children.

- Go to Amazon.com for his recordings


CicciolinaIlona Staller aka Cicciolina (Cuddles) (b. 11/26/1951, Budapest)
Actress, Politician - Queen of Euro Porn through the 80's and 90's - Member of Parliament! Co-founder of Italy's Green Party

Ilona Staller's father was an official in the Ministry of the Interior, her mother an obstetrician. She began modeling at the age of 13 and later entered medicine with plans to become a gynecologist before an interest in archaelogy sidetracked her. She then joined M.T.I. Modeling Agency which handled 50 of Hungary's most beautiful models. Staller moved to Italy in 1976 where she hosted a radio show on Radio Luna, and for the first time used the name Cicciolina. In 1979 she helped start Italy's first Green Party while making pornography on the side. She would be world renowned for her haunted girlish beauty and willingness to do any filthy thing imaginable. Ilona was elected to the Italian parliament in 1987 on a platform of "make love, not war." She vowed to fight nuclear energy, experimentation on animals, drug prohibition, capital punishment, cars, unchecked capitalism and censorship.

She married American artist Jeff Koons who has exhibited vivid sculptures showing the two engaged in intercourse. Ilona alleged physical abuse and their marriage bitterly broke up in 1992. Their son Ludwig was born shortly afterwards. Staller left the US with the child, and a lengthy custody battle ensued. Koons won custody in 1998 but the son remains with Staller in Italy.

Cicciolina continues to be active in politics, advocating a safe future without nuclear energy and with absolute sexual freedom including the right to sex in prisons. She is against all forms of violence including the death penalty and the use of animals for fur or scientific experimentation. She is for the decriminalization of drugs, against censorship of any kind, in favour of sex education in schools, and for objective information about AIDS. She has proposed a tax on automobiles to reduce the damages of smog and fund the defence of nature.

In 2002, she made an unsuccessful bid in Hungary to represent Budapest's Kobanya district in the Hungarian parliament.

- See Cicciolina Online (Warning: some nudity)


Stefan LorantStefan Lorant (b. 2/22/1901, Budapest, d. 11/14/1997, USA)
Photographer / Editor / Filmmaker / Pioneering Journalist - Widely regarded as the first major editor of modern photojournalism and "the Godfather of Photojournalism"

Stefan was born Lóránt István. His father was director of Erdélyi, the largest photographic studio in Budapest. Lorant attended the Lutheran Evangelical Gymnasium and the Academy of Economics, where his classmates included John von Neumann and Nobel laureates Eugene Wigner, Dennis Gábor, and George von Bekesy. Lorant began taking photographs with a postcard camera, progressed to portrait photos, and in 1914 started publishing photos in Budapest newspapers and magazines. At the collapse of the Hungarian government after WWI, Lorant left for Czechoslovakia. There he was helped by none other than Franz Kafka to find a job playing the violin in a movie house orchestra. Before long, he moved to Vienna and began work as a still photographer for a Hungarian filmmaker. "During the day I made photographs in the studio; at night I studied the intricacies of the movie camera." At 19 years of age, Lorant became known as a leading cameraman in Europe with his first film, The Life of Mozart. Over the next few years, he developed skills as a scriptwriter and director as well, and made a total of 14 films between Vienna and Berlin.

While working in Berlin in 1921, a young woman approached Lorant and asked for a screen test. It turned out badly, and Lorant told her that he "did not believe she should try a career in the movies, that she had no gifts for that." Well, the twenty-year old woman turned out to be Marlene Dietrich and, despite the snub, the two later became friends. 

Appointed chief editor of a Munich weekly in 1928, he was responsible for making the Muncher Illustrierte Presse the first modern photojournalistic paper in Europe. With the Nazi invasion of Bavaria in 1933, Lorant's political commentaries enraged Hitler who ordered him taken into "protective custody." Never charged with a crime or taken before a court, he was imprisoned for nearly a year. The Hungarian government came to his rescue, and Lorant was released and began editing a paper in Budapest. Based on his prison experience, Lorant wrote I Was Hitler's Prisoner and took the manuscript to London in 1934, where it was published a year later.

Stefan began the movement of photojournalism in England. Barely literate in the English language when he first arrived in Britain, Lorant shortly became editor of Odham's Weekly Illustrated. This was the first popular illustrated paper in England and a model for American picture magazines such as Life and Look. In 1937, Lorant founded Pocket Publications in London and published the successful pocket magazine, Lilliput. In October 1938, Edward Hulton, owner of the Hulton Press, purchased Lilliput from Lorant and offered him the chance to start what was to be the most successful and influential illustrated British news magazine, Picture Post.

- See more at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh


Mitzi GaynorMitzi Gaynor (9/4/1931, Chicago)
Legendary Actress / Singer / Dancer: Star of "South Pacific"

Mitzi Gaynor has claimed to be descended from Hungarian nobility; on these occasions, she has stated that her real name is Francesca Mitzi von Gerber. The daughter of a ballerina, Gaynor made her own terpsichorean debut when she was barely a toddler; by age 12, she had joined the dancing chorus of the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera. In 1950, Gaynor was signed by 20th Century Fox as yet another potential Betty Grable replacement. She sang and danced her way quite prettily through such Technicolor confections as Golden Girl (1951, as Lotta Crabtree), Bloodhounds of Broadway (1952), and There's No Business Like Show Business (1954). Unfortunately, her films were not sufficiently successful to warrant renewal of her contract after 1954.

After being dropped by Fox, Gaynor married talent agent Jack Bean, who wisely perceived that his new bride was a far more effective performer on a live stage rather than a cold movie set. Gaynor co-starred with Bing Crosby and Donald O'Connor in Anything Goes (1956), with George Gobel and David Niven in The Birds and the Bees (1956), and with Frank Sinatra in The Joker Is Wild (1957). Her best work during this period was while on loan to MGM for George Cukor's Les Girls (1957), in which she shared star billing with Gene Kelly, Kay Kendall, and Taina Elg. In 1957, Gaynor was tapped for the plum role of Nellie Forbush in Joshua Logan's film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific (1958). Mitzi Gaynor continued to be a major draw through the 80's on the nightclub and summer-musical circuit, and for several years she headlined a top-rated annual TV special. 

- Read more and buy her films on Yahoo! or Daily Celebrations


Dona AdamsDon Adams (b. 4/13/1926, New York City)
Record setting Triple Emmy and Clio Award Winning Actor, Director, Screenwriter - Get Smart!

Born Donald James Yarmy, Don Adams was born to an Irish Catholic Mother and Hungarian Jewish Father. He jokes, "God Knows Why I am a Catholic and a Jew..." But when he enlisted in the marines, he lied about his age (he was only 16) and listed "none" as his religion. When his parents married, "both families disowned them -- hers because she'd married a Jew, his because he'd married a Catholic." After nearly dying of blackwater fever (malaria) contracted while fighting at Guadalcanal in WWII, Don had a religious awakening and became a devout Catholic.

Inspector GadgetDon became a commercial artist, but was not happy. He began writing comedy material on the side and worked in small clubs. "I'd always been able to do impressions and catch voices.  One day I tried to audition for the Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts without an appointment.  Don Married singer Adelaide Adams and adopted her stage surname: "They asked me my name and I said, 'Don Adams.' "They couldn't find it on the list, but I wrangled an audition, anyway.  A week later I was on the show and won the contest." This led to appearances on other major television productions including both Johnny Carson's and Steve Allen's Tonight shows, The Perry Como Show, The Jimmy Dean Show, and The Bill Dana Show. Of course he is best known for his starring role as Maxwell Smart on the phenomenally successful TV show, Get Smart (NBC, 1965-69; CBS 1969-70) a James Bond spoof created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. It was revived as Get Smart Again in 1989. Adams is best known to children of the 1980s as the voice of cartoondom's bionic blockhead, Inspector Gadget, and as Tennessee Tuxedo during the entire run of Underdog. 

His success directing Get Smart led to a post-Smart career as a director of commercials. He won the Clio Award for outstanding commercial direction in advertising in 1971. It was for his Aurora Skittle Pool commercial, in which he was also the performer. In 1993, he made his screenwriting and directing debut with the direct-to-video release Shreck, a thriller about teenagers who resurrect a serial killer.

Trivia

  • His brother is actor Dick Yarmy
  • His daughter, Cecily Adams, is a casting director of such hits as That 80's Show, That 70's show, 3rd Rock. She is also an actress appearing in Star Trek Deep Space 9, Murphy Brown, Home Improvement, Simon & Simon, as well as in Get Smart Again, and was a casting assistant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
  • His daughter Stacy Adams is also an actress
  • His cousin Robert (Bob) Karvelas, also an actor, played Larrabee in the both the original and revival of Get Smart. He also appeared on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Love, American Style. Karvelas was a Golden Gloves boxing champion in the Marines and a stockbroker after.
  • His three Emmy Awards was a record that was broken by Carroll O'Connor (Archie Bunker) and tied by Kelsey Grammer.

- Read about Get Smart on TV Land where you can actually see videos
- Read more about him here
- Star Pulse shows a number of links for additional information


Robert HalmiRobert Halmi, Sr. - (b. 1924, Budapest)
Producer, "Tele-Visionary," Chairman of Hallmark Entertainment, the most prolific producer in TV history: multiple Emmy Award winner and 1999 Peabody Award winner

Book Magazine writes:
"What do Gulliver’s Travels, Lonesome Dove, The Odyssey, Moby Dick, Don Quixote, Crime and Punishment, The Arabian Nights and Animal Farm have in common? Sure, they are all bona fide literary classics. But they are also just a few of the television movies and miniseries produced by human dynamo Robert Halmi Sr. Whenever you see the name Hallmark Entertainment, chances are that seventy-six-year-old Hungarian-born Halmi was the driving force behind the production. To call him prolific would be to woefully understate the case."

Halmi was the son of a playwright mother and a father who was the official photographer to the Vatican and the Hapsburg empire. After the war, he worked in Hungary for the U.S. precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1947, he was put on trial by the Communists for blowing up bridges and was sentenced to death. He says he was saved only after his father arranged to have him kidnapped: He was given a bicycle to get to the Austrian border, and escaped from Hungary by hiding in a potato truck. For a time, he continued his intelligence work in Salzburg, helping to spread American propaganda in Eastern Europe. His travails were chronicled in a seven-part series in the Saturday Evening Post called "Trial by Terror," which was later made into a movie for 20th Century Fox.

He came to the U.S. in 1950 with a camera and little else. Borrowing from his father's legacy, he ultimately landed a job at Life magazine as a photographer. He developed a name for himself in adventure photography. He became well-known  known for his exotic locales and dangerous assignments. He was airlifted onto a glacier to take pictures, only to have the glacier break and drift off, leaving him stranded from the mainland for 10 days. He then lived three months with a tribe of African pygmies. Halmi also spent three years driving race cars semi-professionally, flew balloons professionally, climbed various mountains and generally wandered the globe looking for adventure. He also established himself as an author, publishing 11 books. In 1962, Halmi worked his way into the film industry and began producing wildlife documentaries and occasional TV movies. Nearing 50, Halmi segued into feature production in the 1970s. He assembled nearly 200 film and TV productions in his first two decades in the business. In 1994, he sold his company to Hallmark Cards; it is now run by his son, Robert Halmi Jr. - one of four children, but the only one "in the business" - and known as Hallmark Entertainment.

Halmi's TV movies, miniseries and films include Gypsy, The Odyssey, Moby Dick, Jason and the Argonauts, Arabian Nights, Gulliver's Travels, Lonesome Dove, Animal Farm and Dinotopia.

- See filmography and more on Hollywood.com
- Read the article from the Wall Street Journal, "Success Story: Hallmark Entertainment"


Sylvia Plachy, Adrien Brody's mother, is a world-renowned photographerSylvia Plachy - (b. 1943, Budapest)
Acclaimed Photographer, Mother of Actor Adrien Brody

A refugee from Hungary in 1956, the year the Russians invaded, Plachy hid under the corn in a farmer's cart to make it through the checkpoint at the border. She eventually ended up as a staff photographer for the Village Voice. Her regular photo column, "Unguided Tour," was for many readers something highly anticipated and won the prize of the International Center of Photography in 1990. Her pictures can be found in the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 1977 she received a Guggenheim-scholarship. 

As a Hungarian, Plachy has an interesting pedigree. Some of the world’s most famous photographers — Brassai, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Robert and Cornell Capa and Andre Kertesz — were also Hungarian. When they emigrated, they tended to stick together. Robert Capa, who died during the French Indochina War, was helped in his career by Kertesz, as was Plachy, who describes the famous Kertesz as a friend and mentor.

- Read the article, "Her Way"


Adrien BrodyAdrien Brody - (b. 4/13/1973, New York City)
Actor - Oscar for "The Pianist." The youngest actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, at 29 years old.

Despite a strong performance in The Thin Red Line, the film's time constraints forced the director to edit out much of Adrien's parts and despite his later work with Spike Lee and Barry Levinson, he never became the star many expected he would become...until Roman Polanski called on him to play a celebrated Jewish pianist in the Nazi-occupied Warsaw. He pulled off a brilliant performance in "The Pianist" drawing on the heritage (and rare dialect) of his Polish grandmother.

His mother is the Hungarian-born photojournalist Sylvia Plachy. He attended the Joseph Pulitzer (another Hungarian) Middle School (I.S.145) and New York's Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (famous as the inspiration for television's Fame). Adrien grew up an only child in Woodhaven, Queens, where he would accompany his mother on assignments for the Village Voice. "I remember going with her to photograph Timothy Leary at his house," he says. "I realize now that that was a fairly unusual thing for a 6-year-old to do." He credits his mother with making him feel comfortable in front of the camera. "Not only was her work everywhere, but I was the subject of it," he says. "It wasn't like when your uncle comes around every once in a while and says, `Smile, smile, smile,' and you become repulsed by the camera."

- See more pictures and his full filmography at the IMDB
- Read the article, "At last, stardom is in Adrien Brody's reach"


Menyhert LengyelMenyhert Lengyel (b. Lebovics Menyhért, Jan 12, 1880 Balmazújváros, Hungary - d. Oct 23, 1974 Budapest, Hungary) Oscar Nominated Writer, Producer, and Broadway and Film Director

Also known as Melchior or Menyhard. Lengyel started out as a correspondent for Hungarian newspapers in Switzerland and became a well-known journalist, author, and critic in Germany and Austria where he published numerous plays and established friendships with Ernst Lubitcsh and other German theatre greats with whom he would later work in Hollywood. He visited the US twice in 1921 and 1924, where he maintained a diary of American theatre life and met Eugene O'Neill whose work he would later produce in Germany. He moved to England in 1933 as a correspondent for the Budapest "Pesti Naplo" and then followed Lubitsch to America in 1935. He moved to Italy in 1960 and then returned to Hungary in 1970 where he died at 94.Greta Garbo in Ninotchka

His credits include Typhoon, Silk Stockings, the Czarina, Angel (which he directed and produced), Antonia (which he-co-directed with George Cukor) and quadruple Oscar nominated Ninotshka in which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. He lost to none other than "Gone With the Wind." Other spin-offs of the Ninotchka theme include MGM's Comrade X (1940) with Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr (in the Soviet Union), and The Iron Petticoat (1956) with Katharine Hepburn and Bob Hope (in London). The storyline also became the foundation for the Broadway (Cole Porter) stage musical Silk Stockings - that was later filmed by director Rouben Mamoulian in a 1957 film version with Cyd Charisse in Garbo's role opposite Fred Astaire. Less known is that he wrote the libretto for Bartók's The Miraculous Mandarin and To Be or Not to Be which Lubitsch turned into a classic film comedy.

- See this GREAT site and even listed to a Lengyel speech (in Hungarian)
- See his filmography at IMDB


Dezso RankiDeszö Ránki (b. 1951, Hungary)
Renowned Concert Pianist - with Kocsis, the "Golden Boys of the Magyar Keyboard"

Considered one of the top Hungarian pianists, Ranki graduated from the famed Liszt Academy under Pal Kadosa and won the Robert Schumann Prize. He quickly embarked on an acclaimed international career performing with all the world's most prestigious orchestras.  He is renowned for his classical and romantic repertoire of Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Schubert and Schumann and his incomparable interpretations of Bartok and Kurtag. His interpretation of Chopin won him the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles-Cros.

- See Amazon.com for more


Robert Hegyes - KotterRobert Hegyes (b. 5/7/1951, Metuchen, NJ)
Actor, Director - immortalized as "Juan Epstein" on Welcome Back Kotter!

Robert Hegyes - KotterRobert Hegyes's (sometimes Bob or Bobby) father, ex-Marine and Hungarian Stephen, and his Italian mother, Marie Cocozza, had three other children besides Bob. Bob's father was a chief engineer estimator, and his mother a housewife who got Robert interested in theatre. Bob was active in high school dramatics. He majored in speech and theater at Glassboro State College in New Jersey. When he received his B.A. degree, he lost no time crossing the river from New Jersey to New York City to have a go at professional acting. He got a job acting with the children's theater company called "Theater in a Trunk." This was a troupe of professional actors who performed plays in schools and playgrounds all around New York City. Robert Hegyes landed a role in an off-Broadway play called "Naomi Courts," which led to a better role in a Broadway play, "Don't Call Back," starring TV panelist and stage actress Arlene Francis. Soon after "Don't Call Back" closed, Bob managed to get a memorable cameo role in the Al Pacino movie, "Dog Day Afternoon." Robert was immortalized as the tough guy "Juan Epstein" in the 70's sitcom classic "Welcome Back Kotter." He would also play in the popular 80's series "Cagney and Lacey,"and co-star in the acclaimed series "Law and Order." Robert would join Mr. Kotter, Gabe Kaplan, again as Chico Marx in the National Touring Production of, "A Night With Groucho."

He became Asssociate Professor & Artist-in-Residence of Theater and Communications in Rowan University, N.J. and is currently Adjunct Professor, Brooks College of Long Beach, CA.

Trivia:

  • Cousin of Jon Bon Jovi
  • He is married to Cindy and has 4 children: Mack, Alex, Sophia, and Cassie

- See IMDB or
- RobertHegyes.com and see his family home, his parents, more headshots and even streaming video!


Miklos PerenyiMiklós Perényi: Cello Great and former Child Prodigy!

Perenyi was born in Budapest into a musical family. At the age of five he received his first cello lessons and at the age of seven he was admitted to the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy Budapest. He made his official debut in Budapest at the age of nine. He had further studies at the Accademia Santa Cecilia Roma with Professor Enrico Mainardi. In 1962 he won the International Casals Competition held in Budapest. In 1965 and 1966 Pablo Casals invited him to join his master classes in Zermatt and Puerto Rico and this was followed by an invitation to perform at the Marlboro Festival for four consecutive years. In 1974 he was appointed a teacher at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy Budapest, where he is now Professor of the cello department.

As an acknowledgement of his musical activites he was awarded the Kossuth Prize in 1980, and the Bartok-Pasztory Prize in 1987. As a soloist and a chamber musician he has appeared in many musical centres and festivals in Europe as well as in America, Japan and China. He has a very extensive repertoire, including pieces from the 17th and 18th centuries to the present day. Miklos Perenyi is also involved in composing and his compositions include pieces for cello and works for small and large chamber ensembles.

- See this site in English or German


Ernie KovacsErnie Kovács - (b. 1/23/1919, Trenton, New Jersey d. 1962)
Actor, Broadcast Pioneer, and Legendary Comedian and T.V. Personality
Three Emmy Awards in the 1956-57 TV season. 

"Ernie Kovacs was the first person to make television as television." He invented much of the visual vocabulary of television that we take for granted today. Kovacs pioneered the use of blackouts and trick photography in TV comedy. His first show was Pick Your Ideal, a weekly fashion show. Ernie showed up for the audition dressed in his shorts and a barrel. He got the job. Ernie appeared in some well-produced high school theatrics. At 16, he became a singer in a local stock company performing Gilbert & Sullivan. He said, "whenever they needed a man that worked cheap, they got me." He later attended the New York School of the Theater. During WWII he worked in radio in Trenton and wrote his own column, "Kovacs" in The Trentonian, the local paper. His first TV job was as host of "Deadline For Dinner", a cooking show on WPTZ in Philadelphia. Ernie called it Dead Lion for Breakfast, and had lots of fun with it. As a result, the world got Eggs Scavok and Kovacs got his own show. In fact, he got one show after another and did no less than seven different shows in Philly between 1950 and 1952. Among the titles: Three To Get Ready (wherein the E.E.F.M.S. had its genesis); Ernie In Kovacsland, and Kovacs On the Corner. These shows involved lots of experiments, born not only of the incredibly cheap budgets but of Ernie's rather bizarre imagination. No known recordings (either Video or Audio) exist of the early Channel 3 local broadcasts. However, one morning in March of 1952 (Ernie's last month at WPTZ), Andy McKay brought his new 8mm home movie camera to the station and shot some home movies. In the shots are Ernie Kovacs, Edie Adams, Joe Earley and Pete Boyle, who were part of the network show. There is no sound as this footage was shot silent and it was filmed in black & white. For Ernie Kovacs fans, this is, indeed, a rare treat. Watch the footage.

The success of these shows got Ernie to New York in 1952. For five years he did his thing and then some. He was even a sometime host of NBC's Tonight show, pre-Carson. But mainly he hosted his own show, starting out from behind a desk, and rarely staying there. When the Jerry Lewis show was on hiatus, Ernie was given the opportunity to fill a half hour doing something special on network primetime. The result which aired January 19th, 1957, "The Silent Show," was a sensation, garnering Ernie the cover of Life magazine and a movie contract with Columbia pictures, prompting a move to Los Angeles. In L.A., while working on such films as "Operation Mad Ball" and "Bell, Book and Candle," Kovacs continued to do TV. 

His great career was cut short when, at age 42, he died in a car accident in 1961 driving a new Corvair station wagon (the car later dubbed "unsafe at any speed" by Ralph Nader).

- See this Ernie Kovacs page with a great photo gallery and much more


Jeno HubayJeno Hubay (b. Jeno Huber b. 9/15/1858 Pest, d. 3/12/1937, Budapest)
Violin Virtuoso, Romantic Composer - The "Prince of the Violin" and Founder of the legendary modern Hungarian Violin School

Hubay studied violin first with his father, Karoly Huber (1828-1885) leader and conductor of the orchestra at the National Theatre, and violin professor of the National Conservatorium. From the autumn of 1873 Hubay continued his studies in Berlin, with the greatest Hungarian violinist of the time and most distinguished violin teacher of the period, Joseph Joachim. In the spring of 1876 he completed his studies and returned to Hungary. Here became friendly with Franz Liszt, and gave together many performances. 

In May 1878, Hubay travelled to Paris on Liszt’s advice and was soon to be a favorite guest in the musical salons of the city. In the next years he made successful concert tours in France, England, Belgium, the Netherlands and Hungary. In his mid 20s was appointed violin professor at the Brussels Conservatory. In February 1882, the Belgian King appointed Hubay to one of Europe’s most important musical posts. Hubay returned to Hungary in 1886 at the request of the Minister of Education to teach and eventually became head of The Royal Academy at Budapest from 1919 until 1934 in succession to his father. Here he created one of the world’s leading violin schools that turned out (many under his own tutelage) many greats such as Stefi Geyer, Ferenc Vecsey and Jozsef Szigeti, to be followed by Emil Telmanyi, Eddy Brown, Jelly Aranyi, Eugene (Jeno) Ormandy, Janos Koncz, Istvan Partos, Erna Rubinstein, Zoltan Szekely, Ede Zathureczky, Endre Gertler and Wanda Luzzato. 

Jeno Hubay represented the last of the old school of composers in Hungary. In addition to his teaching many of the world's great violin players, Hubay was a formidable defender of the establishment, a conservative by nature, was very well respected in all areas of musical life. Hubay was knighted in 1907. He dressed the part and lived lavishly. Hubay married the Countess Rosa Cebrian in 1894 they lived in a palace that was to become their permanent home. The Palace was the scene of many glittering musical soirees attended by the cream of Hungarian and European musical society, and as you would expect there would be any number of private concerts held there.

- Read a lecture about Hubay and the Hungarian Violin School
- Read about his works at www.hubay.hu


Dezso HoffmanDezo (Dezso) Hoffmann / Hofmann / Hoffman (b. 1912, Selmecbánya (today Banska Stiavnica, Slovakia) d. 1986) Acclaimed Photographer - the Beatles' photographer! "One of the Greatest Photographers in Entertainment"

The BeatlesDezo Hoffman was born in Selmecbánya (today called Banska Stiavnica, Slovakia, just north of the present border with Hungary), at one time Hungary's third largest city and UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993. It was annexed by Czechoslovakia at Trianon. Hoffman was the Beatles' first professional photographer. 

Dezo Hoffmann began his career as a clapper boy in A-B Studios in Prague. He joined Twentieth Century Fox, in Paris and was sent to photograph Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia. He covered the 1936 Olympics and witnessed the Spanish Civil War working alongside Ernest Hemingway and fellow-Hungarian Robert Capa for the International Brigade Press Corps in Barcelona. Hoffmann was one of the first photo journalists to send images back from the front. Arriving in England in 1940, he covered virtually all European theatres of World War II. To this day, the entire library of Dezo Hoffmann's wartime experiences is maintained by the Imperial War Museum in London. At the war's end he photographed more lighthearted show business images such as  Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Marlene Dietrich. 

Hoffmann joined the Record Mirror, a weekly music paper in 1955. Applying techniques from the battlefield, he captured the exploding world of rock music like no other photographer ever had, using only small format cameras and always only available light. At the urging of a young fan, he had the opportunity to first shoot The Beatles in 1962. Through this early session Dezo Hoffmann and The Beatles were to develop a deep, personal and professional relationship that would last throughout the years of "Beatlemania." The success arising from this unique relationship gave Dezo great access to many rising stars such as: The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and The Yardbirds, David Bowie, Rod Stewart. 

Dezo's photographs of the Beatles are as much part of the visual vocabulary that we now think of as comprising the 20th Century as any other single photographic work of that time. Dezo Hoffmann took more pictures of The Beatles than any other photographer. Photos of the Beatles are hard to view as simply "images" of a certain aspect of our culture. They are an endless capture of a time that itself changed so fast that perhaps only the quick-witted shutter of a properly placed camera could catch it. Whether the image is of the Fab Four caught jumping in mid-air or a set of pensively postured Mount Rushmore-like heads about to release their opus Sergeant Pepper's album, Dezo Hoffman's photography did apprehend and create much more than a PR and pop phenomenon. He helped create an unforgettably shared moment of time within the very personal view that his eye had captured.

The book With the Beatles: The Historic Photographs of Dezo Hoffman, by Pearce Marchbank, captures the intimate pictorial biography of one of that world's greatest acts.

- Buy the book on Amazon
- See some of his works of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones at Pop International Galleries in New York


Imre KalmanImre (Emmerich) Kalman (b. 10/24/1882 Siofok, Hungary, d. 10/30/1953, Paris)
Composer - "One of the Greatest Composers of Operetta"

Also known by his Hungarian name Imre Kálmán, he was a prolific composer of Operettas that brought him success in both the US and Europe. From a poor family, he first moved to Budapest in 1897. A highly gifted young man, he began giving lessons in Latin and Greek and was able to save enough to take piano lessons and even buy a piano. He developed rheumatism in his hands so he turned to composition. His talents led to an opportunity to study at the famed Budapest Academy of Music under the master Hans Koesller. Béla Bartók and Zoltan Kodály are his fellow students.  In 1907, Kalman was awarded the coveted Franz Josef Prize of Budapest for a song cycle. From 1904 to 1908 he worked as a music critic for the Pesti Naplo paper. He achieved great success with the Budapest premier of his operetta "Tatárjárás" (Tatar Maneuvers or "The Gay Hussars") in 1908. This met with enormous success throughout Europe and the USA before World War I. In particular, it was very well received in Vienna, the capital of operetta, and this led him to settle there where he would compose another 8 successful Operettas.

Though the music of Kálmán finds its sources in Hungarian popular folklore, Kalman was also inspired by the Viennese style while making concessions to the new rates and rhythms that crossed the ocean during the Twenties. His operettas are of a high musical quality; moreover, their librettos were carefully chosen, sometimes after years of searching by the composer, to appeal to contemporary taste (as a result the texts normally have to be extensively modified for revival). The unusually high standard of the music can be attributed to Kalman's having undergone a thorough training under Koessler.

When the Nazis came to power and banned his Operettas, Kalman left Vienna for Paris in 1939. With the Nazi takeover of Paris he left for the United States in 1940. He later returned to Paris and did not live long enough to see the production of his final operetta "Arizona Lady" which debuted in Bern under his son Charles Emmerich Kalman (b. Vienna, 17 Nov. 1929), himself the composer of several finely written and enjoyable light pieces and musicals.

- See Classic Music Dictionary
- See Wikipedia.com


Joe BrombergJ. Edward Bromberg, AKA Joe Bromberg
(b. 12/25/1903 Temesvar, Hungary, (now called Timisoara, Rumania after annexation), d. 12/6/1951 London)
Acclaimed Actor on the Big Screen and Broadway, McCarthy Black-listee

Bromberg in the Mask of ZorroBromberg moved with his family to the US while still an infant. Bromberg was certain from an early age that he would pursue an acting career, taking several odd jobs (silk salesman, candy maker, laundry worker) to finance his training. He studied with the Moscow Art Theatre, then made his American stage bow at age 23 at the Greenwich Village Playhouse. He worked extensively with the Theatre Guild, coming to Hollywood's attention for his work in the 1934 Pulitzer Prize winning play Men in White. With 1936's Under Two Flags, Bromberg began his long association with 20th Century-Fox, playing a vast array of foreign villains, blustering buffoons and the occasional gentle philosopher. Short, dark, and stocky, he played father figures, villains, and ethnic types and though he wasn't cut out for romantic leads, he did star in 1937's Fair Warning as a mild-mannered detective. The corpulent Bromberg conveyed a perpetual air of ulcerated, middle-aged tension, allowing him to play characters much older than himself. His other Hollywood films include "Jesse James," "The Return of Frank James," "Phantom of the Opera," "Cloak and Dagger," "Son of Dracula," and "Mark of Zorro." He gained critical acclaim on Broadway in 1948 as a Louis Mayer-like movie mogul in Clifford Odets' The Big Knife, but the euphoria would not last.

Ilona MasseyThough some, like the "Hollywood Ten" refused to answer questions before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, others agreed to testify and three people, Lee J. Cobb, Elia Kazan, and Clifford Odets, named Bromberg as a member of the Communist Party. When Bromberg was called before the House of Un-American Activities Committee in 1951, he refused to name names. Blacklisted from Hollywood, he was forced to seek work in England. Though only 47 when he fled the country, Bromberg looked twenty years older due to the strain of withstanding the accusations of the witchhunters. J. Edward Bromberg died in London in 1951, at age 48; the reason given was "natural causes," since a broken heart is not officially regarded as a fatal condition.

Elia Kazan later wrote in his autobiography, "Joe Bromberg was one of the Group company I most admired. I thought he was an immensely talented actor when I joined that organization, a man who could play a great variety of character parts. It has been said that the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) killed Joe. Certainly the pressure he was subjected to shoved him over the brink."

- Read more and buy J. Edward Bromberg Films on Yahoo! Shopping
- See his full filomography on the IMDB
- See his Broadway Performances on the IBDB
- Read about the tragedy that befell Bromberg and others on the 1947 Investigation into Communist Infiltration


Elemer RagalyiElemer Ragalyi (b. 1939, Budapest)
Acclaimed, Emmy Award Winning Cinematographer of Oscar Winning "Journey of Hope"

Elemér Ragályi is a pre-eminent Hungarian cinematographer who has worked extensively in the United States, Elemer Ragalyi has received the Critic's Prize for Best Cinematography six times at the Hungarian Film Festival. He has also shot 95 feature films, mini-series, telefilms and documentaries all over the world. Ragályi graduated from Budapest's College of Dramatic and Cinematic Art in 1968 as Cinematographer. Between 1957 and 1968 works as spotlight operator, laboratory assistant, location manager at Mafilm Studios. He has been Professor at the College of Dramatic and Cinematic Art since 1979.

Ragalyi's feature film credits include "An American Rhapsody," "Jacob the Liar," "Out of Order / A Miniszter félrelép," "Scrooge," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Kid in King Arthur's Court", "Catherine the Great," "Mesmer" and "The Heiress." In 1989, he shot the emotionally shattering, Oscar-winning "Journey of Hope."

Ragalyi's work has most recently been seen in such prominent television fare as ABC's "Anne Frank" with Ben Kingsley and Brenda Blethyn, NBC's "Mary and Jesus" and "In The Beginning" with Jacqueline Bisset and Martin Landau; and the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of "David Copperfield" directed by Peter Medak and starring Sally Field. In 1990, he won the Cable ACE Award for Best Cinematography for HBO's "The Josephine Baker Story". Ragalyi also garnered ACE nominations for the HBO features "Max and Helen" and "Red King, White Knight". His extensive HBO work also includes his Emmy Award-winning "Rasputin", directed by Ulrich Edel and the acclaimed "Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story" for which he won an ACE Award for Cinematography.

- See his filmography on IMDB


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