Andre de Toth

Happy birthday to director AndredeTothAndre de Toth, born May 15, 1913 in Mako, Csanad, Hungary, Austria-Hungary.  de Toth earned a law degree from the Royal Hungarian University, but as a student, also wrote several plays that garnered high praise.  This led to deeper involvement in the theater, where he became an actor during the early 1930s.  Several years later, de Toth started working in Hungarian film as a writer, editor, assistant director, and occasional actor.  By 1939, he was directing his own films, but when war broke out, he fled to England and worked as an assistant to producer/director Alexander Korda.  In 1942, de Toth emigrated to the United States and settled in Los Angeles, where he embarked on a career in Hollywood.  His first project was as assistant director on The Jungle Book (1942).  The following year he directed his first American film, Passport to Suez (1943) with Eric Blore and Ann Savage.  de Toth preferred films with a rough, gritty edge, so it’s not surprising he went on to direct several classic noir films: Dark Waters (1944) with Merle Oberon and Franchot Tone, Guest in the House (1944) (uncredited) with Anne Baxter and Ralph Bellamy, Pitfall (1948) with Dick Powell and Lizabeth Scott, Crime Wave (1954) with Gene Nelson and Sterling Hayden, and Hidden Fear (1957) (also as writer) with John Payne.  During the 1950s, de Toth primarily directed westerns, but perhaps his most well-known film, House of Wax (1953) with Vincent Price, also came from this period.  House of Wax was one of the earliest 3D movies, yet de Toth was unable to appreciate the 3D effect because he only had one eye.  de Toth spent the early 1960s directing several TV episodes along with a handful of films, but by the end of the decade, had essentially retired from film.  de Toth was married seven times.  One of his wives, from 1944 to 1952, was actress Veronica Lake, with whom he had two children.  de Toth died from an aneurysm in 2002 at age 89.

 

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