Otto Preminger

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Otto Preminger

Otto Preminger

Otto Preminger is a director. Otto Preminger was nicknamed ‘Otto the Terrible’ and worked in scores of movies from the 1930s through the 1970s. His directorial work from the carefully designed suspense classic movie Laura to the epic Exodus placed him as one of the most successful directors in Hollywood of his time.

He was also better known for The Man with the Golden Arm and Anatomy of a Murder.
His later project garnered him his first Academy Award nomination as well.

Early life and Childhood

Otto Preminger was born in Bukovina, Austro-Hungarian Empire, on 5 December 1905 into a Jewish family.

He had dual citizenship, American and Austrian. As far as his ethnicity is concerned, Preminger is mixed.

He is the son of Markus Preminger (father) and Josefa Preminger (mother).

Otto has a brother named Ingo Preminger, who is also a film producer.

Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir presumptive to the throne of Austria-Hungary, in 1914, Otto, with his family relocated to Austria.

His dad Markus started work as a public prosecutor in Graz.

Just a year later, Markus, the decisive public prosecutor, was invited offering a distinguished position roughly similar to the United States Attorney General.

There was a stipulation for him that the position would be his only if he converted to Catholicism.

But, he refused the offer.

Education Details

Otto went on to study law at the University of Vienna after that.

He did, however, develop a passion for performing over time.

Professional Career

Preminger performed in theatrical plays before becoming famous for his performance at the National Library, where he delivered a speech based on Julius Caesar’s funeral oration for Mark Antony; a history play.

Preminger began to appear in direct plays later on. He went on to start his own companies, Die Schauspielhaus and Die Komodie Theatre, after that.

Otto became one of Europe’s most well-known theatre producer-directors by his late twenties, thanks to his superb directing skills in a number of highly successful ventures.

Preminger was also offered to direct the film Die große Liebe as a result of his early success (The Great Love).

Otto Preminger
Otto Preminger directoring. Source: articlebio

In 1935, he moved to the United States and landed a role in the Broadway drama Libel, which he played until 1936.

Otto began his Hollywood career after several famous Broadway performances. In Irving Pichel’s The Pied Piper, he won his breakthrough role.

His work as a director and producer in the 1944 film Laura catapulted him to stardom. For his work in the picture, he received his first Academy Award nomination.

Anatomy of a Murder (1955) and The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) are two of his other successful directorial efforts (1959).

Otto directed the most successful film of 1963, The Cardinal, which grossed over $11 million dollars. His work on a drama set in the Vatican hierarchy earned him his second Academy Award nomination for Best Director.

Net Worth and Salary

Otto Preminger’s exact net worth was not released, however, based on his decade-long career, he had a net worth of at least $5 million at the time of his death.

Laura, which Otto directed and produced, grossed roughly $2 million at the box office around the world. For the film, he was paid $1,500 a week.

Preminger previously had a home in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The property is now listed for $2.195 million.

The 4,095 square foot home, which was built in 1925, has five bedrooms and 4.25 bathrooms.

He bought a mansion in Whitley Heights, California, for $2.225 million in May of 1994.

According to the New York Observer, the house was put on the market in 2002 after being listed for a whopping $12.5 million. Many of the master bedrooms have balconies.

Relationship Status

Otto Preminger was married three times throughout his life. In a private wedding ceremony on August 3, 1931, the filmmaker married Marion Mill for the first time.

Otto lived like a bachelor, even though he was married to Marion since he was in an open relationship with burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee.

Lee was also married to William Alexander Kirkland, a late actor, during the time. On December 11, 1944, Gypsy and Otto had a son named Erik.

Lee and his ex-husband William divorced in the same year.

Their boy was originally named Erik Lee, but his mother Gypsy began to refer to him as Eric Kirkland, and he is now known as Erik Lee Preminger.

Marion, Otto’s first wife, filed for divorce in May 1946, and their divorce was formalized on August 25, 1949. Lee later married Julio de Diego for the third time in 1948.

Otto, on the other hand, began dating Natalie Draper. Their romance did not endure long either, and they split up after a few years of dating.

On December 4, 1951, Otto married Mary Gardner for the second time. On March 10, 1959, the couple was divorced.

Hope Bryce was Otto’s third wife, whom he married on December 28, 1971. Victoria Preminger and Mark Preminger were the couple’s two children.

They were married till he died on April 23, 1986.

Body Measurement

Otto Preminger stands 6 feet tall.

Social Media

There is no information about his social media presence.


Otto died of lung cancer on April 23, 1986, at his Upper East Side Manhattan residence. At the time of his death, he was 80 years old.

His corpse was cremated and buried in the Velma B. Woolworth Memorial Chapel’s Azalea Room at Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx.

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  • He was also better known for The Man with the Golden Arm and Anatomy of a Murder.
  • He gained a staircase of success after his work as a director and producer in the 1944 movie Laura.
  • He got his first Academy Award nomination for his work in the film.
  • The house is now on the market for $2.195 million.
  • Preminger died on April 23, 1986, of lung cancer, in his home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.