Full name, Joseph Leo Mankiewicz; born February 11, 1909, in Wilkes-Barre, PA; died of heart failure, February 5, 1993, in Mount Kisco, NY. Producer, director, and screenwriter.
Academy Award-winner Mankiewicz was well-known for his writing and directingtalents in films such as The Keys of the Kingdom Cleopatra, and TheBarefoot Contessa. He began his career in the film industry writing subtitles for silent foreign films. Hired by the Paramount studio in 1929, he gradually moved from writing subtitles to dialogue to crafting entire screenplays, including, with others, Skippy and This Reckless Age. Mankiewicz's producing debut came in 1936 with Fury and was followed byThe Philadelphia Story and Woman of the Year. Eventually, Mankiewicz began directing, and such films as Dragonwyck and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir received his touch. In the ensuing years, Mankiewicz was involved with other successful films, writing and directing 1949's A Letter to Three Wives and All about Eve in 1950; he received the Academy Awards for best direction and best screenplay for both films. His last film was Sleuth in 1972. Quoted in the New York Times, Mankiewiczsummarized his career, stating, "I've lived without caring what anybody thought of me. I followed very few of the rules. I think I've written somegood screenplays, gotten some good performances and made some good movies."