Henry Koster

About Henry Koster

Who is it?: Director, Producer
Birth Day: May 01, 1905
Birth Place: Berlin, German Empire, American
Died On: September 21, 1988(1988-09-21) (aged 83)\nCamarillo, California, U.S.
Birth Sign: Gemini
Occupation: director, screenwriter, producer
Years active: 1925–1967
Spouse(s): Kató Király (1935–1941; divorced; 1 child) Peggy Moran (1942–1988; his death; 2 children)

Henry Koster Net Worth

Henry Koster was bornon May 01, 1905 in Berlin, German Empire, American, is Director, Producer. Henry Koster was a German-born American screenwriter, cartoonist and painter who started as a film critic and ended up being a director. By 1931 he had written more than 50 scripts. He made a few films in Europe before he had to leave Germany when Hitler and the Nazis came to power. He fled to France after having an altercation with a German Nazi SA officer, and then to America via Hungary. Ironically he was considered an alien after the Second World War and was restricted to his house for some time. After reaching Hollywood he was signed up by ‘Universal’. His career was spread over more than four decades. He was first introduced to movies in 1910 when he accompanied his mother to a movie theater owned by his Uncle Richard and had to sit out the screening of the films for two hours every day. His mother used to play the piano for the music accompanying the films. Though he did not win any Oscar, he directed seven actors and actresses who produced Oscar winning performances during their career such as Cecil Kellaway, Celeste Holm, Loretta Young, Elsa Lancaster, James Stewart, Josephine Hull and Richard Burton. Josephine Hull won the Oscar for the film ‘Harvey’ made by Koster.
Henry Koster is a member of T V & Movie Producers

💰 Net worth: $1.1 Million

Some Henry Koster images

Biography/Timeline

1910

Koster was born to Jewish parents in Berlin, Germany. He was introduced to cinema about 1910 when his uncle opened a very early movie theater in Berlin. Koster's mother played the piano to accompany the films, leaving the young boy to occupy himself by watching the films. After working initially as a short story Writer, Kosterlitz was subsequently hired by a Berlin movie company as scenarist, became assistant to Director Curtis Bernhardt. Bernhardt became sick one day and asked Kosterlitz to take over as Director.

1930

Henry Koster went on to do numerous musicals and family comedies during the late 1930s and early 1940s, with Durbin, Betty Grable, and other musical stars of the era. He and Joe Pasternak filmed a successful screen test for Universal's newest singing star, Gloria Jean, but Koster would never direct one of her features; when Pasternak left Universal for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in June 1941, Koster went with him. Ironically, despite Koster's escape from Nazi Germany, when the United States entered World War II Koster was considered an enemy alien and had to stay in his house in the evening. Actor Charles Laughton would visit Koster and play chess with him.

1932

In 1932, Koster directed his first film in Berlin, the comedy Thea Roland. Koster, who was in the midst of directing his second film Das häßliche Mädchen, had already been the subject of antisemitism, and knew he had to leave. He lost his temper at an SA officer at his bank during lunch hour, and knocked the officer out. When the film, written by Koster with Felix Joachimson, had its premiere in autumn 1933 their names were deleted and both went into exile. Koster left Germany for France, where he was rehired by Bernhardt (who had left earlier). Eventually Koster went to Budapest and met and married Kató Király in 1934. In Budapest he met Joe Pasternak again, who represented Universal in Europe, and directed three films for him. One of those films was Catherine the Last after a script by Joachimson and Károly Nóti that was remade in 1938 by Norman Taurog as The Girl Downstairs both versions starring Franciska Gaal.

1936

In 1936 Koster got a contract to work with Universal Pictures in Hollywood, and he travelled to the United States to work with Pasternak, other refugees and his wife. Although Koster did not speak English, he convinced the studio to let him make Three Smart Girls, for which he personally coached 14-year-old star Deanna Durbin. This picture, a big success, pulled Universal out of bankruptcy. Koster's second Universal film, One Hundred Men and a Girl, with Durbin and Leopold Stokowski put the studio, Durbin, Pasternak, and Koster on top.

1942

Koster discovered Abbott and Costello working at a nightclub in New York. He returned to Hollywood and convinced Universal to hire them. Their first picture, which featured the Who's On First? routine, was One Night in the Tropics. The female lead, Peggy Moran, would become Koster's second wife in 1942. When he married Moran, Koster promised her he would put her in every movie he made from then on. He did, but it was her statue. Usually it is a sculptured head on a mantelpiece or a piano or desk. For The Robe he commissioned a Grecian bust which appears prominently in a Roman villa.

1947

Koster's postwar career was equally successful. He was nominated for an Academy Award for The Bishop's Wife (1947). In 1950 he directed what was his biggest success to date, the James Stewart comedy Harvey. He directed Richard Burton's first U.S. film, My Cousin Rachel, and then was given the first CinemaScope film to direct, The Robe in 1953. He directed some more costume dramas, including Désirée (1954) with Marlon Brando, The Virgin Queen (1955) with Bette Davis, The Naked Maja (1958) with Ava Gardner and The Story of Ruth (1960) with Elana Eden, then went back to family comedies and musicals, including Flower Drum Song for Universal in 1961. His last picture was The Singing Nun in 1965. Koster retired to Leisure Village, Camarillo, California, to indulge in his lifelong interest in painting. He painted a series of portraits of the movie stars with whom he worked.