Laszlo Benedek

(1905 - 1992)

A photo of Laszlo Benedek
Laszlo Benedek
1905 - 1992
Born
March 5, 1905
Budapest, Hungary
Death
March 11, 1992
New York, New York United States
Other Names
Laszlo Benedek
Summary
Laszlo Benedek was born on March 5, 1905 in Budapest, Hungary. He died on March 11, 1992 in New York, New York at age 87. We know that Laszlo Benedek had been residing in Manhattan County, New York.
Updated: June 17, 2020
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Laszlo Benedek
Born March 5, 1905 in Budapest, Austria-Hungary [now Hungary]
Died March 11, 1992 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA (undisclosed)
Birth Name László Benedek
Laslo Benedek was brought to Hollywood from Hungary--where he had been a writer, editor and photographer--by MGM, and his first few films were undistinguished programmers. His third, however, was quite a bit better: Death of a Salesman (1951), the screen version of Arthur Miller's classic play. Although trashed by critics at the time for, among other things, its "staginess" (Benedek said that he wanted to keep the work's theatricality intact), overlooked is the fact that Benedek drew out convincing, evocative performances from Kevin McCarthy, Cameron Mitchell, Fredric March and Mildred Dunnock.
Benedek's next film, however, is the one he'll be remembered for: The Wild One (1953). This granddaddy of all biker flicks is amusingly tame--some might even say lame--by today's standards, but it caused quite a commotion in its day (it was banned in England and was railed against by conservative religious and social pressure groups in the US as yet one more example of how Hollywood was "corrupting the youth of America"). The film is actually not all that much, being rather slow-going and the "bikers" coming across more like bratty teenagers than dangerous rampaging hoods, but it struck a chord with young people and parents alike--for different reasons, of course--and was far and away the most successful film of Benedek's career.
'From 1976 to 1980, Mr. Benedek was chairman of the graduate film program at New York University's School of the Arts. In 1983, he became a visiting professor of film at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Later, he taught at the Film Academy in Munich, Germany; at Rice University in Houston, and at Columbia University in New York City. ' By William H. Honan, NY Times, March 14, 1992
Spouse (2)
Lacerta Weiss (25 February 1950 - ?) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Maria Rejto (23 June 1939 - 14 July 1948) ( divorced)
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Biography
Laszlo Benedek
Most commonly known name
Laszlo Benedek
Full name
Laszlo Benedek
Nickname(s) or aliases
Manhattan County, New York
Last known residence
Male
Gender
Laszlo Benedek was born on in Budapest, Hungary
Birth
Laszlo Benedek died on in New York, New York United States
Death
Laszlo Benedek was born on in Budapest, Hungary
Laszlo Benedek died on in New York, New York United States
Birth
Death
Cancer
Cause of death
Heritage
Childhood

Education

He pursued a medical career at schools in Vienna and Berlin, paying for his education by working as an assistant cameraman.
Adulthood

Professions

Golden Globe Awards for 'Laslo Benedek'

1956
Winner
BEST MOTION PICTURE - FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Sons, Mothers And A General
West Germany, Laslo Benedek

1952
Winner
BEST DIRECTOR - MOTION PICTURE
Death of a Salesman (1951)
Obituary

Average Age

Life Expectancy

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I invited him to join me at an ice cream parlor in Greenwich Village (NYC) and he was so exciting to be with that i would constantly be doing things while we were conversing. I began doodling on the over-sized doilies. Then I folded down every other scallop on the doilies. Then since the ice cream sodas came with two straws I was making pressed designs on the straws. And this went on and on but it was totally subconscious! I even took the glass out of its holder. Then suddenly Laszlo exclaimed "You are a genius! (Huh?) Here I am a big shot Hollywood director and if someone asked me to come up with "business" for some girl to do at a table during a conversation, I couldn't come up with even HALF of what you just did!" I surveyed the mess I just created in front of me and I laughed until I cried. Then I needed some more napkins just to wipe my eyes and nose. Laszlo was laughing too.
Amanda S. Stevenson shared
on Jun 17, 2020 10:35 AM

Laszlo's immediate relatives including parents, siblings, partnerships and children in the Benedek family tree.

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Amanda S. Stevenson
12.2k+ favorites
Laslo Benedek, 87, Film Director Known for 'Wild One,' Is Dead
By WILLIAM H. HONAN
Published: March 14, 1992

Laslo Benedek, a cameraman, screenwriter and director whose directing credits include "Death of a Salesman" (1951) and "The Wild One" (1953), died on Wednesday at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. He was 87 years old and lived in Manhattan.
He died after a short illness, said Tonda Marton, a friend.
Mr. Benedek was born in Budapest. He pursued a medical career at schools in Vienna and Berlin, paying for his education by working as an assistant cameraman. Soon, his interest in movie making took precedence, and he worked as a film editor in France and as a screenwriter in England.
In 1937 he wound up in Hollywood, where he performed a series of lesser jobs in the film industry until 1948, when he directed Frank Sinatra in a technicolor musical called "The Kissing Bandit." Chosen by Stanley Kramer
The high point of Mr. Benedek's career came in 1951 when the producer Stanley Kramer assigned him to direct the screen version of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," with Fredric March as Willy Loman and Mildred Dunnock as his wife, Linda. Mr. Benedek received the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globe Award as best director of the year, and a nomination for best director from the Screen Director's Guild.
Two years later, he directed "The Wild One," starring Marlon Brando. The film, about a gang of menacing motorcyclists, grew out of a terrifying encounter Mr. Benedek had with a similar gang when on a Sunday drive in California.
Like many Hollywood film makers, he also worked in television, directing more than 75 shows, including episodes of "Rawhide" and "The Untouchables."
From 1976 to 1980, Mr. Benedek was chairman of the graduate film program at New York University's School of the Arts. In 1983, he became a visiting professor of film at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Later, he taught at the Film Academy in Munich, Germany; at Rice University in Houston, and at Columbia University in New York City.
His companion was Danielle DeMers.
He is survived by two daughters, Melinda Norton of Los Angeles and Barbara Rhodes of London.
Jul 08, 2017 · Reply
Amanda S. Stevenson
12.2k+ favorites


Date of Birth 5 March 1905, Budapest, Austria-Hungary [now Hungary]

Date of Death 11 March 1992, The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA

Birth Name László Benedek
Mini Bio (1)
Laszlo Benedek was brought to Hollywood from Hungary--where he had been a writer, editor and photographer--by MGM, and his first few films were undistinguished programmers. His third, however, was quite a bit better: Death of a Salesman (1951), the screen version of Arthur Miller's classic play. Although trashed by critics at the time for, among other things, its "staginess" (Benedek said that he wanted to keep the work's theatricality intact), overlooked is the fact that Benedek drew out convincing, evocative performances from Kevin McCarthy, Cameron Mitchell, Fredric March and Mildred Dunnock.

Benedek's next film, however, is the one he'll be remembered for: The Wild One (1953). This granddaddy of all biker flicks is amusingly tame--some might even say lame--by today's standards, but it caused quite a commotion in its day (it was banned in England and was railed against by conservative religious and social pressure groups in the US as yet one more example of how Hollywood was "corrupting the youth of America"). The film is actually not all that much, being rather slow-going and the "bikers" coming across more like bratty teenagers than dangerous rampaging hoods, but it struck a chord with young people and parents alike--for different reasons, of course and was far and away the most successful film of Benedek's career.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: [contact link]
Spouse (1)
Lacerta Weiss (25 February 1950 - ?) (divorced) (2 children)
Jul 08, 2017 · Reply
Amanda S. Stevenson
12.2k+ favorites
Laslo Benedek, 87; Screenwriter, Movie and Television Director
March 13, 1992

Laslo Benedek, a cameraman, screenwriter and director whose pictures ranged from the adaptation of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" to Marlon Brando's portrayal of the brooding motorcyclist in "The Wild One" is dead.

A daughter, Melinda Benedek, said Thursday that her father died Wednesday in New York at age 87.

A native of Budapest, Hungary, Benedek turned to film after studying psychiatry at the University of Vienna. He began with a Berlin studio as a cameraman and then assistant to producer and fellow Hungarian Joe Pasternak. He was a film editor in France and screenwriter in Mexico before settling in the United States as an editor for Metro Goldwyn Mayer. He also worked as an associate producer of some of Pasternak's well-known musical films.

His first directing credit was in 1948 for "The Kissing Bandit," a Frank Sinatra musical. His other films included "Port of New York," "Namu the Killer Whale," "Daring Game" and "The Night Visitor."

He also directed for television, including such pioneering series as "Four Star Playhouse," "Du Pont Theatre," "Perry Mason" and "Naked City."

In the 1980s he taught at New York University, the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and other universities in the United States and Germany.

Besides Melinda, he is survived by another daughter, Barbara, and Danielle DeMers, a longtime companion.
Jul 13, 2017 · Reply

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Laslo Benedek, 87, Film Director Known for 'Wild One,' Is Dead
By WILLIAM H. HONAN
Published: March 14, 1992

Laslo Benedek, a cameraman, screenwriter and director whose directing credits include "Death of a Salesman" (1951) and "The Wild One" (1953), died on Wednesday at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. He was 87 years old and lived in Manhattan.
He died after a short illness, said Tonda Marton, a friend.
Mr. Benedek was born in Budapest. He pursued a medical career at schools in Vienna and Berlin, paying for his education by working as an assistant cameraman. Soon, his interest in movie making took precedence, and he worked as a film editor in France and as a screenwriter in England.
In 1937 he wound up in Hollywood, where he performed a series of lesser jobs in the film industry until 1948, when he directed Frank Sinatra in a technicolor musical called "The Kissing Bandit." Chosen by Stanley Kramer
The high point of Mr. Benedek's career came in 1951 when the producer Stanley Kramer assigned him to direct the screen version of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," with Fredric March as Willy Loman and Mildred Dunnock as his wife, Linda. Mr. Benedek received the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globe Award as best director of the year, and a nomination for best director from the Screen Director's Guild.
Two years later, he directed "The Wild One," starring Marlon Brando. The film, about a gang of menacing motorcyclists, grew out of a terrifying encounter Mr. Benedek had with a similar gang when on a Sunday drive in California.
Like many Hollywood film makers, he also worked in television, directing more than 75 shows, including episodes of "Rawhide" and "The Untouchables."
From 1976 to 1980, Mr. Benedek was chairman of the graduate film program at New York University's School of the Arts. In 1983, he became a visiting professor of film at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Later, he taught at the Film Academy in Munich, Germany; at Rice University in Houston, and at Columbia University in New York City.
His companion was Danielle DeMers.
He is survived by two daughters, Melinda Norton of Los Angeles and Barbara Rhodes of London.

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Laszlo's lifetime.

In 1905, in the year that Laszlo Benedek was born, the Industrial Workers of the World was founded. An international labor union founded in Chicago, it was most often referred to as the "Wobblies" and had ties to the socialist movement and the anarchist movement. At its peak, it had 150,000 members.

In 1912, by the time he was only 7 years old, Arizona was admitted to the United States in February (on Valentine's Day). It became the 48th state in the Union. Previously a Spanish - then Mexican - territory, the U.S. paid $15 million dollars for the area in 1848. Arizona was the last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the United States.

In 1924, when he was 19 years old, in May, wealthy college students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb kidnapped and killed 14 year old Robert Franks "in the interest of science". Leopold and Loeb thought that they were intellectually superior and that they could commit the perfect crime and not be caught. They were brought in for questioning within 8 days and quickly confessed. Clarence Darrow was hired as their defense lawyer, getting them life imprisonment instead of a death sentence. Loeb was eventually killed in prison - Leopold was released after 33 years, dying of a heart attack at age 66.

In 1985, he was 80 years old when on March 15th, the first internet domain name was registered - Symbolics.com. Symbolics, Inc., a spinoff of the MIT AI Lab, was a computer manufacturer headquartered in Massachusetts. The company no longer exists and the domain name was sold 25 years later.

In 1992, in the year of Laszlo Benedek's passing, on April 29th, riots began in Los Angeles after the "Rodney King" verdict was issued. Four LAPD officers had been accused of using excessive force (assault) on African-American Rodney King, who had been stopped for drunk driving. The beating had been videotaped. Their acquittal sparked a 6 day riot in Los Angeles.

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