Charles Vidor

Charles Vidor
Harry Chase / Los Angeles Times


Charles Vidor
Film: South side of the 6600 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Károly Vidor on July 27, 1900 in Budapest, Hungary
Died June 4, 1959 of heart attack in Vienna, Austria

Director Charles Vidor came to prominence at the end of the silent film era. Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1900, he worked in motion pictures most of his life, including at least three decades in Hollywood.

Vidor was regarded as a solid craftsman who made the most of what he had to work with, good or bad. With "Cover Girl" (1944), he let Gene Kelly choreograph his own dances. In the Chopin biopic "A Song to Remember" (1945), he lead Cornel Wilde to an Oscar nomination. He's perhaps most famous for directing "Gilda" (1946) and is credited with helping to make stars out of Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford.

Among his other film successes were "The Bridge" (1929), "The Loves of Carmen" (1948), "Love Me or Leave Me" (1955), "The Swan" (1956), "The Joker Is Wild" (1957) and "A Farewell to Arms" (1957). Vidor served as a Cannes Film Festival jurist in 1958.

In 1959, Vidor was in Vienna directing "A Magic Flame," a film based on the life of Franz Liszt. Late one evening in his hotel room he complained of pains in his chest and arms. He called assistant director Milton Feldman, who summoned a physician. Before the director could be given assistance, he died of a heart attack in Feldman's arms. An uncredited George Cukor finished directing the film, which was renamed "Song Without End" and released in 1960.

Vidor's 1945 marriage to Doris Warner, daughter of Warner Bros. president Harry Warner, was his fourth. They had two sons, Quentin and Brian. His first wife was Frances Varone, whom he married in 1927 and divorced in 1932. He wed actress Karen Morley in 1932 and divorced her in 1943; they had one son, Michael Charles II. Vidor married actress Evelyn Keyes in March 1944; they divorced in 1945. Vidor is interred in the Warner Bros. Family Mausoleum in Los Angeles.

He was not related to director King Vidor, who also has a star on the Walk of Fame.

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