Fred Zinnemann

Fred Zinnemann
20th Century Fox


Fred Zinnemann
Film: North side of the 6600 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born April 29, 1907 in Vienna, Austria
Died March 14, 1997 in London, United Kingdom

Fred Zinnemann was an Academy Award-winning director whose classic films included "High Noon," "From Here to Eternity" and "A Man for All Seasons."

The legendary director earned his first Oscar for the documentary "Benjy" in 1951. His second was for "From Here to Eternity" in 1953 and his third and fourth were for directing and producing the story of Thomas More in "A Man for All Seasons" in 1966.

Five of his films — "The Search," "High Noon," "From Here to Eternity," "A Man for All Seasons" and "Julia" — collected a total of 25 Academy Awards.

Zinnemann also directed the musical "Oklahoma," the unusual "The Nun's Story" and the classic thriller "The Day of the Jackal."

Over his 40-year career, Zinnemann made about 20 films and worked with such top stars as Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn. He introduced Marlon Brando to filmgoers in "The Men" in 1950.

Born in Vienna, Zinnemann started out to become a violinist but abandoned a career in music when he decided he had no talent. He next studied law, earning a degree at the University of Vienna.

"I saw several tremendous pictures [as a student] — 'Potemkin,' 'Greed,' 'The Big Parade,' 'Joan of Arc,'" he told The Times in 1967. "They gave me the idea of becoming a director."

So in 1927, he went to Paris as one of the first students of the Ecole Technique de Cinema. Instead of directing, he started by learning optics, photochemistry, development and printing, and worked as an assistant cameraman.

Zinnemann first tackled Hollywood in 1929, able to find work only as an extra in "All Quiet on the Western Front."

He worked his way up from film cutter to an assistant to directors Berthold Viertel, then Robert Flaherty and later Busby Berkeley.

In 1937 MGM signed him to direct shorts including the "Crime Does Not Pay" series.

Zinnemann was elevated to director of feature films in 1941 and edged toward greatness in 1948 with "The Search," a drama of the European aftermath of World War II.

He largely stopped making films after "Five Days One Summer" with Sean Connery in 1982.

Related stars

Points of interest

Click for more information

    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1948 Best Director The Search Nomination
    1951 Best Documentary - Short Subject Benjy Win
    1952 Best Director High Noon Nomination
    1953 Best Director From Here to Eternity Win
    1959 Best Director The Nun's Story Nomination
    1960 Best Director The Sundowners Nomination
    1960 Best Picture The Sundowners Nomination
    1966 Best Director A Man for All Seasons Win
    1966 Best Picture A Man For All Seasons Win
    1977 Best Director Julia Nomination

    Share a thought about Fred Zinnemann

    • Did you ever meet Fred Zinnemann? Share your memory.
    • Which other stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame have connections to Fred Zinnemann?
    • Are other places in the world important to Fred Zinnemann?
    • Does Fred Zinnemann deserve this star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?