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.
|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|