Henry Koster

Henry Koster


Henry Koster
Film: South side of the 6700 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born May 1, 1905 in Berlin, Germany
Died Sept. 21, 1988 of complications from liver surgery in Camarillo, Calif.

Longtime film director Henry Koster's credits include "Harvey," (1950), starring James Stewart as the imbibing companion of a 6-foot-tall invisible rabbit, and "My Man Godfrey" (1957), with David Niven and June Allyson, a remake of the 1936 film about a wealthy family that invites a tramp to be its butler.

Born Hermann Kosterlitz, he began his film career in Germany in 1925 after attending the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin. He worked as a painter, cartoonist and film critic before becoming a screenwriter. He had 50 films to his credit when he fled the country soon after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933.

He directed films in Paris; Amsterdam; Budapest, Hungary; and Vienna until he was hired in 1936 by Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal Pictures.

Koster's directing credits include "Three Smart Girls," "One Hundred Men and a Girl" and "It Started With Eve," three of the Deanna Durbin vehicles credited with saving Universal from possible financial failure. Other Koster pictures were "Music for Millions," "The Inspector General," "A Man Called Peter," "The Naked Maja" and "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation."

In 1947 he was nominated for an Academy Award for directing "The Bishop's Wife," in which Cary Grant portrayed an angel sent to earth to keep a bishop distracted by finances (David Niven) in touch with his wife (Loretta Young) and his parishioners.

He also directed Richard Burton's first film, "My Cousin Rachel," and "The Robe," the first picture filmed in CinemaScope.

Koster's final film was "The Singing Nun" in 1966.

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Points of interest

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1947 Best Director The Bishop's Wife Nomination

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