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Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (11) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 16 September 1893Pusztatúrpásztó, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary)
Date of Death 23 January 1956London, England, UK  (heart attack)
Birth NameSándor László Kellner
Nickname Alex

Mini Bio (1)

One of a large group of Hungarian refugees who found refuge in England in the 1930s, Sir Alexander Korda was the first British film producer to receive a knighthood. He was a major, if controversial, figure and acted as a guiding force behind the British film industry of the 1930s and continued to influence British films until his death in 1956. He learned his trade by working in studios in Austria, Germany and America and was a crafty and flamboyant businessman. He started his production company, London Films, in 1933 and one of its first films The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933), received an Oscar nomination as best picture and won the Best Actor Oscar for its star, Charles Laughton. Helped by his brothers Zoltan Korda (director) and Vincent Korda (art director) and other expatriate Hungarians, London Films produced some of Britain's finest films (even if they weren't all commercial successes). Korda's willingness to experiment and be daring allowed the flowering of such talents as Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and gave early breaks to people such as Laurence Olivier, David Lean and Carol Reed. Korda sold his library to television in the 1950s, thus allowing London Films' famous logo of Big Ben to become familiar to a new generation of film enthusiasts.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Spouse (3)

Alexandra Boycun (8 June 1953 - 23 January 1956) (his death)
Merle Oberon (3 June 1939 - 4 June 1945) (divorced)
María Corda (1919 - 1930) (divorced) (1 son)

Trivia (11)

Older brother of Vincent Korda and Zoltan Korda.
1942: Knighted for services to the film industry by King George VI, the first film personality to be so honored.
He took some flak for spending a lot of time in the U.S. during World War II, but it now appears that he was (amongst other things) acting as a courier for Winston Churchill.
1921: Son Peter Vincent Korda born.
1936: Became a naturalized British subject.
Uncle of Michael Korda
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945". Pages 555-562. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.
Founded, in his journalist days, the magazine le Cinéma de Pest in Hungary on October 1st 1912.
Grandfather of Victoria Korda.
Founder/owner of London Film Productions and Denham Studios.
Directed one Oscar winning performance: Charles Laughton in The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933).

Personal Quotes (5)

Anyone who gets a raw deal in a film studio is no more deserving of pity than someone who gets beaten up in a brothel. A gentleman has no business in either place.
When my friends and I were young in Hungary, we all dreamed of being poets. And what did we become? We became politicians and advertisement men and film producers.
[on Charles Laughton] With him acting was an act of childbirth. What he needed was not so much a director as a midwife.
The art of filmmaking is to come to the brink of bankruptcy and stare it in the face.
It's not enough to be Hungarian; you must have talent too.

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