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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (10) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Died in Palm Springs, California, USA  (kidney failure)
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Walter Lang entered the film industry in New York when he got a job as a clerk in the office of a film production company. He worked his way up to assistant director, and directed his first film in 1926. By the time sound arrived Lang was already a well-regarded director, but he left the business at that time to try his hand as an artist in Paris. His venture into that medium was unsuccessful, and he returned to Hollywood a few years later. In the mid-'30s Lang was hired at 20th Century-Fox, and it was there he found his niche. He was one of the talents responsible for the glossy, splashy Technicolor musicals Fox was famous for in the 1940s and 1950s, films such as Tin Pan Alley (1940), Moon Over Miami (1941), Coney Island (1943) and There's No Business Like Show Business (1954). Always well respected by his contemporaries (Betty Grable once said that he was one of the few true gentlemen she had ever met), Lang ended his long and productive career in 1961 with Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2@yahoo.com

Spouse (1)

Madalynne Field (1937 - 7 February 1972) (his death)

Trivia (10)

Father of director Richard Lang.
Fought with the U.S. Army in France during World War I.
Directed six actors to Oscar nominations: Clifton Webb (Best Actor, Sitting Pretty (1948)), Dan Dailey (Best Actor, When My Baby Smiles at Me (1948)), Susan Hayward (Best Actress, With a Song in My Heart (1952)), Thelma Ritter (Best Supporting Actress, With a Song in My Heart (1952)), Yul Brynner (Best Actor, The King and I (1956)), and Deborah Kerr (Best Actress, The King and I (1956)). Brynner won an Oscar for his performance in Lang's film.
Carole Lombard and he became great friends, and she became the godmother of his son Richard Lang.
Fritz Lang was his distant uncle.
The only time Fox loaned him out between 1937-61 was to Paramount for But Not for Me (1959). He had been friends with Clark Gable for years, and the actor was so insistent on Lang as his director that the film was postponed until Lang, who had been hospitalized with peritonitis and ulcers, had recovered.
He loved oil-painting, which was one of the reasons he opted to retire.
According to an interview and article in the summer 1974 edition of "Focus on Film", Darryl F. Zanuck offered Lang The Sound of Music (1965), but the director opted to retire.
Clark Gable was godfather to Lang's son Richard Lang. Gable gave Richard his Oscar to use as a hammer. Years later, Richard had the beat-up Oscar renewed to give to Gable's son.
According to Lang, the gangster picture he made with Leo Carillo, Hell Bound (1931), became the first independent film to play at Radio City Music Hall.

Personal Quotes (2)

[on Alice Faye] Alice had a quality, a feminine warmth that none of the other girls seemed to have at the time, not Betty Grable or any of them; and for that reason I think she was a star. There was a certain warmth to her, a simplicity that made her very valuable, I think.
[on Carole Lombard] One of my closest friends and the godmother of my son--and a lovely person, a great person.

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