1899 – 1981
Who was Curtis Bernhardt?
Curtis Bernhardt was a German film director born in Worms, Germany, under the name Kurt Bernhardt. Some of his American films were called "woman's films" including the Joan Crawford film Possessed. Bernhardt trained as an actor in Germany, and performed on the stage, before starting as a film director in 1926. Other films include A Stolen Life starring Bette Davis and Sirocco starring Humphrey Bogart.
Bernhardt made films in Germany from 1925 until 1933, when he was forced to flee the Nazi regime—who briefly had him arrested—because he was Jewish. Bernhardt directed films in France and England before moving on to Hollywood to work for Warner Brothers in 1940. Bernhardt produced and directed his last Hollywood picture, Kisses for My President, about the nation's first female Chief Executive starring Polly Bergen and Fred MacMurray.
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