Jean Negulesco: Film director and painter (1900-1993) (1900 - 1993) | Biography
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Jean Negulesco
Film director and painter

Jean Negulesco

Jean Negulesco
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Film director and painter
A.K.A. Jean Négulesco
Was Screenwriter Actor Film director Painter
From Romania United States of America
Field Arts Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 13 March 1900, Craiova, Romania
Death 18 July 1993, Marbella, Spain (aged 93 years)
Star sign Pisces
Spouse: Dusty Anderson
The details (from wikipedia)


Jean Negulesco (born Ioan Negulescu; 29 February 1900 (O.S.) – 18 July 1993) was a Romanian-American film director and screenwriter.

He was called "the first real master of CinemaScope".


Early life

Born in Craiova, he was the son of a hotel keeper and attended Carol I High School.

When he was 15, he was working in a military hospital. Georges Enesco, the Romanian composer, came to play the violin to the war wounded; Negulesco drew a portrait of him, and Enesco bought it. Negulesco decided to be a painter and studied art in Bucharest.

He went to Paris in 1920, and enrolled in the Académie Julian. He worked as a professional dance partner on occasion and sold one of his paintings to Rex Ingram. He had exhibits in London and Paris.


In 1927, he visited New York City for an exhibition of his paintings and settled there.

He then made his way to California, at first working as a portraitist.

He became interested in movies and made an experimental feature film, financed as well as written and directed by himself, called Three and a Day. Through his contact with the film's star, Mischa Auer, he managed to get a job at Paramount.


He did the opening montage for the film musical Tonight We Sing and worked on The Story of Temple Drake and A Farewell to Arms (1932).

He worked his way to assistant producer, second unit director.

Warner Bros

Negulesco went to Warner Bros in 1940. He made his reputation at Warner Brothers by directing short subjects, particularly a series of band shorts featuring unusual camera angles and dramatic use of shadows and silhouettes.

Negulesco's first feature film as director was Singapore Woman (1941). In 1948, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Directing for Johnny Belinda.

According to one obituary, "the secret of these films' success often seemed to lie in the excellent script writers they used...and the powerful production team at Warner Brothers, where most films were drawn out frame by frame by imposing designers like Anton Grot before a director was ever assigned to them, rather than in any very distinctive qualities of the director himself. All the same, Negulesco had a sure touch with actors, and a refined sense of detail. He was the very last person ever to consider himself as an auteur, with his own personal philosophy to put over: he was a director rather like such other ex-designers as Vincente Minnelli and Mitchell Leisen, where the message was entirely in the style."

20th Century Fox

In 1948 Negulesco went to work for 20th Century Fox. He was the first director to make two films in Fox's CinemaScope - How to Marry a Millionaire and Three Coins in the Fountain; the former receiving a nomination for a BAFTA Award for Best Film.

His 1959 movie The Best of Everything was on Entertainment Weekly's Top 50 Cult Films of All-Time.

During his Hollywood career and in his 1984 autobiography Things I Did and Things I Think I Did, Negulesco claimed to have been born on 29 February 1900; he apparently was motivated to make this statement because birthdays on Leap Year Day are comparatively rare (and even though 1900 was not a Leap Year in the Gregorian calendar, it was under the Julian calendar, which applied in Romania at that time).

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6212 Hollywood Blvd.


From the late 1960s Negulesco lived in Marbella, Spain, where he died, at age 93, of heart failure. He is buried in the Virgen del Carmen cemetery in Marbella.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 20 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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