Wilde, Cornel


Popular Oscar-nominated leading man 1940s-60s, became accomplished producer & director


Type: Photograph
Description: (b. Kornél Lajos Weisz, 1912-1989) Hungarian-Jewish born actor and film director, signed with 20th Century Fox and by mid-40s was a major leading man, nominated for 1945 Best Actor Oscar for “A Song to Remember”. In the 1950s he moved to writing, producing and directing films, and continued acting.

An accomplished fencer, Wilde was hired as a fencing teacher by Laurence Olivier for his 1940 Broadway production of “Romeo and Juliet” and played Tybalt which netted him a Warner Bros. film contract. At Warners, he was in “High Sierra” (1941, with Bogart) then 20th Century Fox. Columbia “borrowed” Wilde in 1945 to portray Frederic Chopin in “A Song to Remember” which made him a star and earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Back at Fox, he was the male lead in “Leave Her to Heaven” (1945), an enormous box office hit, played the male lead in “Forever Amber” (1947), and was in Columbia’s 1947 comedy “It Had to Be You” (1947). He played a trapeze artist in Cecil DeMille’s “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952).  

He appeared in “Hot Blood” (1956) and “Beyond Mombassa” (1956), shot in Kenya, both for Columbia. He produced, directed and starred in 2 Paramount releases, “The Devil’s Hairpin” (1957) and “Maracaibo” (1958). Wilde produced, directed, and starred in “The Naked Prey” (1965), shot on location in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), his most highly regarded film as director. He returned to film and wrote, directed, and starred in the 1975 exploitation film “Sharks’ Treasure”, capitalizing on the success of “Jaws”. He was in “The Norseman” (1978) and “The Fifth Musketeer” (1979).

ISP, 10 x 8 b&w matte finish portrait signed and inscribed with sentiment at lower right.

Condition: Very good, tiny tack hole at top center

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