Saturday, February 21, 2009

RIP Franz Marischka

Austrian born producer, director, screenwriter and actor Franz Marischka died of cancer on February 18th at the Schwabing Hospital in Munich, Germany. Born Franz Otto Felix Marischka in Ulterach, Austria-Hungary on July 2, 1918 his father was opera star Hubert Marischka and his mother, who died shortly after his birth, was the daughter of Victor León. His uncle Ernst Marischka was a director and his godfather was composer Franz Lehár, his older brother was producer director Viktor Marischka and his younger half-bother George would also become a noted film director, so he was born into an entertainment family. He attended the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar in Vienna before he emigrated to England in 1939. He became a British citizen and started his acting career. In 1946, after the end of World War II, he returned to Vienna and continued his acting career but was not very successful. In the early 1950s he turned to screenwriting and directing. He wrote over a hundred screenplays and directed over thirty feature films and TV shows. During this period he sometimes used the pseudonym Francois Petit. He married his first wife Viktoria in 1958 and they had a son Hubert born in 1959. They soon divorced and he married his second wife Alexandra Drewes in 1968 and they divorced in 1976. He wrote an autobiography “Immer nur lächeln“ (Always Smiling) which was released in 2001. Franz Marischka was a co-writer on the screenplay for the 1965 Euro-western “Das Vermaechtnis des Inka” (Legacy of the Incas)

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