Andre DeToth

Endre Antal Miksa DeToth, better known as Andre DeToth[a] (May 15, 1913[1][2] – October 27, 2002), was a Hungarian-American film director, born and raised in Makó, Csanád County, Austria-Hungary.[3] He directed the 3D film House of Wax, despite being unable to see in 3D himself, having lost an eye at an early age. Upon naturalization as a United States citizen in 1945, he took Endre Antal Miksa DeToth as his legal name.

Andre DeToth
André de Toth.jpg
Tóth Endre Antal Mihály

(1913-05-15)May 15, 1913
DiedOctober 27, 2002(2002-10-27) (aged 89)
Other namesEndre Antal Miksa DeToth (name taken on petition for naturalization;[1] later changed to simply Andre de Toth for actual naturalization)[2]
Alma materRoyal Hungarian Pázmány Péter Science's University (early 1930s)
OccupationFilm director
Years active1939–1987
  • (m. 1944; div. 1952)
  • Marie Louise Stratton
    (m. 1953; div. 1982)
  • Ann Green
    (m. 1984⁠–⁠2002)
Children4; including film editor Nicolas DeToth

Early lifeEdit

Born in 1913 as Sasvári farkasfalvi tóthfalusi Tóth Endre Antal Mihály, DeToth earned a degree in law from the Royal Hungarian Pázmány Péter Science's University in Budapest in the early 1930s. He garnered acclaim for plays written as a college student, acquiring the mentorship of Ferenc Molnár and becoming part of the theater scene in Budapest.[citation needed]


DeToth segued from there to the film industry and worked as a writer, assistant director, editor and sometime actor. In 1939 he directed five films just before World War II began in Europe. Several of these films received significant release in the Hungarian communities in the United States. He went to England, spent several years as an assistant to fellow Hungarian émigré Alexander Korda, and eventually moved to Los Angeles in 1942.[3]

Based on his Hungarian films, the production work for Korda and writing he had done on American projects during earlier stints in Los Angeles, he received an oral contract as a director at Columbia Pictures from which he ultimately extricated himself by litigation. He preferred working as an independent and had no "A" budgets early in his career. Thus, he had to supplement his directing income with writing assignments, often uncredited. Introduced to Westerns by John Ford, he worked mostly in that genre throughout the 1950s, often bringing elements of noir style into those films.[4]

In 1951, he received an Oscar nomination for Best Writing (with co-writer William Bowers) for the story filmed as The Gunfighter.

While largely remembered as the director of the earliest and most successful 3D film, House of Wax, DeToth also directed the noir films Pitfall (1948) and Crime Wave (1954).[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Photograph of the film producer Andre DeToth, director Ken Russell, and actor Michael Caine in Helsinki during the cinematography of Billion Dollar Brain, here on Sofiankatu, near the old police station in 1967

DeToth lost sight in one eye and wore a black eyepatch; as a 1994 report in The Independent noted, this almost cost him his life:

The piratical black patch De Toth sports over his left eye almost cost him his life. Scouting for locations in Egypt shortly after the Yom Kippur war of 1973, De Toth was kidnapped, pistol-whipped and interrogated by a group of vengeful young men who had mistaken him for Moyshe Dayan. He only escaped with his life after a quick examination of his groin bore out De Toth's claim that far from being an Israeli commander, he was not even Jewish.[6]

During his seven marriages DeToth became father and stepfather of 19 children,[3] including editor Nicolas DeToth.[7] He was married to Veronica Lake from 1944 until their divorce in 1952.[8] They had a son, Andre Anthony Michael DeToth III (born October 25, 1945)[9] and a daughter, Diana DeToth (born 1948).[10][11] In 1953 he married the actress Mary Lou Holloway (née Stratton).[12][13] At the time of his death in 2002, DeToth was married to his seventh wife, Ann Green.[5][14][15]


In 1996, he published his memoir, Fragments – Portraits from the Inside (London: Faber and Faber, 1994; ISBN 9780571190393).


On October 27, 2002, DeToth died from an aneurysm, aged 89.[3] He was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park cemetery in the Hollywood Hills.

Partial filmographyEdit


  1. ^ Also styled André DeToth, André De Toth, Andre de Toth, and André de Toth.


  1. ^ a b "1913 given as year of birth on Petition for Naturalization (June 11, 1945, #124768, Central District of California, Los Angeles, California, USA), under the name Endre Antal Miksa De Toth". Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Extract of naturalization certification in the name of Andre de Toth". Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Rick Lyman (November 1, 2002). "Andre De Toth, the Director Of Noted 3D Film, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
  4. ^ Obituary,; accessed June 24, 2015.[dead link]
  5. ^ a b Bergan, Ronald (October 31, 2002). "André de Toth". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  6. ^ Jackson, Kevin (August 30, 1994). "FILM/Making movies the Toth way: Even by the standards of Hollywood". The Independent. Archived from the original on April 12, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  7. ^ Nicolas DeToth profile,; accessed September 3, 2015.
  8. ^ "Andre De Toth." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, vol. 15. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 1996. Retrieved via Gale In Context: Biography database, 2020-04-09.
  9. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (2001). Peekaboo: The Story of Veronica Lake. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. p. 163.
  10. ^ Cowan, Ruth. (December 26, 1948). "Prince Charles Tops List of 1948 Babies, Many of Whom Bear World-Famous Names". Richmond Times-Dispatch. p. 12C. Retrieved via database. "A third child, a daughter, too, was born to Veronica Lake, 29. The baby is the second child of her marriage to Andre Detoth, 35, director."
  11. ^ Klemesrud, Judy (March 10, 1971). "For Veronica Lake, the Past Is Something to Write About." New York Times. p. 38. "[Veronica Lake] said she rarely sees her three children, Elaine, 30, ... Michael, 25, ... and Diana, 23, who is married and living in Rome."
  12. ^ "Director Marries". The Yuma Daily Sun. December 28, 1953. p. 2. Retrieved via database. "Hollywood movie director Andre de Toth ... was married here [in Yuma] yesterday at the home of Richard 'Whitey' Stanton. The wedding party included ... the new bride, the former Mary Lou Stratton".
  13. ^ "Shorts". Nashville Banner. January 5, 1953. p. 16. Retrieved via database. "Director Andre De Toth, ... has presented a two-karat diamond engagement ring to Mary Lou Holloway, a Hollywood model".
  14. ^ "ANDRE DE TOTH". Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  15. ^ "Obituary: Andre De Toth, film director". The Scotsman. November 7, 2007. Retrieved April 11, 2018. [De Toth] is survived by Ann Green, who is reputed to be his seventh wife, and by an unspecified number of the 19 children he is reported to have fathered.
  16. ^ a b De Toth, André; Slide, Anthony (1996). De Toth on de Toth: putting the drama in front of the camera—a conversation with Anthony Slide. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 9780571177301. OCLC 52729179.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit