Director Ernst Lubitsch was born on January 29, 1892 in Berlin, Germany. His urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood's most elegant and sophisticated director; as his prestige grew, his films were promoted as having "the Lubitsch touch." In 1947 he received an Honorary Academy Award for his distinguished contributions to the art of the motion picture. He was nominated three times for Best Director.
In 1918, he made his mark as a serious director with The Eyes of the Mummy, starring Pola Negri. Lubitsch enjoyed great international success and his reputation as a grand master of world cinema reached a new peak after the release of Passion (1919) and Deception (1920). Lubitsch arrived in Hollywood in 1922, and directed Mary Pickford in Rosita; the result was a critical and commercial success. He would establish a reputation for sophisticated comedy with such stylish films as The Marriage Circle (1924), and So This Is Paris (1926).
Lubitsch seized upon the advent of talkies to direct musicals. With his first sound film, The Love Parade (1929), Lubitsch hit his stride as a maker of worldly musical comedies and earned an Oscar nomination. Other notable film credits include The Merry Widow (1934), Ninotchka (1939), starring Greta Garbo, The Shop Around the Corner (1940), To Be or Not to Be (1942), starring Carole Lombard in her last film. Lubitsch died on November 30, 1947 from a heart attack in Hollywood and is buried at Forest Lawn Glendale.