Performance Art

Academy Awards 1943

Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. The film was based on the 1940 play Everybody Comes to Rick’s (1940), written by Americans Murray Burnett and Joan Alison, from whom Warner Brothers bought the rights.
Although it was an A-movie with well-known actors in the lead roles, no one expected the film to be a great success. Its production and release were too rushed to take advantage of the publicity surrounding Operation Torch. However, Casablanca became a huge success.

Jennifer Jones (Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 2, 1919-Malibu, California, December 17, 2009),1 was an American actress. During a career that spanned more than five decades, she was nominated for five Academy Awards and won in the Best Actress category for The Song of Bernadette in 1944, one of the youngest to win the award at the age of 25. She is also known for her roles in films of the 40s and 50s such as Duel in the Sun, The Sin of Cluny Brown, The Mockery of the Devil and Madame Bovary.

Paul Lukas (Budapest (Hungary), May 26, 1894 – Tangier (Morocco), August 15, 1971) was a Hungarian actor.
Lukas was born in Budapest in 1895. In 1927, he moved to Hollywood after a successful film and theater career in Hungary, Germany and Austria, where he worked with Max Reinhardt. He made his theatrical debut in Budapest in 1916 and his film debut in 1917. Initially, he played casanovas, but over time he was typecast in villain roles. In 1933 he became a naturalized American citizen. Lukas was quite active during the 1930s, appearing in films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes, the comedy Ladies in Love and the drama Dodsworth.
However, his most important role came in 1943, when he starred in Watch on the Rhine. For this performance he won an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award. He is also known for his impersonation of Professor Arronax in the 1954 film Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
During the 1940s, Lukas was a member of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a lobby that opposed any Communist influence in Hollywood.
During the last years of his career, he acted in film, theater and television. He died in Tangier (Morocco).

Michael Curtiz, born Manó Kertész Kaminer (Budapest, December 24, 1886 – Hollywood, April 10, 1962) was a Hungarian-American film director.
Curtiz was born into a Jewish family in Budapest and claimed that his birth date was December 24, 1886. This is not certain.
After completing his studies, he became a film director. Little is known of his earlier work in Europe. He left Hungary in 1919 after the film industry there was nationalized and moved to Vienna. Here he made at least 21 films.
Curtiz moved to America in 1926 and only then adopted the stage name “Michael Curtiz.” He got a contract with Warner Bros. Studios and made numerous films with several luminaries.
By the 1940s, Curtiz was one of Warner Brothers’ best-known directors and was paid a salary of $3,600 a week. In 1954, however, he left Warner Brothers and built a freelance career. He remained employed until his death in 1962.

Katina Paxinou (Greek: Κατίνα Παξινού) (Piraeus, December 17, 1900 – Athens, February 22, 1973) was a Greek actress.
Katina Paxinou was born Aikaterini Konstantopoulou in 1900. Paxinou debuted as a film actress in 1928. Along with her husband Alexis Miniotis, she was also a member of the ensemble of the Royal Theatre in Athens. In 1946, she starred in the American drama film For Whom the Bell Tolls based on Ernest Hemingway’s novel of the same name. She won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her acting in that film. This made her one of the first foreign actresses to win an Oscar.
Katinou Paxinou died of cancer in 1973.

Charles Douville Coburn (June 19, 1877 – August 30, 1961) was an Oscar-winning American stage and film actor.
He was born in Savannah, Georgia, and was an only child. He was married twice. His first wife, whom he married in 1906, was Ivah Wills Coburn, an American actress and theatrical producer, who died in 1937. In 1959, Coburn married Winifred Natzka, 41 years younger, and former wife of opera singer Oscar Natzka.
He died of an acute myocardial infarction on August 30, 1961 in New York, at the age of 84.