Andre DeToth

Endre Antal Miksa DeToth, better known as Andre DeToth[lower-alpha 1] (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
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 active19391987
  • Veronica Lake
    (m. 1944; div. 1952)
  • Marie Louise Stratton
    (m. 1953; div. 1982)
  • Ann Green (m. 19842002)
Children4; including film editor Nicolas DeToth

Early life

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.


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 was responsible for two of the noir cycle's most unusual examples: Pitfall and Crime Wave.[5]

Personal life

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]

His wives included. but were not limited to:

  • Veronica Lake, to whom he was married from 1944 until 1952. They divorced in 1952. They had a son, Andre Anthony Michael DeToth (October 25, 1945 – February 24, 1991, Olympia, Washington) and a daughter, Diana DeToth (born October 16, 1948).[5]
  • Marie Louise Stratton, to whom he was married from 1953 until their divorce in 1982. This marriage also produced two children, Michelle and Nicolas.[5]
  • He married Ann Green in 1984,[8] and was married to her at the time of his death in 2002; she was reputed to have been his seventh wife.[9] They had no children together.[5]


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 filmography


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


  1. "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 2015-06-24.
  2. "Extract of naturalization certification in the name of Andre de Toth". Retrieved 2015-06-28.
  3. Rick Lyman (November 1, 2002). "Andre De Toth, the Director Of Noted 3D Film, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
  4. Obituary,; accessed June 24, 2015.
  5. Andre DeToth on IMDb
  6. Jackson, Kevin (1994-08-30). "FILM/Making movies the Toth way: Even by the standards of Hollywood". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  7. Nicolas DeToth profile,; accessed September 3, 2015.
  8. "ANDRE DE TOTH". Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  9. "Obituary: Andre De Toth, film director". The Scotsman. 2007-11-07. Retrieved 2018-04-11. [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.
  10. 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.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)

Further reading

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