Carl Zuckmayer

Active - 1930 - 1976  |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Crime, War

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

German screenwriter, playwright, and poet Carl Zuckmayer is best known for two plays: the masterful Captain of Koepenic, which was twice filmed in 1931 and 1956, and The Devil's General (1946), which became a German film nine years later. Born in Nackenheim, Germany, a cork manufacturer's son, Zuckmayer didn't begin writing until he attended Frankfurt and Heidelberg Universities. Prior to that he had served in the German army during WWI and had received several medals for his courage. As a writer, he began writing lyric poetry and then plays. By the 1920s, Zuckmayer was being hailed the successor to dramatist Gerhart Hauptmann. As a screenwriter, he got his start adapting his play Captain of Koepenic for both film versions. He also worked on the script of Josef Von Sternberg's classic The Blue Angel (1930). Because his mother had been a Jew, Zuckmayer found himself persecuted by the Nazis. After Hitler banned his plays, Zuckmayer moved to Austria and began writing a few screenplays for British films. In 1938, he fled to France and emigrated to the U.S. where he began teaching playwriting at the New York New School for Social Research. Zuckmayer also wrote screenplays in Hollywood.

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