Fritz Lang Biography
Lang was born in Vienna, the second son of architect and construction company manager Anton Lang (1860-1940) and his wife Pauline “Paula” Lang (née Schlesinger; 1864-1920). His mother was raised Jewish but later converted to Catholicism. His father was labeled a “lapsed Catholic.” On December 28, 1890, he was baptized at Vienna’s Schottenkirche. Adolf was his older brother (1884–1961).
Lang was born to Moravian parents. He mentioned being “born [a] Catholic and very puritan” at one point. Lang, who eventually described himself as an atheist, believed that religion was important for teaching ethics.
Lang briefly attended the Technical University of Vienna after finishing high school, where he studied civil engineering before switching to art. He left Vienna in 1910 to travel around the world, first through Europe and Africa, then through Asia and the Pacific. In 1913, he studied painting in Paris.
Fritz Lang Career
Fritz Lang, born Friedrich Christian Anton Lang, was an Austrian film director, screenwriter, and producer who worked in Germany and later in the United States. The British Film Institute dubbed him the “Master of Darkness” after he became one of the most well-known émigrés from Germany’s Expressionism school. He is considered to be one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. Lang’s writing career was brief, as he soon began working as a director at the German film studio UFA, and later Nero-Film, at the height of the Expressionist movement. When World War I broke out, Lang returned to Vienna and volunteered for military service in the Austrian army, fighting in Russia and Romania, where he was wounded four times and lost sight in his right eye, the first of many vision problems he would face throughout his life. In his 20-year American career, Lang made twenty-three features, working in a variety of genres at every major studio in Hollywood and occasionally producing his films as an independent. In 1939, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Fritz Lang Personal Life
Lang met his future wife, writer Thea von Harbou, in 1920. From 1921 to 1933, she and Lang co-wrote all of his films, including Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (1922 – which ran for over four hours, in two parts in the original version, and was the first in the Dr. Mabuse trilogy), the five-hour Die Nibelungen (1924), the dystopian film Metropolis (1927), and the science fiction film Woman in the Moon (1929).
Fritz Lang Death
On February 8, 1960, Lang was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1600 Vine Street for his contributions to the motion picture industry. Lang died of a stroke in 1976 and was buried in the Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills.