|Height:||183 cm (6' 1'')|
|Birth Day:||June 24, 1891|
|Death Date:||July 13, 1954|
As per our current Database, Irving Pichel died on July 13, 1954.
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|183 cm (6' 1'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Pichel was born to a Jewish family in Pittsburgh. He attended Pittsburgh Central High School with George S. Kaufman. The two collaborated on a play, The Failure. Pichel graduated from Harvard University in 1914 and went immediately into the theater. Pichel's first work in musical theatre was as a technical director for the theater of the San Francisco Bohemian Club; he also helped with the annual summer pageant, held at the elite Bohemian Grove, in which up to 300 of its wealthy, influential members from finance and government participate. With this expertise, he was also hired by Wallace Rice as the main narrator in Rice's ambitious pageant play, Primavera, the Masque of Santa Barbara in 1920. He founded the Berkeley Playhouse in 1923 and served as its director until 1926.
Pichel moved to Los Angeles where he studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. It was there that Pichel achieved considerable acclaim as the title character in the landmark Pasadena Playhouse production of Eugene O'Neill's play Lazarus Laughed in 1927. Two years later, when the studios were hiring any theater-trained actors suitable for talkies, he was signed to a contract with Paramount.
Pichel was a friend of the screenwriter George S. Kaufman and joined the circle of those witty and iconoclastic friends who had abandoned the Algonquin Round Table in New York to make small fortunes in the talkies. Pichel was soon drawn to directing and his character acting dropped off after 1939. He co-directed several B-movies until he signed with 20th Century Fox in 1939 and began directing their established stars.
The Moon Is Down (1943) was an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel. The book was based on the Nazi invasion of neutral Norway in 1940, published in March, 1942 and subsequently translated into French and distributed in Europe as an inspiration for local resistance to Nazi occupation. In both film and novel, a small Norwegian village gradually discovers how to organize resistance to Nazi invaders; the film stars Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Henry Travers and also marked Natalie Wood’s debut as a child actress (though she was uncredited), whom Pichel had discovered, and actually gave her the screen name of Wood. With a screenplay by future blacklisted writer, Nunnally Johnson, this was named as one of the top ten films of the year by the National Board of Review. It played in Sweden in November of 1944.
In 1947, Pichel was one of 19 members of the Hollywood community who were subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee during the United States' second Red Scare. This group became known as the "Hollywood Nineteen" and the "Unfriendly Nineteen" because they refused to name suspected Communist agents to the Committee. Though it is not clear that Pichel had ever been a Communist, the committee assumed he had communist sympathies because he had directed the anti-Nazi film, The Man I Married (1940), and investigated him as a case of "premature antifascism." Pichel was cleared, but soon after developed a chronic heart condition which was treated until his death in 1954.
A special 1951 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation was retroactively awarded by the 59th World Science Fiction Convention 50 years later, in 2001, to Destination Moon for being one of the science fiction films eligible during calendar year 1950. (50 years, 75 years, or 100 years prior is the eligibility requirement governing the awarding of Retro Hugos.)
Currently, Irving Pichel is 131 years, 0 months and 8 days old. Irving Pichel will celebrate 132nd birthday on a Saturday 24th of June 2023.
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