William Dieterle Biography
(Actor and Director Known for His Films: ‘The Devil and Daniel Webster’ and ‘The Story of Louis Pasteur’)
Birthday: July 15, 1893 (Cancer)
Born In: Ludwigshafen, Germany
William Dieterle was a German actor and film director with an extensive Hollywood career over the course of which he directed films like ‘The Life of Emile Zola,’ ‘The Story of Louis Pasteur’ and ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame.’ Born into a large poverty stricken family in Ludwigshafen, German Empire, he had a difficult childhood as his family struggled to make ends meet. He began doing odd jobs while in his teens and dreamed of a better future for himself. As a young man, he found his way into the local theaters and easily found romantic roles owing to his good-looks and talents. Highly skilled and ambitious, he found considerable success on the stage and soon became a member of Max Reinhardt’s stage company. He ventured into the fast developing German film industry as well and appeared in several films before taking up direction. While he was quite successful as an actor it was direction that gave him the maximum creative fulfillment. The 1930s marked a politically turbulent period in Germany and Dieterle moved to the United States to begin his Hollywood career. Over the years he gained much fame for his biography films, the first of which was with The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936).