Otto Ludwig Preminger (5 December 1905 – 23 April 1986) was an Austro–Hungarian-American theatre and film director, born in Vienna, Austria to a Jewish family. His father was a prosecutor, and Otto originally intended to follow his father into a law career. While studying law in his native Vienna, he worked with Max Reinhardt’s theatre and soon became its director. He directed his first film in 1931, and came to the US in 1936 to direct on the Broadway stage.

In 1935 he went to the U.S. to direct Libel on Broadway. Invited to Hollywood, he made the successful thriller Laura (1944), which helped establish film noir. Forming his own production company, he defied Hollywood’s Production Code with a series of controversial films and brought about the relaxation of censorship regulations.

For two decades after “Laura was released in 1944, Preminger ranked as one of the top directors in the world. His powers began to wane after Advise & Consent (1962), and by the end of the decade, he was considered washed-up. However, such was the potency of his craftsmanship that he continued to direct major motion pictures into the 1970s, with Rosebud (1975) getting scathing reviews. His last directorial effort was The Human Factor (1979), which won him respectful notices.