Born and raised in Hungary, André De Toth studied law and was an accomplished painter, sculptor, and playwright before turning to filmmaking. Working as a writer, actor, editor, second unit director, and camera operator, De Toth segued into directing five films in his home country, between 1938 and 1939, before the outbreak of World War II. When war broke out, he left for England, where he worked with Alexander Korda, eventually making his way to the US in 1942.
De Toth made his stateside directorial debut with Passport to Suez (1943), which was quickly followed by None Shall Escape (1944) and Dark Waters (1944). Although remembered for directing the financially successful 3-D picture, House of Wax (1953), he is also celebrated for his film noir pictures Pitfall (1948) and Crime Wave (1954). The 1950s also saw De Toth collaborate with Randolph Scott on 6 well-respected westerns, including Man in the Saddle (1951), Carson City (1952) and The Bounty Hunter (1954).
Best known as a “B movie” director, De Toth’s sole Oscar nomination was not for directing. He shared a 1951 Oscar nomination with William Bowers for Best Original Motion Picture Story for The Gunfighter (1950). In 1995, De Toth was awarded the Career Achievement Prize by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and published his memoir, Fragments: Portraits from the Inside.
De Toth joined the Directors Guild in 1941, was a member of the DGA Golden Jubilee Committee, and became a member of the Special Projects Committee in 1989.