Joseph Leo Mankiewicz was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. Mankiewicz had a long Hollywood career and is best known as the writer-director of the Oscar-winning All About Eve. He was brother to the equally famous screenwriter and drama critic Herman J. Mankiewicz who also won an Oscar ? for co-writing Citizen Kane. Joseph Mankiewicz was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to Franz Mankiewicz and Johanna Blumenau, Jewish immigrants from Germany. He had a sister, Erna Mankiewicz, and a brother, Herman J. Mankiewicz, who became a screenwriter.
At age four, Mankiewicz moved with his family to New York City where he graduated in 1924 from Stuyvesant High School. In 1928, he obtained a bachelor's degree from Columbia University. For a time he worked in Berlin, Germany, as a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune newspaper before being lured into the motion picture business.
Comfortable in a variety of genres and able to elicit career performances from actors and actresses alike, Joseph L. Mankiewicz combined ironic, sophisticated scripts with a precise, sometimes stylised mise en scène. Mankiewicz worked for seventeen years as a screenwriter for Paramount and as a producer for MGM before getting a chance to direct at Twentieth Century-Fox. Over six years he made 11 films for Fox, reaching a peak in 1949 and 1950 when he won consecutive Academy Awards for Screenplay and Direction for A Letter to Three Wives and All About Eve.