Oscar Directors: Mann, Delbert (Marty, 1955)

In 1955, Delbert Mann won the top award, the Palme d’Or, at the Cannes Film Festival and the Best Director Oscar for the melodrama, Marty, which later also won the Best Picture and Best Actor (Ernest Borgnine).

It was the first Best Picture winner to be based on a TV program, adapted from a 1953 teleplay, which he had also directed.

Mann is the only director other than Billy Wilder and Roman Polanski to win the Oscar and the Cannes Palme d’Or prizes for the same film.


Delbert Martin Mann was born on January 30, 1920 in Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas.  He was the son of Ora, a civic worker and teacher, and Delbert Martin Mann, Sr., a college professor.

Mann graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.  After school, he served with the U.S. Army Air Forces in WW II, as a combat pilot of a B-24 Liberator of the 467th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force in England.

After his discharge he attended Yale Drama School, and began working in theater and eventually, TV and film.

He was married to Ann Caroline Mann from 1941 until her death in 2001.

From 1967 to 1971, he was the president of the Directors Guild of America (DGA).

Mann died on November 11, 2007 at a Los Angeles hospital, age 87.


Crucial Stats:

Oscar Nominations: 1 (Marty, 1955)

Oscar Awards: 1 (Marty, 1955)

Age at Winning: 35

Career longevity: 35 years (1955 to 1986)

Career viability: 12 years (1955 to 1967)

Age at last work: 66

Output: about 20 pictures (including several TV movies)

Genre: mostly medlodramas (in the late 1950s) and comedies (two with Doris Day)



Marty (1955)

The Bachelor Party (1957)

Desire Under the Elms (1958)

Separate Tables (1958)

Middle of the Night (1959)

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1960)

Lover Come Back (1961)

The Outsider (1961)

That Touch of Mink (1962)

A Gathering of Eagles (1963)

Dear Heart (1964)

Quick, Before It Melts (1964)

Mister Buddwing (1966)

Fitzwilly (1967)

Heidi (TV adaptation, 1968)

David Copperfield (1969)

Kidnapped (1971)

All Quiet on the Western Front (TV adaptation, 1979)

Night Crossing (1982)

The Last Days of Patton (TV movie, 1986)