- Category : 1905-births
- Type : ME
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Four Ways 1
German-American Jewish film director nominated for an Academy Award for The Bishop's Wife (1947). Although Koster never won an Oscar himself, he directed six different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Cecil Kellaway, Loretta Young, Celeste Holm, Elsa Lanchester, Josephine Hull, James Stewart and Richard Burton.
In 1932, Koster directed his first film in Berlin, the comedy Thea Roland. With the rise of the Nazis in 1933 he left Germany for France, then went to Budapest where he met and married Kató Király in 1934. In Budapest he met Joe Pasternak, who represented Universal in Europe, and directed three films for him.
In 1936 Koster got a contract to work with Universal Pictures in Hollywood, and he travelled to the United States to work with Pasternak, other refugees and his wife. Koster discovered Abbott and Costello working at a nightclub in New York. He returned to Hollywood and convinced Universal to hire them. Their first picture, which featured the Who's On First? routine, was One Night in the Tropics (1940). The female lead, Peggy Moran, would become Koster's second wife in 1942.
Henry Koster went on to do numerous musicals and family comedies during the late 1930s and early 1940s, with Deanna Durbin, Betty Grable, and other musical stars of the era. Koster retired to Camarillo, California, to indulge in his lifelong interest in painting. He died there of liver cancer on 21 September 1988, aged 83.