He was born in Budapest, Hungary (then Austria-Hungary) and died in Hollywood.
In 1912 he began his acting and directing career as Mihály Kertész in Hungary (43 films) and, after World War I, continued his work (another 21 titles) first in Vienna, Austria (e.g. with the monumental 1922 silent film Sodom and Gomorrha) and then in Germany.
In 1926 Curtiz emigrated to the United States. The interesting thing about his Hollywood career is that he did not specialize in any one genre. His lifelong struggle with the English language has been confirmed in numerous anecdotes.
Select Hollywood filmography