Hungarian dramatist Ede Szigligeti was born József Szathmáry on this date in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now the town where he was born is located in present-day Romania. His parents wanted him to become a priest; he, however, wanted to be a doctor. He wound up instead an apprentice engineer. He had developed a love of drama as a child, and despite his father reportedly being a tyrant who hated the theater, Szigligeti appeared on the stage in 1834 in Budapest. Because of this, his father forbade him the use the family name, so he changed it. The name he chose came from a romance drama that he loved. While barely supporting himself, he dove deeper into the world of theater and began to sketch plays for himself. He gained the attention of Hungarian theater connoisseurs, who helped him and encouraged him to write more. Finally in 1840, he was rewarded when one of his full length plays was produced by the newly found Hungarian Academy, starring the wife writer M. Jókai, Rosa Laborfalvy. The production was well received and quite successful. It also made Szigligeti famous. He would go on to be elected to two dramatic academies, pen many full length plays in several genres; and would become not just the leading Hungarian playwright, but also a mentor to younger up and coming dramatists. In addition to his own original writing, he also translated Goethe from the German and Shakespeare from English into Hungarian. Some of his own plays were likewise translated into German. In regards to film, 9 films have been produced using his plays as source material, 4 of them were made during the silent era. The first of these, A csikós was released in 1913 and was a Hungarian production. In fact, all four films were made in his home country of Hungary; they are: A szökött katona (1915), Liliomfi (1915) and A. cigány (1925). The most recent film made from his work came in 1993, a version of the same play filmed in 1925; it was produced for Hungarian television. Szigligeti died in Budapest on Januray 19 in 1878 at the age of 63. He is buried there in the Fiumei úti Nemzeti Sírkert (National Cemetery in Fiumei Street).
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