Erich Oswald Hans Carl Maria von Stroheim was an Austrian-American director, actor and producer, most noted as a film star and avant garde, visionary director of the silent era. His masterpiece adaptation of Frank Norris's McTeague entitled Greed is considered one of the finest and most important films ever made. After clashes with Hollywood studio bosses over budget and workers' rights issues, von Stroheim was banned for life as a director and subsequently became a well-respected character actor, particularly in French cinema. For his early innovations as a director, von Stroheim is still celebrated as one of the first of the auteur directors. He died in 1957 in France of prostate cancer at the age of 71. Beloved by Parisian neo-Surrealists known as Letterists, in 1979 Letterist Maurice Lemaitre directed a seventy-minute homage to von Stroheim entitled Erich von Stroheim.