Thursday, September 15, 2005

Robert Wise passed away - age 91

I first learned about the scope and diversity of his work while reading about his early days at RKO, where he directed and edited some films Val Lewton produced. An excellent book about this period is: "Fearing the Dark" The Val Lewton Career
by Edmund G. Bansak Foreword by Robert Wise
ISBN 0-7864-1709-9
53 photographs, bibliography, index
581pp. softcover 2003 [1995]
more information about this book is at:

from the Guardian Unlimited:
Robert Wise, Hollywood legend, dies at 91

Xan Brooks
Thursday September 15, 2005

Guardian Unlimited
Robert Wise, director of The Sound of Music, died yesterday at the age of 91. The four-time Oscar-winner was reported to have suffered heart failure and passed away at the UCLA Medical Centre in Los Angeles.

Wise's Hollywood career spanned seven decades. The youngest son of an Indiana meatpacker, Wise came to Hollywood as a teenager and took a job as a message boy at RKO studios. In the 1930s he worked as a sound effects editor on the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals Top Hat and The Gay Divorcee. In 1941 he edited Orson Welles's landmark Citizen Kane and collaborated with Welles again on the 1942 drama The Magnificent Ambersons.

Wise made his directing debut with the cult 1943 horror film Curse of the Cat People and worked in various genres throughout his career. However, he remains most closely associated with the musical. He won an Oscar for co-directing West Side Story alongside Jerome Robbins and picked up another for his 1965 blockbuster The Sound of Music.

His last major film was 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture, after which he slipped into semi-retirement. He was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the American Film Institute in 1998, and directed a TV-movie, A Storm in Summer, in 2000.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005,3858,5286192-3156,00.html

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