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John Huston

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Also Known As: John Marcellus Huston, Maj. John Huston, Capt. John Huston Died: August 28, 1987
Born: August 5, 1906 Cause of Death: complications from emphysema
Birth Place: Nevada, Missouri, USA Profession: director, actor, screenwriter, producer, artist, journalist, boxer, author

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Without a doubt one of the most influential, prolific directors of any era, John Huston's reach spanned several decades and numerous film genres that displayed vast imagination while focusing on characters struggling for individuality despite constraints from the world around them. Huston led quite an adventurous life even before he began his Hollywood career, often recalling his days as a boxer, Mexican cavalry officer and avid horseback rider in many of his films. His offscreen life was just as colorful, including a number of affairs and marriages with various women and fathering several children, some of whom - Anjelica Huston and Danny Huston - became famous in their own right. After a false start as a screenwriter in the early days of talkies, Huston re-emerged in the late-1930s as a successful contract writer who penned such hits as "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse" (1938), "Sergeant York" (1941) and "High Sierra" (1941). During this time, he developed a strong working collaboration with Humphrey Bogart, who became a major star following his turn in Huston's directorial debut, "The Maltese Falcon" (1941), one of the best film noirs ever made. The two had even greater success with "The Treasure of...

Without a doubt one of the most influential, prolific directors of any era, John Huston's reach spanned several decades and numerous film genres that displayed vast imagination while focusing on characters struggling for individuality despite constraints from the world around them. Huston led quite an adventurous life even before he began his Hollywood career, often recalling his days as a boxer, Mexican cavalry officer and avid horseback rider in many of his films. His offscreen life was just as colorful, including a number of affairs and marriages with various women and fathering several children, some of whom - Anjelica Huston and Danny Huston - became famous in their own right. After a false start as a screenwriter in the early days of talkies, Huston re-emerged in the late-1930s as a successful contract writer who penned such hits as "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse" (1938), "Sergeant York" (1941) and "High Sierra" (1941). During this time, he developed a strong working collaboration with Humphrey Bogart, who became a major star following his turn in Huston's directorial debut, "The Maltese Falcon" (1941), one of the best film noirs ever made. The two had even greater success with "The Treasure of Sierra Madre" (1948), which earned Huston and his father, actor Walter Huston, Academy Awards. From there, the director entered into what became his most fruitful period, helming such long-held classics as "The Asphalt Jungle" (1950), "The Red Badge of Courage" (1951) and "The African Queen" (1952), which delivered Bogie his only Oscar. After the uneven adaptation of Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" (1956) and the plagued production of "The Misfits" (1961), famously known as the last screen roles for stars Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, Huston entered into a fallow period that saw few commercial hits, but a few critical triumph like "Fat City" (1972) and "The Man Who Would Be King" (1975). He also began acting later in his career, turning in an acclaimed supporting performance in "The Cardinal" (1963) while being best remembered for his portrayal of the vile Noah Cross in "Chinatown" (1974). In the last decade of his life, Huston returned to critical and box office prominence with "Prizzi's Honor" (1985), which earned daughter Anjelica an Academy Award, making the Hustons the first family to win Oscars in three successive generations. As for Huston himself, he left behind a compelling legacy that included an adventurous life, a rather sordid series of romances and heartbreaks, and a career that cemented him as arguably the greatest director in Hollywood history.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  The Dead (1987) Director
2.
  Prizzi's Honor (1985) Director
3.
  Under the Volcano (1984) Director
4.
  Annie (1982) Director
5.
  Phobia (1981) Director
6.
  Victory (1981) Director
7.
  Let There Be Light (1980) Director
8.
  Wise Blood (1979) Director
9.
  Independence (1976) Director
10.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Pele Eterno (2005)
2.
3.
 MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992) (Archival Footage)
4.
6.
 Bacall On Bogart (1988)
7.
 John Huston & The Dubliners (1987) Himself
9.
 Momo (1986) Hora
10.
 50 Years of Action! (1986) Himself
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1909:
Stage acting debut at age three (date approximate)
:
After parents' separated, moved to Texas with mother
1917:
Moved to L.A. for health reasons
:
Became boxer at age 14, won Amateur Lightweight Boxing Championship in California
:
Professional stage acting debut at age 19
:
Moved to Mexico, became calvary officer
1928:
Resigned commission
:
Became reporter with New York <i>Graphic</i>
1929:
Made acting debut with uncredited appearance in "Hell's Heroes"
:
Moved to Hollywood in the early 1930s, debut as screenwriter with Samuel Goldwyn on projects like 1932's "Law and Order", "Murder in the Rue Morgue" and "A House Divided"
1932:
Left Hollywood
1935:
Made contract writer at Warner Bros.
1940:
Earned first Academy Award nomination for contributions to script of "Doctor Ehrlich's Magic Bullet"
1941:
Co-wrote the biopic "Sergeant York"; shared Academy Award nomination for script
1941:
Debut as film director with "The Maltese Falcon"; also scripted; first screen collaboration with Humphrey Bogart; father Walter appeared in small part; received Oscar nomination for screenplay
1942:
Became a lieutenant with Signal Corps
:
Promoted to major
:
Made several documentaries while in the military including "Report From the Aleutians" (1943) and "Let There Be Light" (1945)
1945:
Returned to Hollywood and did uncredited work on the screenplays of "The Killers" and "The Stranger" (both 1946)
1948:
Received Oscars as Best Director and for Best Screenply for "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre"; father Walter won Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for same film
1950:
Earned dual Oscar nods for writing and directing "The Asphalt Jungle"
1951:
Wrote and directed "The African Queen"; garnered two more Academy Award nominations; star Humphrey Bogart received Best Actor Oscar
1952:
Garnered yet another Oscar nomination for direction of "Moulin Rouge", the biopic of artist Toulouse-Lautrec
1956:
Produced, wrote and directed "Moby Dick", adapted from Herman Melville's classic novel
1957:
Earned Academy Award nomination for contributions to script of "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison"; also directed
1961:
Directed "The Misfits", scripted by Arthur Miller and co-starring Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift
1962:
Guided Clift through the title role of "Freud"
1963:
Co-starred in "The Cardinal"; received Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor
1964:
Helmed the screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams' "The Night of the Iguana", featuring Ava Gardner, Richard Burton and Deborah Kerr
1966:
Played Noah and provided the voice of God in "The Bible"; also directed
1967:
Produced and directed "Reflections in a Golden Eye"
1969:
Directed daughter Anjelica in the lead of the medieval romance "A Walk With Love and Death"; also acted
1970:
Acted in the camp classic "Myra Breckinridge"
1972:
Directed the superb boxing-themed drama "Fat City"
1974:
Delivered memorable turn as the nasty Noah Cross in "Chinatown"
1975:
Received 13th Academy Award nomination for script of "The Man Who Would Be King", adapted from a Rudyard Kipling story; also directed
1979:
Helmed "Wise Blood", adapted from Flannery O'Connor's novel; also acted the role of Hazel's grandfather
1982:
Directed first screen musical, the overproduced boxoffice disappointment "Annie", based on the hit Broadway musical
1984:
Realized a long-held dream to film "Under the Volcano" with Albert Finney in the lead
1985:
Earned final Oscar nomination for the black comedy "Prizzi's Honor"; daughter Anjelica received the Best Supporting Actress statue for her turn as a Mafia princess
1987:
Directed last film, "The Dead"; daughter Anjelica offered memorable performance; son Tony wrote the screenplay based on the James Joyce story
1988:
Produced and scripted "Mr. North"; had been set to direct but became too ill; son Danny replaced him at the helm
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Smith School of Art: Los Angeles , California -

Notes

"The great screenwriter and director John Huston was also a memorable actor and talker. The rumbling, sonorous grandiloquence, the archly raised chin, the massive gaiety, with its suggestion of tricks or outright fraud--there were elements of a ripe, nineteenth-century theatricality in Huston's impish performances and echoes, as well, of florid, speechifying senators and tent preachers saving souls. Huston was not, apparently a very nice man; Polanski caught him at his most purely malevolent in "Chinatown", playing the wealthy and rapacious Noah Cross. But he was one beautiful charmer."--David Denby in his review of "White Hunter, Black Heart" in New York, October 1, 1990)

Awarded the Legion of Merit for bravery during WWII.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Dorothy Harvey. High school sweetheart; married c. 1928; divorced in 1932; reportedly was an alcoholic.
companion:
Zita Johann. Actor. Had relationship in the 1930s.
wife:
Lesley Black. English; met in 1935; gave birth to stillborn daughter in 1939; divorced.
companion:
Olivia de Havilland. Actor. Had relationship in early 1940s; reunited in the 1950s after her divorce.
companion:
Marietta Tree. Socialite.
wife:
Evelyn Keyes. Actor. Married in 1946 in Las Vegas; divorced in 1950.
wife:
Enrica Soma. Born c. 1930; married from 1950 until her death in an auto accident in 1969; separated in 1962; gave birth to daughter Allegra (fathered by a titled Englishman) during separation; mother of Huston's two oldest children, Tony and Anjelica.
companion:
Suzanne Flon. Actor. Appeared in "Moulin Rouge".
companion:
Zoe Sallis. Actor. Involved in the 1960s; mother of Danny Huston.
wife:
Celeste Shane. Married in 1972; divorced in 1975.
companion:
Maricela Hernandez. Former housekeeper. Met c. 1974 when she was 23 years old; the film "The Dead" was dedicated to her.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

grandfather:
John Marcellus Gore. Died in 1913.
grandmother:
Adelia Gore. Helped to raise Huston.
father:
Walter Huston. Actor. Born on April 6, 1884; married Huston's mother on December 31, 1904; divorced in 1912; later wed to vaudevillian Bayonne Whipple (from 1915 to 1931) and actress Ninette Sunderland (from 1931 until his death); acted in son's directorial debut "The Maltese Falcon" (1941) and later won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948); died on April 7, 1950.
mother:
Rhea Gore. Journalist. Born c. 1881; married Huston's father on December 31, 1904; divorced in 1912.
son:
Tony Huston. Director, screenwriter, former lawyer. Born on April 15, 1950; mother, Enrica Soma; acted in "The List of Adrian Messenger" (1963) and wrote screenplay for "The Dead" (1987).
daughter:
Anjelica Huston. Actor, director. Born on July 8, 1951; mother, Enrica Soma; debut in father's film, "Sinful Davey" (1969) at age 16; later directed by him in the disastrous "A Walk With Love and Death" (1969), "Prizzi's Honor" (1985), for which she earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, and "The Dead" (1987).
son:
Danny Huston. Director, actor. Born on May 14, 1962; mother, Zoe Sallis; designed the main title sequence for Huston's "Under the Volcano" (1984), directed father in the 1990 direct-to-video release "Mr Corbett's Ghost" (shot in 1986) and helmed "Mr. North" (1988), produced and scripted by father.
daughter:
Allegra Huston. Producer, former book editor. Daughter of Enrica Soma and a titled Englishman, conceived during Soma's separation from Huston; after Soma's death, Huston raised her as his own child.
son:
Pablo Huston. Adopted.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Fool"
"An Open Book" Alfred A. Knopf
"John Huston's Filmmaking"

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