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Also Known As: Michael Joseph Anderson Died:
Born: January 30, 1920 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: director, actor, screenwriter, assistant director, unit production manager, errand boy (at Elstree Studios), producer, composer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An intelligent and dependable British-born director Michael Anderson apprenticed under the likes of David Lean, Noel Coward (co-directors of 1942's "In Which We Serve") and Peter Ustinov, with whom he co-directed "Private Angelo" (1949), starring Ustinov in the title role. Anderson made a fine impression at the helm of "The Dam Busters" (1954), the exciting true story about the bombing of the Ruhr dams during World War II, then followed with the first film version of "1984" (1955) before shocking everyone with his outstanding work on the Academy Award-winning Best Picture "Around the World in 80 Days" (1956). He produced as well as directed "Shake Hands with the Devil" (1959), a gripping drama set in 1920s Ireland that starred Jimmy Cagney as a medical professor hell-bent on Irish independence. Returning to a World War II setting, Anderson helmed one of his best pictures, "Operation Crossbow" (1965), and followed with "The Quiller Memorandum" (1966, adapted by Harold Pinter), a spy thriller lost amidst the spate of similar 60s films.The well-crafted, if uneven "Logan's Run" (1976) marked Anderson's first foray into science fiction while "Orca" (1977) proved a mediocre attempt to capitalize on the...

An intelligent and dependable British-born director Michael Anderson apprenticed under the likes of David Lean, Noel Coward (co-directors of 1942's "In Which We Serve") and Peter Ustinov, with whom he co-directed "Private Angelo" (1949), starring Ustinov in the title role. Anderson made a fine impression at the helm of "The Dam Busters" (1954), the exciting true story about the bombing of the Ruhr dams during World War II, then followed with the first film version of "1984" (1955) before shocking everyone with his outstanding work on the Academy Award-winning Best Picture "Around the World in 80 Days" (1956). He produced as well as directed "Shake Hands with the Devil" (1959), a gripping drama set in 1920s Ireland that starred Jimmy Cagney as a medical professor hell-bent on Irish independence. Returning to a World War II setting, Anderson helmed one of his best pictures, "Operation Crossbow" (1965), and followed with "The Quiller Memorandum" (1966, adapted by Harold Pinter), a spy thriller lost amidst the spate of similar 60s films.

The well-crafted, if uneven "Logan's Run" (1976) marked Anderson's first foray into science fiction while "Orca" (1977) proved a mediocre attempt to capitalize on the success of "Jaws" (1975). Embarking on a career in television, he helmed the NBC miniseries "The Martian Chronicles" (1980) and received critical acclaim for his direction of the HBO movie "Sword of Gideon" (1986), a fictionalized version of the revenge extracted for the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympics. After missing the mark with the sci-fi feature "Millennium" (1989), Anderson helmed the curiosity "La Boutique de l'orfevre/The Jeweler's Shop" (1989), based on a play written by Pope John Paul II. The director then concentrated on the small screen, primarily guiding largely uninspired period dramas and literary adaptations like "Catherine the Great" (TNT, 1991), "The Sea Wolf" (TNT, 1993), "Captains Courageous" (The Family Channel, 1996) and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (CBS, 1997). His first feature in nearly a decade was the straight-to-video release "Summer of the Monkeys" (1998) which proved more suited to the small screen.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Summer of the Monkeys (1998) Director
3.
4.
  Sea Wolf, The (1993) Director
5.
  Millennium (1989) Director
6.
7.
  Separate Vacations (1986) Director
8.
  Sword of Gideon (1986) Director
9.
  Second Time Lucky (1984) Director
10.
  Bells (1980) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1935:
Entered films as office boy at Elstree Studios
1936:
First film as assistant director, "The Mill on the Floss"
:
Acted in "Housemaster" (1937) and "Stolen Life" (1939)
:
Worked as assistant director on "Pygmalion" (1938) and "French Without Tears" (1939) and unit production manager on "In Which We Serve" (1942)
1942:
Served in the 48th Infantry Division of the Royal Signal Corps
:
Assisted Peter Ustinov on "School for Secrets" (1946) and "Vice Versa" (1947)
1949:
Co-directing debut (with Ustinov), "Private Angelo"; also co-scripted with Ustinov (who starred)
1950:
Solo directing debut, "Waterfront Women/Waterfront"
1954:
Directed "Dam Busters", exciting and intelligent film about blowing up German-held dams on the Ruhr River during World War II; starred Richard Todd and Michael Redgrave
1955:
Helmed thought-provoking version of George Orwell's futuristic novel "1984"; cast included Redgrave
1956:
Directed Oscar-winning Best Picture "Around the World in Eighty Days", based on the novel by Jules Verne; nominated for Best Director Oscar
1957:
Moved to Hollywood
1959:
Produced and directed "Shake Hands with the Devil", gripping drama of war-torn Ireland of the 1920s; starred James Cagney and included fine English thesps like Redgrave, Cyril Cusack, Sybil Thorndike and Richard Harris
1959:
Directed "The Weck of the Mary Deare", starring Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston; cast also included Redgrave and Harris
1960:
Composed music for "Twelve to the Moon"
1961:
Second film with Cooper, "The Naked Edge"
1965:
Helmed fine "impossible mission" tale of small band of commandos out to destroy Nazi secret missile stronghold during WWII; third and last association with Todd
1966:
Directed "The Quiller Memorandum", spy film starring George Segal as American secret agent investigating neo-Nazis in the 60s; Harold Pinter scripted, adapting from novel "The Berlin Memorandum" by Elleston Trevor
1968:
Helmed "The Shoes of the Fisherman", starring Anthony Quinn and Laurence Olivier
1972:
Directed Liv Ullmann in the period drama "Pope Joan"
1975:
Helmed the well-acted, if old-fahioned melodrama "Conduct Unbecoming"; starred Michael York
1976:
Ventured into sci-fi for "Logan's Run", winner of a special Oscar for its visual effects; York, son Michael Jr and Ustinov acted in it
1977:
Directed "Orca", starring Harris
:
Formed Michael Anderson Productions (MAP) with Adrienne Anderson
1980:
US TV directing debut, NBC miniseries "The Martian Chronicles", based on the Ray Bradbury novel; son Michael Jr had featured role
1986:
Nominated for CableACE Award for his direction of the HBO movie "Sword of Gideon"
1989:
Missed with feature sci-fi effort, "Millenium" and directed "La Boutique de l'orfevre/The Jeweler's Shop", based on a story by Pope John Paul II
1991:
Directed TNT miniseries "Young Catherine", about the early life of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia
1993:
Helmed TNT movie remake "The Sea Wolf", based on Jack London's novel
1994:
Directed "Rugged Gold" (Family Channel), set amidst the beautiful scenery of New Zealand
1996:
Helmed remake of "Captains Courageous" (Family Channel)
1997:
Returned to Jules Verne territory for CBS movie "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"
1998:
First feature in nine years, "Summer of the Monkeys", a family drama better suited to television than the large screen; released straight-to-video
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

London Polytechnical Institute: - 1934 - 1936

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Adrianne Anderson. Actor, screenwriter. Second wife; appeared in UCLA student films of Francis; Ford Coppola; married in 1977; had daughter from previous marriage.

Family close complete family listing

father:
John Lawrence Anderson. Stage actor.
mother:
Beatrice Gwendoline Anderson.
son:
Michael Anderson Jr. Actor. Born in 1943.
son:
David Anderson.
son:
Peter Anderson.
child:
Jan Anderson.
step-daughter:
Laurie Holden. Actor.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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