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Overview for Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson



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Also Known As: Michael Joseph Anderson Died: April 25, 2018
Born: January 30, 1920 Cause of Death: Heart disease
Birth Place: London, UK Profession: Director ... director assistant director composer producer screenwriter unit production manager actor errand boy (at Elstree Studios)


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 true story of the bombing of the Ruhr dams during World War II, then followed with the first film version of "1984" (1955) before his breakthrough 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 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 "Logan's Run" (1976) marked Anderson's first foray into science fiction while "Orca" (1977) proved a disappointing attempt to capitalize on the success of "Jaws" (1975). Embarking on a career in television, he helmed the miniseries "The Martian Chronicles" (NBC 1980) and received critical acclaim for his direction of the cable movie "Sword of Gideon" (HBO 1986), a fictionalized version of the revenge extracted for the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympics. After the sci-fi feature "Millennium" (1989), Anderson helmed "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 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. Anderson's final film was the sequel "The New Adventures of Pinocchio" (1999), starring Martin Landau as Geppetto, after which Anderson quietly retired. Michael Anderson died on April 25, 2018 in Vancouver. He was 98.

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