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Arthur Hiller

Arthur Hiller

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Also Known As: Alan Smithee Died:
Born: November 22, 1923 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Edmonton, Alberta, CA Profession: director, producer, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Canadian-born director Arthur Hiller began in radio and, after a brief stint helming TV episodes in his homeland, moved to the USA where he quickly established himself directing both live and film series like "Playhouse 90" (CBS 1956-1960) "Gunsmoke" (CBS 1955-1975) and "Naked City" (ABC 1958-1963), for which he received a 1962 Emmy nomination. He made an auspicious feature debut at the helm of the teen flick "The Careless Years" (1957), starring Dean Stockwell, but did not return to the big screen until 1963 with "Miracle of the White Stallions" and "The Wheeler Dealers." Although he worked in a variety of genres, from the dramatic "The Man in the Glass Booth" (1974) to the romantic "Love Story" (1970), Hiller showed his greatest facility with light comedy, working well with writers like Neil Simon ("The Out-of-Towners" 1970, "Plaza Suite" 1971), Andrew Bergman ("The In-Laws" 1979), Israel Horowitz ("Author! Author!" 1982) and Leslie Dixon ("Outrageous Fortune" 1987). However, two of his most acclaimed movies, "The Americanization of Emily" (1964) and the bleak satire "The Hospital" (1971), both scripted by Paddy Chayefsky, were notably dark films. No Hiller film did better at the box office than...

Canadian-born director Arthur Hiller began in radio and, after a brief stint helming TV episodes in his homeland, moved to the USA where he quickly established himself directing both live and film series like "Playhouse 90" (CBS 1956-1960) "Gunsmoke" (CBS 1955-1975) and "Naked City" (ABC 1958-1963), for which he received a 1962 Emmy nomination. He made an auspicious feature debut at the helm of the teen flick "The Careless Years" (1957), starring Dean Stockwell, but did not return to the big screen until 1963 with "Miracle of the White Stallions" and "The Wheeler Dealers." Although he worked in a variety of genres, from the dramatic "The Man in the Glass Booth" (1974) to the romantic "Love Story" (1970), Hiller showed his greatest facility with light comedy, working well with writers like Neil Simon ("The Out-of-Towners" 1970, "Plaza Suite" 1971), Andrew Bergman ("The In-Laws" 1979), Israel Horowitz ("Author! Author!" 1982) and Leslie Dixon ("Outrageous Fortune" 1987). However, two of his most acclaimed movies, "The Americanization of Emily" (1964) and the bleak satire "The Hospital" (1971), both scripted by Paddy Chayefsky, were notably dark films. No Hiller film did better at the box office than "Love Story," which was disparaged by many critics as sentimental and cloying, much as Erich Segal's best-selling novel had been. Hiller's late career was hampered by box-office duds like the gay-themed romantic drama "Making Love" (1982) and the Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor comedy "See No Evil, Hear No Evil" (1989). In an unfortunate case of life imitating art, Hiller and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas clashed during the filming of their film industry satire "An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn" (1997), leading the director to demand his name be taken off the final film, which was released to critical derision and commercial failure under the directorial pseudonym Alan Smithee. Hiller only directed one more film, the quickly forgotten comedy "National Lampoon's Pucked" (2006), starring rock icon Jon Bon Jovi. In addition to his work as a director, Hiller served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1993 to 1997. Arthur Hiller died of undisclosed natural causes in Los Angeles on August 17, 2016 at the age of 92.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Burn, Hollywood, Burn (1997) Director
3.
  Carpool (1996) Director
4.
  Babe, The (1992) Director
5.
  Married To It (1991) Director
6.
  Taking Care of Business (1990) Director
7.
8.
  Outrageous Fortune (1987) Director
9.
  Teachers (1984) Director
10.
  Lonely Guy, The (1984) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Casting By (2013)
2.
 Lunch (2012)
3.
5.
 Out of the Cold (1999)
6.
 I Think I Cannes (1999)
7.
 Land of the Free, The (1998) Judge
8.
 Merchants of Venus (1997) Reverend Philips
9.
 Pitch, The (1996) Himself
10.
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Milestones close milestones

1987:
Helmed "Outrageous Fortune", starring Bette Midler and Shelley Long
1997:
Took his name off "An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn"; director's credit going to Alan Smithee
1984:
Produced and directed "The Lonely Guy", starring Steve Martin and Charles Grodin
1942:
Served in Royal Canadian Air Force
:
Moved to USA and began directing live and film TV series like "Playhouse 90", "Gunsmoke" and "Naked City"
1974:
Picked up co-producing credit on "The Crazy World of Julius Vrooder" (also directed)
1957:
First feature film, "The Careless Years"
1971:
Reunited with Chayefsky, directing "The Hospital"
:
Served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
1992:
Tackled baseball legend, directing "The Babe", a biopic of George Herman 'Babe' Ruth
:
Began career in Canadian radio
1954:
Started directing for CBC-Television
:
Switched to feature films for good in the early 1960s
1979:
Directed and co-produced Peter Falk comedy "The In-Laws"
1964:
Collaborated with Paddy Chayefsky, directing his script, "The Americanization of Emily"
1970:
Scored big hit with straightforward film adaptation of Erich Segal's novel "Love Story"; earned Best Director Academy Award nomination
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Education

University of Alberta: Edmonton, Alberta -
University of British Columbia: Vancouver, British Columbia -
University of Toronto: Toronto , Ontario - 1947
University of Toronto: Toronto , Ontario - 1950

Notes

"Most startling of these gags, however, is an end-credits shot of Eszterhas and Arthur Hiller having a meal, with the latter asking the scribe, 'Why would you want me to direct?' We don't hear Eszterhas' answer." --from DAILY VARIETY review of "An Alan Smithee film: Burn, Hollywood Burn", October 3, 1997

Received honorary degree (L.H.D.) from London Institute of Applied Research in 1973

Received honorary degree from University of Toronto in 1995.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Gwen Hiller. Married on February 14, 1948.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Harry Hiller.
mother:
Rose Hiller.
son:
Henryk Hiller.
daughter:
Erica Hiller. Associate producer. Associate producer of father's "Married To It" (1991); married sound mixer Kevin Carpenter in July 1999.
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