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Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes

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Also Known As: Howard Robard Hughes Jr. Died: April 5, 1976
Born: December 24, 1905 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Houston, Texas, USA Profession: producer, director, aviator, industrialist, inventor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Brilliantly innovative yet plagued by obsessive-compulsive tendencies and a reclusive bent, Howard Hughes epitomized unchecked ego at play in Hollywood during the first half of the twentieth century. Buying his way into the American film industry with his share of a family fortune, the 25-year-old struck gold after the advent of talking pictures by funding the successful "The Front Page" (1931) and "Scarface" (1932). Inspired by the heroics of World War I pilots, Hughes mounted "Hell's Angels" (1930) as a one-man show, writing, producing, directing and personally overseeing the extensive aerial photography; though the film was a critical success and a hit with moviegoers, Hughes lost millions due to overspending. He quit Hollywood in 1932 to spend the next decade testing experimental airplanes, breaking speed records and circumnavigating the globe by air. Surviving multiple plane crashes but plagued afterwards by an addiction to painkillers, he would direct one more film, "The Outlaw" (1943) starring Jane Russell, before buying controlling interest in RKO Pictures. Hughes' peculiarities and penchant for micro-management drove RKO to bankruptcy and the self-made billionaire retreated into a hermetic...

Brilliantly innovative yet plagued by obsessive-compulsive tendencies and a reclusive bent, Howard Hughes epitomized unchecked ego at play in Hollywood during the first half of the twentieth century. Buying his way into the American film industry with his share of a family fortune, the 25-year-old struck gold after the advent of talking pictures by funding the successful "The Front Page" (1931) and "Scarface" (1932). Inspired by the heroics of World War I pilots, Hughes mounted "Hell's Angels" (1930) as a one-man show, writing, producing, directing and personally overseeing the extensive aerial photography; though the film was a critical success and a hit with moviegoers, Hughes lost millions due to overspending. He quit Hollywood in 1932 to spend the next decade testing experimental airplanes, breaking speed records and circumnavigating the globe by air. Surviving multiple plane crashes but plagued afterwards by an addiction to painkillers, he would direct one more film, "The Outlaw" (1943) starring Jane Russell, before buying controlling interest in RKO Pictures. Hughes' peculiarities and penchant for micro-management drove RKO to bankruptcy and the self-made billionaire retreated into a hermetic existence. Hughes lived the rest of his life in a series of hotel penthouses before dying aboard a private plane in April 1976. No less beguiling in death than he had been in life, Hughes retained a currency with the American public who remembered him as a mad genius brought down not by his most abject failures, but by his greatest achievements.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Vendetta (1950) Pick-up dir
2.
  The Outlaw (1943) Director
3.
  Hell's Angels (1930) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 F for Fake (1973)
2.
 Pardon My Stripes (1942) College boy
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Milestones close milestones

:
Assumed management of Hughes Tool Company at age 18
1926:
Began investing in Hollywood films aged 20
1926:
Debut as producer with "Everybody's Acting"
1930:
Debut as producer-director with "Hell's Angels"
1932:
Left Hollywood, became co-pilot under assumed name
1935:
Designed aircraft, broke world speed record
1937:
Broke transcontinental speed record
1938:
Flew around world in 91 hours, broke record time
1946:
Injured while flying plane he designed
1947:
Last formal public appearance
1948:
Took over RKO studio and theater chain
1966:
Sold TWA holdings
1966:
Became recluse; maintained control over $2.5 billion empire
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Education

Rice Institute: Houston , Texas -
California Institute of Technology: Pasadena , California -

Notes

Awarded the Congressional Medal Awarded by Washington upon return from record breaking flight around the world.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Katharine Hepburn. Actor.
companion:
Norma Shearer. Actor.
wife:
Terry Moore. Actor. Moore claimed she and Hughes were secretly married and went to court to have herself declared his legal widow; in 2000, Moore made the claim that she never obtained a legal divorce from Hughes and that they therefor committed bigamy in their subsequent remarriages.
wife:
Jean Peters. Actor. Married in 1957; divorced in 1971; last saw him in 1966.
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Family close complete family listing

father:
Howard Hughes Sr. Entrepreneur. Died in January 1924.
uncle:
Rupert Hughes. Novelist, screenwriter.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Empire: The Life, Legend and Madness of Howard Hughes"
"The Beauty and the Billionaire"
"Citizen Hughes"
"Next to Hughes: The Last Years of Howard Hughes's Strange and Tragic Life Chronicled by His Closest Advisor" HarperTrade
"Howard Hughes: The Secret Life"
"Howard Hughes: The Untold Story"
"The Passions of Howard Hughes"
"The Money: The Battle for Howard Hughes's Billions" Random House
"Howard Hughes and His Flying Boat" Charles A. Barton Inc.
"Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters" New Millennium Entertainment
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