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Robert Altman

Throughout his extraordinary career, Robert Altman has surprised, entertained and challenged audiences with vibrant, freewheeling films that stretch the boundaries of the medium.

He has created films with enormous casts (Brewster McCloud, Nashville, A Wedding, etc.) as well as ones with a solitary cast member (Secret Honor); he celebrated male camaraderie in M*A*S*H and California Split, and sensitively explored women's' consciousness in Images, Three Women and Come Back To The Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. He has revitalized genres like the western (McCabe & Mrs. Miller), the detective movie (The Long Goodbye) and the biographical film (Vincent & Theo); and his source material has spanned comics (Popeye), theater (Streamers, Fool For Love), opera (Aria) and contemporary politics (Tanner '88).

Altman's insight into actors and acting is legendary. His movies have launched the film careers of Shelley Duvall, Keith Carradine, Lily Tomlin, Jeff Goldblum, Sally Kellerman, Louise Fletcher, Michael Murphy and Cher. He has also been applauded for the technical innovation of his multi-layered soundtracks and artful use of the zoom lens. While his subjects and themes have been diverse, he has often cast an irreverent eye on the institutions, mores and foibles of American life.

Altman began his career making industrial and documentary films at the Calvin Company in his native Kansas City, and then moved on to direct television in the sixties. In 1970, his black comedy M*A*S*H was an international hit and he was on his way to his long and distinguished film career. More recently, he has made the box office hit The Player, for which he won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival, and the film Short Cuts, for which he received his fourth Academy Award nomination for Best Director.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Robert Altman Facts

Birth NameRobert Bernard Altman
BirthdayFebruary 20, 1925
BirthplaceKansas City, Missouri, USA
Date of deathNovember 20, 2006 (Los Angeles, California, USA, age 81)
Height6' (1m83)  How tall is Robert Altman compared to you?
Awards2002 Golden Globe Awards: Best Director - Motion Picture (for Gosford Park)
1993 BAFTA Awards: Best Direction (for The Player)

Selected Filmography

First Season Episode 6 Father John
Silent Thunder
Gosford Park
Combat!: The Complete Series
McCabe & Mrs. Miller
The Long Goodbye
Short Cuts
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