93 Facts About Robert Altman


Robert Bernard Altman was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer.


Robert Altman was a five-time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Director and is considered an enduring figure from the New Hollywood era.


Robert Altman developed a reputation for being "anti-Hollywood" and non-conformist in both his themes and directing style.


Robert Altman preferred large ensemble casts for his films, and developed a multitrack recording technique which produced overlapping dialogue from multiple actors.


Robert Altman used highly mobile camera work and zoom lenses to enhance the activity taking place on the screen.


Robert Altman never won a competitive Oscar despite seven nominations.


Robert Altman is one of three filmmakers whose films have won the Golden Bear at Berlin, the Golden Lion at Venice, and the Golden Palm at Cannes.


Robert Altman was born on February 20,1925, in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Helen, a Mayflower descendant from Nebraska, and Bernard Clement Robert Altman, a wealthy insurance salesman and amateur gambler, who came from an upper-class family.


Robert Altman's ancestry was German, English and Irish; his paternal grandfather, Frank Robert Altman Sr.


Robert Altman had a Catholic upbringing, but he did not continue to follow or practice the religion as an adult, although he has been referred to as "a sort of Catholic" and a Catholic director.


Robert Altman was educated at Jesuit schools, including Rockhurst High School, in Kansas City.


Robert Altman graduated from Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri in 1943.


Robert Altman worked in publicity for a company that had invented a tattooing machine to identify dogs.


Robert Altman entered filmmaking on a whim, selling a script to RKO for the 1948 picture Bodyguard, which he co-wrote with George W George.


Robert Altman directed some 65 industrial films and documentaries for the Calvin Company.


Robert Altman had a career directing plays and operas parallel to his film career.


Robert Altman co-directed The James Dean Story, a documentary rushed into theaters to capitalize on the actor's recent death and marketed to his emerging cult following.


Two years later, Robert Altman was hired to direct the low-budget space travel feature Countdown, but was fired within days of the project's conclusion because he had refused to edit the film to a manageable length.


Robert Altman worked with Caan again, who led the cast with Robert Duvall.


Robert Altman did not direct another film until That Cold Day in the Park, which was a critical and box-office disaster.


In 1969, Robert Altman was offered the script for MASH, an adaptation of a little-known Korean War-era novel satirizing life in the armed services; more than a dozen other filmmakers had passed on it.


Robert Altman had been hesitant to take the production, and the shoot was so tumultuous that Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland tried to have Robert Altman fired over his unorthodox filming methods.


Unable to secure major financing in the post-New Hollywood blockbuster era because of his mercurial reputation and the particularly tumultuous events surrounding the production of Popeye, Robert Altman returned to television and theater between films.


The production debuted in Los Angeles before transferred off-Broadway before Robert Altman adapted it as a pair of TV movies.


The film, which starred Cher, Karen Black, and Sandy Dennis, played at film festivals before its independent theatrical release; Robert Altman turned down several distribution deals to keep the film under his control.


In 1982, after finishing work on Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Robert Altman travelled to Dallas to film his next film, Streamers.


Robert Altman co-wrote John Anderson's 1983 hit single "Black Sheep".


Robert Altman travelled to Arizona to shoot away from the executives and the screenwriters, whom he banned from the set.


Robert Altman then wrote and directed Beyond Therapy, which proved to be one of his biggest failures.


Robert Altman then mounted his second production of The Rake's Progress, this time at the prestigious Opera de Lille.


Robert Altman used a selection from Jean-Phillipe Rameau's Les Boreades as the basis for his contribution to Aria, which was shown at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival to mixed reception.


Robert Altman made his next television film, Basements, based on two plays by Harold Pinter.


Robert Altman finally regained a modicum of critical favor in 1988 for his television work.


Robert Altman returned to America early that year to shoot the mockumentary show Tanner '88, a collaboration with Garry Trudeau set in the milieu of a United States presidential campaign, for which he earned a Primetime Emmy Award.


Robert Altman revitalized his career in earnest with The Player, a satire of Hollywood.


Robert Altman then directed Short Cuts, an ambitious adaptation of several short stories by Raymond Carver, which portrayed the lives of various citizens of Los Angeles over the course of several days.


Between shooting and editing Short Cuts, Robert Altman made his return to opera as the director and co-librettist of McTeague.


Robert Altman was hired on the project by William Bolcom, who had been commissioned with his regular librettist, Arnold Weinstein, to write an opera by the Lyric Opera of Chicago.


Robert Altman's 1994 release Pret-a-Porter garnered significant pre-release publicity, but was a commercial and critical flop, though it got several nominations for year-end awards, including two Golden Globe nominations and won the National Board of Review award for Best Acting By An Ensemble.


In 1996, Robert Altman directed Kansas City, expressing his love of 1930s jazz through a complicated kidnapping story.


Robert Altman encouraged the film's on-set musicians to improvise, and unused footage of their performances formed the basis for Robert Altman's third episode of Great Performances.


Robert Altman did close the decade on a high note, with 1999's Cookie's Fortune, a quirky black comedy about the suicide of a wealthy dowager, his first film in almost 6 years to make back its budget, and which earned him generally positive praise from critics.


Robert Altman was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999.


In 2006, Robert Altman travelled to England to direct the West End debut of Arthur Miller's final play, Resurrection Blues at the Old Vic Theatre.


Robert Altman directed a follow-up to Tanner '88 for the Sundance Channel, reuniting him with Michael Murphy as an older Jack Tanner.


Robert Altman was still developing new projects up until his death, including a film based on Hands on a Hard Body: The Documentary.


Robert Altman understood the creative limits imposed by the television genre, and now set out to direct and write films which would express his personal visions about American society and Hollywood.


Robert Altman said his independence as a filmmaker helped him overall:.


Nor did Robert Altman get along well with studio heads, once punching an executive in the nose and knocking him into a swimming pool because he insisted he cut six minutes from a film he was working on.


Unlike directors whose work fits within various film genres, such as Westerns, musicals, war films, or comedies, Robert Altman's work has been defined as more "anti-genre" by various critics.


Robert Altman made it clear that he did not like "storytelling" in his films, contrary to the way most television and mainstream movies are made.


Robert Altman especially loved many voices, sometimes arguing, sometimes agreeing, ideally overlapping, a cocktail party or a street scene captured as he experienced it.


Robert Altman blames the box office failure of The Long Goodbye, a detective story, on the erroneous marketing of the film as a thriller:.


Robert Altman favored stories expressing the interrelationships among several characters, being more interested in character motivation than in intricate plots.


Robert Altman therefore tended to sketch out only a basic plot for the film, referring to the screenplay as a "blueprint" for action.


Robert Altman trusted you to do what you did and therefore you would kill for him.


Robert Altman regularly let his actors develop a character through improvisation during rehearsal or sometimes during the actual filming.


Nevertheless, Robert Altman preferred to use improvisation as a tool for helping his actors develop their character.


Carol Burnett remembers Robert Altman admitting that many of the ideas in his films came from the actors.


Robert Altman would inspire you out of sheer necessity to come up with stuff that you didn't know you were capable of, that you didn't know you had in you.


Robert Altman was so genuinely mischievous and so damn funny.


Robert Altman liked working with many of the same performers, including Shelley Duvall and Bert Remsen ; Paul Dooley ; Michael Murphy ; Jeff Goldblum, Lily Tomlin, Lyle Lovett, Henry Gibson, David Arkin, and John Schuck ; Tim Robbins, Carol Burnett, Belita Moreno, Richard E Grant, Geraldine Chaplin, Craig Richard Nelson, Sally Kellerman and Keith Carradine.


Krin Gabbard adds that Robert Altman enjoyed using actors "who flourish as improvisers," such as Elliott Gould, who starred in three of his films, MASH, The Long Goodbye and California Split.


Unlike television and traditional films, Robert Altman avoided "conventional storytelling," and would opt for showing the "busy confusion of real life," observes Albert Lindauer.


Robert Altman was one of the few filmmakers who "paid full attention to the possibilities of sound" when filming.


Robert Altman tried to replicate natural conversational sounds, even with large casts, by wiring hidden microphones to actors, then recording them talking over each other with multiple soundtracks.


Yes, I did think it was going to be great, all the work was so good, every actor was inspired, and Robert Altman's team was intensely competent, and he was that rare kind of genius who knows what works and what doesn't at the moment it is happening.


In Nashville, Robert Altman used sets with noticeable colors of reds, whites and blues.


The actors loved it, and I was always challenged to find ways to shoot what Robert Altman came up with.


When using music in his films, Robert Altman was known to be highly selective, often choosing music that he personally liked.


For Nashville, Robert Altman had numerous new country music songs written by his cast to create a realistic atmosphere.


Robert Altman incorporated a "hauntingly repeated melody" in The Long Goodbye, and employed Harry Nilsson and Van Dyke Parks to score Popeye.


Directors who are influenced by Robert Altman include Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Judd Apatow, Richard Linklater, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Noah Baumbach, David Gordon Green, the Safdie brothers, Harmony Korine, and Michael Winterbottom.


Robert Altman received various awards and nominations including seven Academy Award nominations winning the Honorary Oscar in 2006.


Robert Altman received seven British Academy Film Award nominations winning twice for The Player, and Gosford Park.


Robert Altman received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for Tanner '88.


Robert Altman received five Golden Globe Award nominations winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Director for Gosford Park.


Robert Altman has received the Berlin International Film Festival's Golden Bear, and the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion.


Robert Altman was married three times: His first wife was LaVonne Elmer.


Robert Altman became the stepfather to Konni Reed when he married Kathryn.


Kathryn Robert Altman, who died in 2016, co-authored a book about Robert Altman that was published in 2014.


Robert Altman had served as a consultant and narrator for the 2014 documentary Altman, and had spoken at many retrospective screenings of her husband's films.


Robert Altman resided in Malibu throughout the 1970s, but sold that home and the Lion's Gate production company in 1981.


Robert Altman moved his family and business headquarters to New York City, but eventually moved back to Malibu, where he lived until his death.


Robert Altman was one of numerous public figures, including linguist Noam Chomsky and actress Susan Sarandon, who signed the "Not in Our Name" declaration opposing the 2003 invasion of Iraq.


Robert Altman died from leukemia at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on November 20,2006, at the age of 81.


Anderson had worked as a standby director on A Prairie Home Companion for insurance purposes in the event the ailing 80-year-old Robert Altman would be unable to finish shooting.


Robert Altman preferred large casts of actors and natural overlapping conversations, and encouraged his actors to improvise and express their innate creativity without fear of failing.


Actor Tim Robbins, who starred in a number of Robert Altman's films, describes some of the unique aspects of his directing method:.


Robert Altman created a unique and wonderful world on his sets,.


Robert Altman had filmed Secret Honor at the university, as well as directed several operas there.


Since 2009, the Robert Altman Award is awarded to the director, casting director, and ensemble cast of films at the yearly Independent Spirit Awards.


In 2014, a feature-length documentary film, Robert Altman, was released, which looks at his life and work with film clips and interviews.