John Huston

John Huston

Infobox actor
name = John Huston

imagesize = 200px
birthname = John Marcellus Huston
birthdate = birth date|1906|8|5
location = Nevada, Missouri, U.S.
deathdate = death date and age |1987|8|28|1906|8|5
deathplace = Middletown, Rhode Island, U.S.
spouse = Dorothy Harvey (1925-1926)
Lesley Black (1937-1945)
Evelyn Keyes (1946-1950)
Ricki Soma (1950-1969)
Celeste Shane (1972-1977)
academyawards = Best Director
1948 "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre"
Best Adapted Screenplay
1948 "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre"
goldenglobeawards = Best Director - Motion Picture
1948 "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (film)"
1985 "Prizzi's Honor"
Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
1963 "The Cardinal"
awards = AFI Life Achievement Award
1983 Lifetime Achievement
BSFC Award for Best Director
1985 "Prizzi's Honor"
Independent Spirit Award for Best Director
1987 "The Dead"
KCFCC Award for Best Supporting Actor
1974 "Chinatown"
NBR Award for Best Screenplay
1948 "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre"
NBR Award for Best Director
1950 "The Asphalt Jungle"
1956 "Moby Dick"
NSFC Award for Best Director
1985 "Prizzi's Honor"
NYFCC Award for Best Director
1948 "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre"
1956 "Moby Dick"
1985 "Prizzi's Honor"
Silver Lion
1956 "Moulin Rouge"
"Çareer Golden Lion
1985 Lifetime Achievement
Walk of Fame - Motion Picture"'
1779 Vine Street

John Marcellus Huston (August 5 1906 – August 28 1987) was an American film director and actor. He was known for directing several classic films, "The Maltese Falcon" (1941), "The Asphalt Jungle" (1950), "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948), "Key Largo" (1948), "The African Queen" (1951), "The Misfits" (1960), and "The Man Who Would Be King" (1975). He was the son of actor Walter Huston and the father of actress Anjelica Huston and actor Danny Huston.


Early life

Huston (pronounced "Hew'-stun", like the city Houston) was born in Nevada, Missouri, the son of the Canadian-born actor, Walter Huston, and Rhea Gore, a sports reporter; he was of Scots-Irish descent on his father's side, his ancestral surname was Houston [] , and English and Welsh on his mother's. Huston was raised by his maternal grandparents, Adelia Richardson and John Marcellus Gore.

As a ten year old he was stricken by a serious illness which left him all but bedridden for several years. On his recuperation, this acted as the spur to pursue a full life, both intellectually and physically.


Huston began his film career as a screenwriter and made films mainly adapted from books or plays. The six-foot-two-inch, brown-eyed director also acted in a number of films, with distinction in Otto Preminger's "The Cardinal" for which he was nominated for the Academy award for Best Supporting Actor and in Roman Polanski's "Chinatown" as the film's central heavy against Jack Nicholson.Huston's films were insightful about human nature and human predicaments. They also sometimes included scenes or brief dialogue passages that were remarkably prescient concerning environmental issues that came to public awareness in the future, in the period starting about 1970; examples include "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948) and "The Night of the Iguana" (1964). "The Misfits" (1960) was written by Arthur Miller and featured an all-star cast including Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, and Eli Wallach, and was the last screen appearance of icons Gable and Monroe. Famously, Huston spent long evenings carousing in the Nevada casinos after filming, surrounded by reporters and beautiful women, gambling, drinking, and smoking cigars. Gable remarked during this time that 'if he kept it up he would soon die of it'. Gable died three weeks after the end of filming from a massive heart attack while Huston went on to live for twenty-six more years.

After filming the documentary "Let There Be Light" on the psychiatric treatment of soldiers for shellshock, Huston resolved to make a film about Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis. The film, "Freud the Secret Passion", began as a collaboration between Huston and Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre dropped out of the film and requested his name be removed from the credits. Huston went on to make the film starring Montgomery Clift as Freud.

In the 1970s, he was a frequent actor in Italian films, but continued acting until the age of 80 ("Momo", 1986).

Huston is also famous to a generation of fans of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth stories as the voice of the wizard Gandalf in the Rankin/Bass animated adaptations of "The Hobbit" (1977) and "The Return of the King" (1980).

Many of his films were edited by Russell Lloyd, who was nominated for an Oscar for editing The Man Who Would Be King" (1975).

Academy Awards

In 1941, Huston was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for "The Maltese Falcon". He was nominated again and won in 1948 for "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre", for which he also received the Best Director award.

Huston received 15 Oscar nominations in the course of his career. In fact, he is the oldest person ever to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar when, at 79 years old, he was nominated for "Prizzi's Honor" (1985). He also has the unique distinction of directing both his father Walter and his daughter Anjelica in Oscar-winning performances (in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" and "Prizzi's Honor", respectively), making the Hustons the first family to have three generations of Academy Award winners.

Personal life

Huston, an Episcopalian, [ [ The religion of director John Huston ] ] was married five times, to:
*Dorothy Harvey- This, his first marriage lasted 7 years. Dorothy and John were divorced in 1933.
*Lesley Black

It was during his marriage to Black that he embarked on an affair with married New York socialite Marietta FitzGerald. While her lawyer husband was helping the war effort, the pair were once rumoured to have made love so vigorously, they broke a friend's bed. [ [ Running Around in High Circles ] ] When her husband returned before the end of the Second World War, Huston returned to Hollywood to await Marietta's divorce. However, on a trip to Barbados she fell in love with billionaire bisexual British MP Ronald Tree, and decided to marry him instead.

Huston was heart broken, and after an affair with the fashion designer and writer Pauline Fairfax Potter, married:
*Evelyn Keyes - son Pablo - adopted from Mexico. Affair with Fairfax Potter continued during the marriage;
*Enrica Soma - daughter Anjelica Huston, son attorney Walter Antony "Tony" Huston;
*Celeste Shane.

All but the marriage to Soma, who died, ended in divorce. In addition to his children with Soma, he also was the father of the director Danny Huston (by Zoe Sallis).

Among his friends were Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway.

According to a documentary film about Huston's life, he struck and killed a female pedestrian with his car at the corner of Gardner and Sunset in Los Angeles when he was in his late 20s. He was exonerated of wrongdoing at the follow-up inquest.

Huston visited Ireland in 1951 and stayed at Luggala, County Wicklow, the home of Garech Browne, a member of the Guinness family. He visited Ireland several times afterwards and on one of these visits he purchased and restored a Georgian home, St Clerans, of Craughwell, County Galway. He became an Irish citizen and his daughter Anjelica attended school in Ireland at Kylemore Abbey for a number of years. A film school is now dedicated to him on the NUIG campus. Huston is also the inspiration for the 1990 film "White Hunter Black Heart" starring Clint Eastwood, who also directed.

Huston was an accomplished painter who wrote in his autobiography "Nothing , has played a more important role in my life". As a young man he studied at the Smith School of Art in Los Angeles but dropped out within a few months. He later studied at the Art Students League of New York. He painted throughout his life and was particularly interested in Cubism and the American school of Synchromism. He had studios in each of his homes and owned a wide collection of art including a notable collection of Pre-Columbian art [ [Art by Directors, Karl French, Granta 86, 2004, ISBN 0 90 314169 8] In 1982 he created the label for Château Mouton Rothschild.

He died from emphysema on August 28, 1987 in Middletown, Rhode Island. A few weeks before, Marietta visited him and his electrocardiogram "started jumping with excitement as soon as she entered the room." She was, his friends maintained, the only woman he ever really loved. [ [ Running Around in High Circles ] ]

Huston is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.


As director

*"The Maltese Falcon" (1941)
*"In This Our Life" (1942)
*"Across the Pacific" (1942)
*"Report from the Aleutians" (1943)
*"The Battle of San Pietro" (1945)
*"Let There Be Light" (1946)
*"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948)
*"Key Largo" (1948)
*"We Were Strangers" (1949)
*"The Asphalt Jungle" (1950)
*"The Red Badge of Courage" (1951)
*"The African Queen" (1951)
*"Moulin Rouge" (1953)
*"Beat the Devil" (1953)
*"Moby Dick" (1956)
*"Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison" (1957)
*"The Barbarian and the Geisha" (1958)
*"The Roots of Heaven" (1958)
*"The Unforgiven" (1960)
*"The Misfits" (1960)
*"Freud the Secret Passion" (1962)
*"The List of Adrian Messenger" (1963)
*"The Night of the Iguana" (1964)
*"" (1966)
*"Reflections in a Golden Eye" (1967)
*"Casino Royale" (1967)
*"Sinful Davey" (1969)
*"A Walk with Love and Death" (1969)
*"The Kremlin Letter" (1970)
*"Fat City" (1972)
*"The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean" (1972)
*"The Mackintosh Man" (1973)
*"The Man Who Would Be King" (1975)
*"Wise Blood" (1979)
*"Phobia" (1980)
*"Escape to Victory" (1981)
*"Annie" (1982)
*"Under the Volcano" (1984)
*"Prizzi's Honor" (1985)
*"The Dead" (1987)

As screenwriter

*"Mr. North" 1988 - (with Janet Roach, & James Costigan)
*"The Man Who Would Be King" 1975 - (with Gladys Hill)
*"The Night of the Iguana" 1964 - (with Anthony Veiller)
*"Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison" 1957 - (with John Lee Mahin)
*"Moby Dick" 1956 - (with Ray Bradbury)
*"Beat the Devil" 1953 - (with Truman Capote)
*"Moulin Rouge" 1952 - (with Anthony Veiller)
*"The African Queen" 1951 - (with James Agee)
*"Key Largo" 1948 - (with Richard Brooks)
*"We Were Strangers 1949 - (with Peter Viertel)
*"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" 1948 -
*"The Killers" 1946 - (with Anthony Veiller)
*"Three Strangers" (1946) (with Howard Koch)
*"High Sierra" 1941 - (with W.R. Burnett)
*"The Maltese Falcon" 1941 - (Adapted)
*"Sergeant York" 1941 - (with Abem Finkel, Harry Chandler, & Howard Koch)
*"The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse" 1938 - (with John Wexley)
*"Jezebel" 1938 - (with Clements Ripley, Abem Finkel, & Robert Buckner)
*"Murders in the Rue Morgue" 1932 (with Tom Reed & Dale Van Every)

As actor

"Does not include films which he also directed"
*"The Cardinal" (1963, dir: Otto Preminger)
*"Candy" (1968, director: Christian Marquand)
*"Rocky Road to Dublin (Documentary) " (as Interviewee, 1968, director: Peter Lennon)
*"De Sade" (1969, dir: Cy Endfield)
*"Myra Breckinridge" (1970, dir: Michael Sarne)
*"Man in the Wilderness" (1971, dir: Richard C. Sarafian)
*"The Bridge in the Jungle" (1971)
*"" (documentary) (1972, dir: Gary Conklin)
*"Battle for the Planet of the Apes" (1973, dir: J. Lee Thompson)
*"Chinatown" (1974, dir: Roman Polanski)
*"Breakout" (1975)
*"The Wind and the Lion" (1975, dir: John Milius)
*"Tentacles" (1977, dir: Ovidio G. Assonitis)
*"The Greatest Battle" (1978, dir: Umberto Lenzi)
*"The Bermuda Triangle" (1978, dir: René Cardona, Jr.)
*"Angela" (1978, dir: Boris Sagal)
*"The Visitor" (1979, dir: Giulio Paradisi)
*"Winters Kills" (1979, dir: ((Willam Richert))
*"A Minor Miracle" (1983, dir: Raoul Lomas)
*"Notes from Under the Volcano" (documentary) (as himself, 1984, dir: Gary Conklin)
*"Lovesick" (1984, dir: Marshall Brickman)
*"Momo" (1986, dir: Johannes Schaaf)


External links

* [ They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?]

NAME= Huston, John
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Huston, John Marcellus
SHORT DESCRIPTION=American film director and actor
DATE OF BIRTH= August 5, 1906
PLACE OF BIRTH= Nevada, Missouri, U.S.
DATE OF DEATH= August 28, 1987
PLACE OF DEATH= Middletown, Rhode Island, U.S.

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