Robert Altman

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
Long recognized as a true auteur in American cinema despite his rather confrontational on set demeanor, director Robert Altman brought an ironic and irreverent perspective to his films that often deconstructed classic ... Read more »
Born: 02/20/1925 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Filmography

Director (73)

A Prairie Home Companion 2006 (Movie)

(Director)

Tanner on Tanner 2004 (Tv Show)

Director

The Company 2003 (Movie)

(Director)

Gosford Park 2001 (Movie)

(Director)

Dr. T And The Women 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

Cookie's Fortune 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

The Gingerbread Man 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1955 - 1967, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

Bronco 1957 - 1967, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

Bus Stop 1957 - 1967, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

Combat 1957 - 1967, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

Gun 1958 - 1967, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

M Squad 1957 - 1967, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

Maverick 1957 - 1967, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

Peter Gunn 1957 - 1967, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

Robert Altman's Jazz '34 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Director

Route 66 1957 - 1967, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

Surfside 6 1957 - 1967, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

The Desilu Playhouse 1957 - 1967, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

The Lawman 1957 - 1967, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

The Roaring Twenties 1957 - 1967, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Director

Kansas City 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Prêt-à-Porter 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Black and Blue 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Director

Short Cuts 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

The Real McTeague: A Synthesis of Forms 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Director

The Player 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Vincent & Theo 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

Aria 1988 (Movie)

("Les Boreades") (Director)

Tanner '88: Bagels With Bruce 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

Tanner '88: Child's Play 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

Tanner '88: For Real 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

Tanner '88: Moonwalker and Bookbag 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

Tanner '88: Night of the Twinkies 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

Tanner '88: Something Borrowed, Something New 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

Tanner '88: The Boiler Room 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

Tanner '88: The Dark Horse 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

Tanner '88: The Girlfriend Factor 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

Tanner '88: The Great Escape 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

Tanner '88: The Reality Check 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

Beyond Therapy 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

O.C. & Stiggs 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Fool For Love 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

The Laundromat 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Director

Secret Honor 1984 (Movie)

(Director)

Streamers 1983 (Movie)

(Director)

Health 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

Popeye 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

Quintet 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

A Perfect Couple 1978 (Movie)

(Director)

A Wedding 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

Three Women 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Nashville 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

California Split 1974 (Movie)

(Director)

Thieves Like Us 1974 (Movie)

(Director)

The Long Goodbye 1973 (Movie)

(Director)

Images 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

A Walk in the Night 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Director

McCabe & Mrs. Miller 1971 (Movie)

(Director)

Brewster McCloud 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

M*A*S*H 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

That Cold Day in the Park 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

Countdown 1968 (Movie)

(Director)

The Gallant Men 1960 - 1964 (Tv Show)

Director

Sam Hill 1960 - 1961 (TV Show)

Director

The Delinquents 1957 (Movie)

(Director)

The James Dean Story 1957 (Movie)

(Director)

County General (TV Show)

Director

The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (TV Show)

Director

The Dumb Waiter (TV Show)

Director

The Room (TV Show)

Director
Producer (29)

A Prairie Home Companion 2006 (Movie)

(Producer)

Gosford Park 2001 (Movie)

(Producer)

Dr. T And The Women 2000 (Movie)

(Producer)

Investigating Sex 2000 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Roads and Bridges 2000 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Trixie 2000 (Movie)

(Producer)

Cookie's Fortune 1999 (Movie)

(Producer)

Afterglow 1997 (Movie)

(Producer)

Kansas City 1996 (Movie)

(Producer)

Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle 1994 (Movie)

(Producer)

Prêt-à-Porter 1994 (Movie)

(Producer)

O.C. & Stiggs 1987 (Movie)

(Producer)

Lily in Love 1985 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)

Secret Honor 1984 (Movie)

(Producer)

Streamers 1983 (Movie)

(Producer)

Health 1980 (Movie)

(Producer)

Quintet 1979 (Movie)

(Producer)

Rich Kids 1979 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

A Perfect Couple 1978 (Movie)

(Producer)

Remember My Name 1978 (Movie)

(Producer)

A Wedding 1977 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Late Show 1976 (Movie)

(Producer)

Three Women 1976 (Movie)

(Producer)

Welcome to L.A. 1976 (Movie)

(Producer)

Nashville 1975 (Movie)

(Producer)

California Split 1974 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Delinquents 1957 (Movie)

(Producer)

The James Dean Story 1957 (Movie)

(Producer)
Actor (22)

The Directors 1998 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin 2004 (Movie)

Interviewee (Actor)

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession 2004 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Decade Under the Influence 2003 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Words In Progress 2003 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Anatomy of a Scene: Gosford Park 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

History Vs. Hollywood 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The 10th Annual IFP Gotham Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Performer

Frank Capra's American Dream 1997 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Freud's Interpretation of Dreams 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

American Cinema 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The 52nd Annual Golden Globe Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Presenter

Hollywood Mavericks 1990 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Before the Nickelodeon: The Early Cinema Of Edwin S. Porter 1981 (Movie)

("Jack and the Beanstalk" Promo) (Voice)

Backstory (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (20)

Gosford Park 2001 (Movie)

(Idea) (Story By)

Kansas City 1996 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Prêt-à-Porter 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Short Cuts 1993 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Aria 1988 (Movie)

("Les Boreades") (Screenplay)

Beyond Therapy 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

M*A*S*H 1972 - 1983 (TV Show)

Story By

Health 1980 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Quintet 1979 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Quintet 1979 (Movie)

(From Story)

A Perfect Couple 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

A Wedding 1977 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

A Wedding 1977 (Movie)

(From Story)

Three Women 1976 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Thieves Like Us 1974 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Images 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

McCabe & Mrs. Miller 1971 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Delinquents 1957 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bodyguard 1948 (Movie)

(From Story)
Music (3)

Gosford Park 2001 (Movie)

("The Way It's Meant to Be") (Song)

Nashville 1975 (Movie)

("The Day I Looked Jesus In The Eye") (Lyrics)

Nashville 1975 (Movie)

("The Day I Looked Jesus In The Eye") (Music)
Editor (1)

The James Dean Story 1957 (Movie)

(Editor)
Other (3)

Gosford Park 2001 (Movie)

from idea (Other)

Breakfast of Champions 1999 (Movie)

(Special Thanks)

The Moderns 1988 (Movie)

assistance (Assistant)

Biography

Long recognized as a true auteur in American cinema despite his rather confrontational on set demeanor, director Robert Altman brought an ironic and irreverent perspective to his films that often deconstructed classic film genres like Westerns, crime dramas, musicals and classic whodunits. His films were filled with unexpected quirks, overlapping dialogue - often improvised - and an acutely iconoclastic point of view that was deftly used to skewer long-standing American values. Following a rather inauspicious entry into moviemaking by way of industrial films, Altman cut his teeth in television on shows like "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (CBS/NBC, 1955-1965) before making his mark on American cinema with "M*A*S*H" (1970), a loose and irreverent look at a group of hedonistic army surgeons and nurses that tapped into the angst of the antiwar generation growing up under the shadow of the Vietnam War. Altman next turned his attention to revitalizing the Western with "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" (1971), before earning the enmity of critics who blasted the director for his irreverent caricature of Philip Marlowe in "The Long Goodbye" (1973). But he earned back their admiration tenfold with "Nashville" (1975), a multi-layered satire that followed 24 main characters in numerous intersecting storylines that ably weaved a tapestry depicting the folly of pursuing fame in America. After that critical success, which was later widely considered to be his best film, Altman hit a long, slow slide that ended in the commercial and critical debacle known as "Popeye" (1980). The director spent the ensuing decade making interesting low-budget indies like "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" (1982), "Secret Honor" (1984) and "Vincent and Theo" (1990) before returning to the Hollywood fold with a biting satire, "The Player" (1992), which savaged the very industry that embraced his return. Altman helmed another multi-character piece, "Short Cuts" (1993), a darkly comic look at relationships surviving contemporary Los Angeles that recalled his efforts on "Nashville" two decades prior. Following another brief creative lull that saw "Ready to Wear (Pret-a-Porter)" (1994) and "Kansas City" (1996) added to his canon, the director earned high praise and fawning reverence for the comedy-of-manners wrapped around a country manor whodunit, "Gosford Park" (2001), which underscored arguably one of the most important cinematic careers of the late 20th century.

Relationships

Helen Altman

Mother

B Altman

Father

Dana Altman Producer

Grandson

Matthew Altman

Son
born c. 1966 adopted by Altman and Reed

Michael Altman

Son
born c. 1954 mother, Lotus Corelli wrote the lyrics to "Suicide Is Painless", the theme to "M*A*S*H", at age 14

Robert Altman

Son
born c. 1959 mother, Kathryn Reed

Stephen Altman

Son
born c. 1956 mother, Lotus Corelli began career as member of property department on father's "Buffalo Bill and the Indians" served as father's production designer on "Perfect Couple", "Fool For Love", "Secret Honor", "Beyond Therapy" and "Vincent & Theo" and other films received Oscar nomination for "Gosford Park" (2001)

Lotus Corelli

Wife
married in 1954 divorced c. 1957

Konnie Corriere

Step-Daughter
born c. 1946

LaVonne Elmer

Wife
married in 1947 divorced in 1949 was injured in a car accident before the wedding deceased

Kathryn Reed

Wife
met in 1957 on the set of the TV series "The Whirlybirds" when she was an extra married in Mexico when their respective divorces became final remarried a year later

Deran Sarafian Director

Uncle

Christine Westphal

Daughter
born c. 1947 mother, Lavonne Elmer

EDUCATION

St Peter's Catholic School

Kansas City , Missouri

Wentworth Military Academy

Lexington , Missouri

Rockhurst High School

Kansas City , Missouri
Jesuit-run preparatory high school

University of Missouri

Milestones

2006

Directed the ensemble feature "A Prairie Home Companion," based on Garrison Keilor's long-running radio show; earned an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Director

2003

Directed Neve Campbell, James Franco and Malcolm McDowell in the film "The Company," about a season in the life of Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet company

2002

Helmed "Gosford Park", a period mystery; earned Best Picture and Best Director Academy Award nominations

2000

Directed "Dr. T and the Women", with Richard Gere as a gynecologist

1999

Returned to form with the comedy "Cookie's Fortune"

1998

Directed and co-scripted "The Gingerbread Man", a legal drama based on a screenplay by John Grisham; Grisham had his name removed from the final script which was rewritten by Altman; the onscreen credit was to the pseudonymous Al Hayes

1997

Executive produced, created series and helmed episodes of the ABC series "Gun"

1997

Produced the Alan Rudolph-directed "Afterglow"

1996

Helmed the jazz-era set comedy-drama "Kansas City"

1994

Had critical and box-office failure with "Ready to Wear (Pret-a-Porter)"

1994

Honored with a Gala Tribute by the Film Society of Lincoln Center

1993

Garnered fourth Oscar nomination as Best Director for "Short Cuts"; also co-wrote the screenplay adapted from short stories by Raymond Carver

1992

Staged William Bolcom's "McTeague" (libretto by Arnold Weinstein and Robert Altman), based on Frank Norris' 1899 novel of the same name, for the Lyric Opera of Chicago; the novel was the basis of Eric von Stroheim's "Greed"

1992

Earned critical praise for "The Player"; nominated for Best Picture and Best Director Academy Awards

1990

Earned praise for "Vincent & Theo", a biography of the Van Gogh brothers

1988

Directed the CBS remake of "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial"

1988

Helmed the HBO series "Tanner '88", about a presidential candidate; won Emmy Award

1987

Made another feature based on a play, "Beyond Therapy", adapted from Christopher Durang

1987

Produced and directed the ABC TV specials "The Dumb Waiter" and "The Room"

1985

Directed the film adaptation of Sam Shepard's play "Fool for Love"

1985

Returned to TV work after 17 years as director of "The Laundromat" (HBO)

1984

Helmed the one-man drama "Secret Honor", with Philip Baker Hall starring as Richard Nixon

1983

Won acclaim for film adaptation of David Rabe's "Streamers"

1982

Directed Broadway production of "Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean"; filmed production and released movie in 1982

1981

Sold Lion's Gate

1981

Debut as stage director, "Precious Blood" and "Rattlesnake in a Cooler" in "Two By South", Actors Theatre, Los Angeles

1980

Directed the fantasy musical "Popeye", starring Robin Williams

1978

Helmed the ensemble comedy-drama "A Wedding"

1977

Produced first film, "Welcome to L.A.", directed by Alan Rudolph; also produced "The Late Show", directed by Robert Benton

1976

Stumbled a bit with "Buffalo Bill and the Indians"

1975

Earned second Best Director Oscar nomination for "Nashville", arguably his masterpiece

1974

Buddy gambling picture "California Split" marked first credit for "Lion's Gate 8-Track Sound"; allowed Altman to record sound live from microphones planted on set or on location thereby eliminating the need for postdubbing while allowing the sound to be m

1973

Took on the detective genre with "The Long Goodbye"

1970

Helmed the revisionist western "McCabe & Mrs. Miller"

1969

Critical and popular breakthrough feature, "M*A*S*H"; earned first Best Director Academy Award nomination

1968

First studio-backed fiction feature, "Countdown" (Warner Bros.)

1964

Two-episode TV movie "Nightmare in Chicago"--made for "Kraft Mystery Theater"--edited together for feature release

1963

Formed (with Ray Wagner) Lion's Gate Films (approximate date)

1957

Co-produced and co-directed (with George W. George) first commercial documentary, "The James Dean Story"

1957

On the strength of "The James Dean Story", hired by Alfred Hitchcock to direct episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"; made TV directing debut with episode entitled "The Young One"; also completed episode entitled "Together" before being fired in 1958

1955

Raised $63,000 to direct his first independently produced fiction feature, "The Delinquents" (acquired by United Artists for $150,000 and released in 1957)

1948

First feature screen credit ("from story", co-written by George W George), "The Bodyguard", a crime film directed by Richard Fleisher

1942

Joined the US Army at age 18; became a B24 pilot (dates approximate)

Formed Sandcastle 5 Productions

Returned to Kansas City; made industrial films for the Calvin Company, serving as designer, cinematographer, producer, director, writer and editor

Completed over 65 industrial films and documentaries

Directed (and occasionally produced and wrote) episodes for some 20 TV series including "Combat," "Kraft Mystery Theater" and "The Roaring Twenties"

Tried living as a writer on the West Coast

Moved to NYC and attempted to make a living as a writer of stories and screenplays

Bonus Trivia

.

Named a Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1996.

.

On Hollywood studio executives, Altman was quoted in The Hollywood Reporter (January 9, 2002): "I don't think I know any of their names. They make shoes, I make gloves."

.

During his acceptance speech for the 2006 Academy Honorary Award for lifetime achievement, Altman revealed that he had received a heart transplant approximately ten or eleven years earlier. "I didn't make a big secret out of it, but I thought nobody would hire me again," he said after the ceremony. "You know, there's such a stigma about heart transplants, and there's a lot of us out there."

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