General News

Director Grosbard dead at 83

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Mar 21, 2012 | 8:15am EDT

He passed away at the Langone Medical Center in New York City some time between the hours of Sunday night (18Mar12) and Monday morning (19Mar12).

Grosbard directed a slew of Hollywood icons throughout his career, among them Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro in 1984 favourite Falling in Love, and Whoopi Goldberg and Michelle Pfeiffer in his final movie Deep End of the Ocean.

The filmmaker, born Israel Grosbard, grew up in Belgium but then fled from the Nazis with his family to Havana, Cuba where he worked as a diamond cutter.

Upon moving to America, he earned his Bachelor's and Master's degree in English from the University of Chicago in Illinois and then studied at Yale Drama School before enrolling in the Army in the 1950s.

Ultimately pursuing his love of the theatre, Grosbard earned his first credit in 1962 after directing veteran Robert Duvall in off-Broadway play The Days and Nights of Beebee Fenstermaker and two years later he went on to oversee Dustin Hoffman in a revival of A View from the Bridge.

Later setting his sights on the film industry, Grosbard directed Martin Sheen in The Subject Was Roses, Duvall and De Niro in True Confessions and he twice reteamed with Hoffman for Straight Time and Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?

Duvall tells the New York Times, "Ulu was the kind of guy who wanted to see what you brought - and then we'd talk. He was very serious; he had keen perceptions about things. He was a pretty intellectual guy... There was a balance there between us. We hit it off right from the start. I wanted to work more with him. Whatever he brought to me, I did."

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