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Robert Wise Life & Family, Film & Theater Personalities - 𝐑𝐨𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐭 𝐖𝐢𝐬𝐞 Biography
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Indiana
Millicent Franklin (m. 1977–2005)Patricia Doyle (m. 1942–75)
Robert Earl Wise
WestwoodLos AngelesCaliforniaUnited States
Winchester, Indiana, United States
Male
Earl Waldo Wise
Olive R. Longenecker
Virgo
Winchester, Indiana, United States
91
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Who is Robert Wise?

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Robert Wise was an American film director who made 39 feature films in a career spanning from 1940s to 1990s. He made films on all genres which made him a very versatile director. The genres in which he showed exceptional talent included horror movies, movies with film noir, westerns, sports films, science fiction movies, musicals and many others. He won 2 Oscars for film direction and was revered as a great director in the film industry. Though he was master craftsman with immense artistic powers he never left a personal imprint in any of his films. In his opinion the director should tailor himself to the film and not the other way round. He became especially famous throughout the world for his two musicals ‘West Side Story’ and ‘The Sound of Music’. He was committed to thorough realism in the films he made and carried out the job like an efficient craftsman. He was considered not only an artisan for the perfection he produced in films of various genres but also an artist who kept within the budget.

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Robert Wise Childhood & Early Life

Robert Wise was born Robert Earl Wise on September 10, 1914 in Winchester, Indiana, USA.

His father was a meat packer named Earl Waldo Wise and his mother was Olive R. Longenecker. He had an elder brother named David and was the youngest of the three sons.

He attended the ‘Connersville High School’ and then the ‘Franklin College’ near Indianapolis. He had to drop out of college during the ‘Great Depression’.

Robert Wise Career

Robert Wise joined his older brother who worked as an accountant at the RKO Pictures’ in Los Angeles and took up a job at the editorial department in the studio.

During the next decade he became an assistant, then an apprentice of the editor for sound effects, and eventually a film editor.

He edited notable films that included ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ in 1939 made by Lon Chaney.

He then went into film direction and directed his first movie ‘Citizen Kane’ written by Orson Welles in 1941.

He directed the film ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’ in 1942 but did not get any credit for it.

He directed the low-budget horror B-movie ‘The Curse of the Cat People’ and ‘Mademoiselle Fifi’ in 1944 and ‘The Body Snatcher’ in 1945 for producer Val Lewton and ‘RKO Pictures’.

He made his first A-film, which was an ambitious western for ‘RKO’ titled ‘Blood on the Moon’ in 1948 starring Robert Mitchum.

His last film for RKO was ‘The Set-Up’ in 1949 based on the fight sequences in the boxing ring which won him a prize at the ‘Cannes Film Festival’.

He left ‘RKO Pictures’ and joined ‘20th Century Fox’ on a three year contract and made the classic science fiction film ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ in 1951.

He left ‘20th Century Fox’ to join ‘MGM’ to make the film ‘Executive Suite’ in 1954 in collaboration with screenwriter Ernest Lehman about power struggles inside a company.

He again teamed up with Lehman to make his biggest hit in the 1950s with ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’ in 1956. It was based on the autobiography of middleweight boxing champion Rocky Graziano and starred Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and Robert Loggia.

In 1958 he made the WW II naval drama ‘Run Silent Run Deep’ which starred Burt Lancaster and Clark Gable. He made ‘I Want to Live’ in the same year. It was a prison drama for which he received his first Oscar nomination for ‘Best Director’.

He made the musical ‘West Side Story’ in 1961 based on Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in the backdrop of the streets of modern New York which won 10 Oscars.

His next effort was the horror movie ‘The Haunting’ in 1963 which is regarded as one of the best horror films ever made.

He made his second musical ‘The Sound of Music’ in 1965 based upon the exploits of a governess, played by Julie Andrews, and six Austrian children during the Second World War. The film won five Oscars including the best picture and best director.

His won another Oscar nomination for the war movie ‘Sand Pebbles’ starring Steve McQueen as a sailor during the 1920 Chinese Civil War.

He made another musical ‘Star!’ in 1968 with Julie Andrews in the lead which didn’t have great success.

Wise bounced back with the thriller ‘The Andromeda Strain’ in 1971 based on a novel by Michael Crichton about scientists trying to deal with an extraterrestrial virus.

He served as the President of the ‘Directors guild of America’ from 1971 to 1975.

His historical epic ‘The Hindenburg’ in 1975, starring George C. Scott and Anne Bancroft, was a disaster and so was a metaphysical thriller about reincarnation titled ‘Audrey Rose’ in 1977.

He directed the science fiction film ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ in 1979 but could not become a blockbuster as expected by ‘Paramount Pictures’.

From 1984 to 1987 he served as the President of the ‘Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’.

He returned in 1989 with his last film, the urban musical ‘Rooftops’, starring Jason Gedrick which was an outright flop.

In 2000 he made the family drama movie ‘A Storm in Summer’ for the television written by Rod Sterling and starring Peter Falk.

Robert Wise Awards & Achievements

Robert Wise won his first ‘Academy Award’ nomination for ‘Best Editing’ in 1939 for the film ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’.

In 1949 he won the ‘Critics’ Prize’ at the ‘Cannes Film Festival’ for the film ‘Set Up’.

He won his first ‘Academy Award’ and ‘Golden Globe Award’ nomination for ‘Best Director’ for ‘I Want to Live’ in 1958.

In 1961 he won ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Director’ for the film ‘West Side Story’, which also won ‘Best Picture’ Oscar. He was also won a nomination for the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Director’.

In 1963 Wise was nominated for a ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Director’ for ‘The Haunting’.

In 1965 Wise won ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Director’ for his film ‘The Sound of Music’, which also won ‘Best Picture’. He also received a nomination for the ‘Golden Globe Award for Best Director’.

He won his next ‘Academy Award’ nomination for ‘Best Picture’ for ‘The Sand Pebbles’ in 1966 and nominations for the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Motion Picture – Drama’.

In 1979 he received a nomination for the ‘Saturn Award for Best Director’ for ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’.

He received the ‘D. W. Griffith Award’ from the ‘Directors Guild of America’ in 1988.

In 1992 he received the ‘Sidney P. Solow Memorial Award’ from the ‘Technology Council’.

In 1998 he received a ‘Lifetime achievement Award’ from the ‘American Film Institute’.

He was inducted into the ‘Producers Guild Hall of Fame’ in 1999

Robert Wise Personal Life & Legacy

He married actress Patricia Doyle on May 25, 1942 who died on September 22, 1975. They had a son, Robert A. Wise from this marriage.

He married Millicent Franklin on January 29, 1977 who was with him till his death. He also had a stepdaughter, Pamela.

Robert Wise died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California on September 14, 2005 at the age of 91.

The library of the ‘Directors Guild of America’ was named after Wise in 1998.

Robert Wise Academy Awards(Oscars)

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Robert Wise awards

  • Academy Awards(Oscars)

    • 1966
      Best Picture
      The Sound of Music (1965)
    • 1966
      Best Director
      The Sound of Music (1965)
    • 1962
      Best Picture
      West Side Story (1961)
    • 1962
      Best Director
      West Side Story (1961)
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Robert Wise biography timelines

  • Robert Wise was born Robert Earl Wise on September 10, 1914 in Winchester, Indiana, USA.
    10th Sep 1914
  • His won another Oscar nomination for the war movie ‘Sand Pebbles’ starring Steve McQueen as a sailor during the 1920 Chinese Civil War.
    1920
  • He edited notable films that included ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ in 1939 made by Lon Chaney.
    1939
  • Robert Wise won his first ‘Academy Award’ nomination for ‘Best Editing’ in 1939 for the film ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’.
    1939
  • He then went into film direction and directed his first movie ‘Citizen Kane’ written by Orson Welles in 1941.
    1941
  • He directed the film ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’ in 1942 but did not get any credit for it.
    1942
  • He married actress Patricia Doyle on May 25, 1942 who died on September 22, 1975. They had a son, Robert A. Wise from this marriage.
    25th May 1942 To 22nd Sep 1975
  • He directed the low-budget horror B-movie ‘The Curse of the Cat People’ and ‘Mademoiselle Fifi’ in 1944 and ‘The Body Snatcher’ in 1945 for producer Val Lewton and ‘RKO Pictures’.
    1944 To 1945
  • He made his first A-film, which was an ambitious western for ‘RKO’ titled ‘Blood on the Moon’ in 1948 starring Robert Mitchum.
    1948
  • His last film for RKO was ‘The Set-Up’ in 1949 based on the fight sequences in the boxing ring which won him a prize at the ‘Cannes Film Festival’.
    1949
  • In 1949 he won the ‘Critics’ Prize’ at the ‘Cannes Film Festival’ for the film ‘Set Up’.
    1949
  • He left ‘RKO Pictures’ and joined ‘20th Century Fox’ on a three year contract and made the classic science fiction film ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ in 1951.
    1951
  • He left ‘20th Century Fox’ to join ‘MGM’ to make the film ‘Executive Suite’ in 1954 in collaboration with screenwriter Ernest Lehman about power struggles inside a company.
    1954
  • He again teamed up with Lehman to make his biggest hit in the 1950s with ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’ in 1956. It was based on the autobiography of middleweight boxing champion Rocky Graziano and starred Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and Robert Loggia.
    1956
  • In 1958 he made the WW II naval drama ‘Run Silent Run Deep’ which starred Burt Lancaster and Clark Gable. He made ‘I Want to Live’ in the same year. It was a prison drama for which he received his first Oscar nomination for ‘Best Director’.
    1958
  • He won his first ‘Academy Award’ and ‘Golden Globe Award’ nomination for ‘Best Director’ for ‘I Want to Live’ in 1958.
    1958
  • He made the musical ‘West Side Story’ in 1961 based on Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in the backdrop of the streets of modern New York which won 10 Oscars.
    1961
  • In 1961 he won ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Director’ for the film ‘West Side Story’, which also won ‘Best Picture’ Oscar. He was also won a nomination for the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Director’.
    1961
  • His next effort was the horror movie ‘The Haunting’ in 1963 which is regarded as one of the best horror films ever made.
    1963
  • In 1963 Wise was nominated for a ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Director’ for ‘The Haunting’.
    1963
  • He made his second musical ‘The Sound of Music’ in 1965 based upon the exploits of a governess, played by Julie Andrews, and six Austrian children during the Second World War. The film won five Oscars including the best picture and best director.
    1965
  • In 1965 Wise won ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Director’ for his film ‘The Sound of Music’, which also won ‘Best Picture’. He also received a nomination for the ‘Golden Globe Award for Best Director’.
    1965
  • He won his next ‘Academy Award’ nomination for ‘Best Picture’ for ‘The Sand Pebbles’ in 1966 and nominations for the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Motion Picture – Drama’.
    1966
  • He made another musical ‘Star!’ in 1968 with Julie Andrews in the lead which didn’t have great success.
    1968
  • Wise bounced back with the thriller ‘The Andromeda Strain’ in 1971 based on a novel by Michael Crichton about scientists trying to deal with an extraterrestrial virus.
    1971
  • He served as the President of the ‘Directors guild of America’ from 1971 to 1975.
    1971 To 1975
  • His historical epic ‘The Hindenburg’ in 1975, starring George C. Scott and Anne Bancroft, was a disaster and so was a metaphysical thriller about reincarnation titled ‘Audrey Rose’ in 1977.
    1975 To 1977
  • He married Millicent Franklin on January 29, 1977 who was with him till his death. He also had a stepdaughter, Pamela.
    29th Jan 1977
  • He directed the science fiction film ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ in 1979 but could not become a blockbuster as expected by ‘Paramount Pictures’.
    1979
  • In 1979 he received a nomination for the ‘Saturn Award for Best Director’ for ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’.
    1979
  • From 1984 to 1987 he served as the President of the ‘Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’.
    1984 To 1987
  • He received the ‘D. W. Griffith Award’ from the ‘Directors Guild of America’ in 1988.
    1988
  • He returned in 1989 with his last film, the urban musical ‘Rooftops’, starring Jason Gedrick which was an outright flop.
    1989
  • In 1992 he received the ‘Sidney P. Solow Memorial Award’ from the ‘Technology Council’.
    1992
  • In 1998 he received a ‘Lifetime achievement Award’ from the ‘American Film Institute’.
    1998
  • The library of the ‘Directors Guild of America’ was named after Wise in 1998.
    1998
  • He was inducted into the ‘Producers Guild Hall of Fame’ in 1999
    1999
  • In 2000 he made the family drama movie ‘A Storm in Summer’ for the television written by Rod Sterling and starring Peter Falk.
    2000
  • Robert Wise died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California on September 14, 2005 at the age of 91.
    14th Sep 2005
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Frequently asked questions about Robert Wise

  • What is Robert Wise birthday?

    Robert Wise was born at September 10, 1914

  • Where is Robert Wise's birth place?

    Robert Wise was born in Winchester, Indiana, United States

  • What is Robert Wise nationalities?

    Robert Wise's nationalities is American

  • Who is Robert Wise spouses?

    Robert Wise's spouses is Millicent Franklin (m. 1977–2005), Patricia Doyle (m. 1942–75)

  • What was Robert Wise universities?

    Robert Wise studied at Westwood, Los Angeles, California, United States university

  • Who is Robert Wise's father?

    Robert Wise's father is Earl Waldo Wise

  • Who is Robert Wise's mother?

    Robert Wise's mother is Olive R. Longenecker

  • What is Robert Wise's sun sign?

    Robert Wise is Virgo

  • When was Robert Wise died?

    Robert Wise was died at September 14, 2005

  • Which age was Robert Wise died?

    Robert Wise was died at age 91