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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

In Memoriam: Robert Altman (1925 - 2006)

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Image capture from NBC News, hosting by PhotobucketOne of the film industry's great directors, Robert Altman, passed away on Monday, November 20, 2006. It is reported that he died of complications from cancer (as reported by CNN). He was 81.
(click on image to play MSN/NBC video report)

Born Robert Bernard Altman, he will perhaps be best remembered for his 1970 anti-war film, M*A*S*H. Altman was known to be a Hollywood maverick, bucking the movie establishment throughout his illustrious career. Although nominated five times for the Academy Award's Best Director, he never actually won it. Many have speculated that his outspokenness, and unwillingness to "play along" were reasons behind this. However, earlier this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Altman an Academy Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement, for his career in film, which spanned some 50 years.

Other notable films by Altman include Nashville (1975), the live-action adaptation of Popeye (1980, which starred Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall), The Player (1992), and more recently Gosford Park (2001), which was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 2002, and for which, Altman won the American Film Institue's Director of the Year award the same year.

His last film, A Prairie Home Companion (released this year) won Altman an award from the Reader Jury of the "Berliner Morgenpost", at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival earlier this year.

The contributions this man has made to the motion picture industry are countless, much more than this post does justice. Robert Altman shall be remembered as one of the great directors in the history of filmmaking. Indeed the industry shall mourn its latest loss for quite a while to come.

Notable news agencies that have reported on Robert Altman's passing include: BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and The Star. (Google News and Yahoo! News searches reveal countless many more)

Sources: IMDb, MSN/NBC, CNN, Wikipedia