- Title: VARIOUS: 'Sound of Music' director Robert Wise dead at 91
- Date: 22nd September 2005
- Summary: LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE) (REUTERS) WIDE VIEW EXTERIORS OF PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA, LEICESTER SQUARE, LONDON; POSTER OF SOUND OF MUSIC FILM (3 SHOTS)
- Embargoed: 7th October 2005 13:00
- Topics: Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVABRH4HE0NES680N6Z54C17Q1ZJ
- Story Text: Hollywood filmmaker Robert Wise, a four-time Academy Award winner who brought the beloved musicals "West Side Story" and "The Sound of Music" to the big screen during a career that spanned six decades, died on Wednesday (September 14), four days after turning 91.
Wise died of heart failure at UCLA Medical Center, trade paper the Hollywood Reporter said, citing family friend and talent agency owner Lawrence Mirisch.
Born September 10, 1914, in Winchester, Indiana, Wise got his first Hollywood job as a messenger in the editing department of RKO Pictures. His big break came when he was hired as editor of "Citizen Kane," the 1941 Orson Welles movie widely considered to be one of the greatest of all time. The project yielded the first of Wise's seven Oscar nominations.
He and Welles reunited the following year for "The Magnificent Ambersons," and Wise was assigned to direct some additional scenes following negative preview screenings. He also came to the rescue of the 1944 project "The Curse of the Cat People," taking over after the original director was fired for falling behind schedule.
Wise received his second Oscar nomination for directing the 1958 film "I Want to Live!" The story revolved around a prostitute who was put to death in the gas chamber, and Wise researched the project by witnessing a real execution.
He won the directing and best picture Oscars in 1962 for "West Side Story," sharing the former prize with Jerome Robbins. The Romeo and Juliet-inspired tale of two New York gangs, which starred Natalie Wood, received 10 Oscars in all.
He won the same two honours in 1966 for the box office smash "The Sound of Music," the Julie Andrews vehicle based on the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical about the von Trapp Family singers. The following year, Wise received a best picture nomination for "The Sand Pebbles."
His other movies included "The Set-Up," "The Desert Rats," "Helen of Troy," "The Hindenburg," and "Star Trek: The Motion Picture."
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