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Arthur Hiller Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 22 November 1923Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Date of Death 17 August 2016Los Angeles, California, USA  (natural causes)

Mini Bio (1)

Arthur Hiller was born on November 22, 1923 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He was a director and actor, known for Love Story (1970), See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) and Silver Streak (1976). He was married to Gwen Hiller. He died on August 17, 2016 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Spouse (1)

Gwen Hiller (14 February 1948 - 24 June 2016) (her death) (2 children)

Trivia (13)

Was president of the Director's Guild of America (DGA) from 1989-1993.
Attended Victoria School for the Performing and Visual Arts (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
(1993-1997) President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
Directed 5 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Ryan O'Neal, Ali MacGraw, John Marley, Maximilian Schell and George C. Scott.
Only two of Hiller's films, "Penelope" (1966) and "Tobruk" (1967), were made in anamorphic widescreen ratio (that is, 2.35: 1). All of the rest were made in what is now known as spherical widescreen (anywhere from 1.66: 1 to 1.85: 1), even the musical "Man of La Mancha", which was blown up to 70 mm in first-run engagements.
"Love Story" director and former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Arthur Hiller, was married to Gwen Hiller, both were born in Edmonton, Alberta, she 10 days before him on Nov. 12, 1923. Her family noted that when they were schoolmates, he proposed to her when they were 8 years old. They married in 1948.
He studied psychology at the University of Toronto, and law at the University of British Columbia. He decided to go into communications, and got a job at Canada's CBC network in Toronto. He started out directing public affairs programs, and eventually advanced to dramas, where he caught Hollywood's attention.
His parents, Rose (Garfin) and Harry Hiller, were Polish Jewish immigrants. They ran a Yiddish school and theater in Edmonton, Alberta.
He served in the Royal Air Force during WWII.
Died just twelve days before his Silver Streak (1976) and See No Evil, Hear no Evil (1989) star, Gene Wilder.
Although since dismissed by some as overly syrupy, "Love Story," with Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal as star-crossed Ivy League lovers, was one of the most popular movies of 1970. The film, based on the popular novel of the same name by Erich Segal, reduced thousands of moviegoers to tears and created a national catch phrase: "Love means never having to say you're sorry." McGraw stated after Hiller's death, that Hiller was "an integral part of one of the most important experiences of my life. He was a remarkable, gifted, generous human being and I will miss him terribly. My heart and love go out to his family." Interestingly enough, Hiller recalled in 1991, the film almost didn't get made. "Paramount was in rocky financial shape," he recalled, and executives wanted to cancel the project. But production boss Robert Evans loved the script and allowed Hiller to proceed - if he would spend only $2 million. Hiller brought the film in - $25,000 under budget, then Hiller insisted on spending $15,000 for memorable exterior location scenes in the Boston snow. "Love Story" kicked off a busy two decades of work for Hiller, who had gotten his start directing such television shows as "Gunsmoke," "Perry Mason" and "The Rifleman" in the 1950s. He directed nearly two dozen feature films between 1970 and 1990 and was equally at ease with comedy and drama. He even helmed a musical, 1972's "Man of La Mancha" with Peter O'Toole and Sophia Loren, and a biography, 1976's "W.C. Fields and Me," with Rod Steiger and Valerie Perrine.
Notable dramas were "The Americanization of Emily" with James Garner and Julie Andrews, "The Man in the Glass Booth" with Maximilian Schell, "The Hospital" with George C. Scott and Diana Rigg and "Tobruk" with Rock Hudson and George Peppard. Hiller's versatility, plus his willingness to take on projects unworthy of his talent, may have forestalled recognition of his achievements. Although he earned good reviews for his better films, his lesser ones were savaged by film critics. His only Oscar nomination came for "Love Story," for which he won a Golden Globe. Hiller once explained his choice of scripts, saying, "I prefer them with good moral values, which comes from my parents and my upbringing. ... Even in my smaller, lesser films, at least there's an affirmation of the human spirit." A soft-spoken man with a black mane like a symphonic conductor's, the Canadian-born Hiller served two terms apiece as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and president of the Directors Guild of America. In 2002 the Academy presented Hiller with its "Jean Hersholt Award for Humanitarian Service." He was born in Edmonton, Alberta, where his parents operated a Yiddish school and theater. After leaving the University of Alberta to join the Royal Air Force during World War II, he studied psychology at the University of Toronto and law at the University of British Columbia. Hiller eventually decided to go into communications, applying for a job at Canada's CBS network in Toronto. When asked what kind of work he was seeking, Hiller replied: "I want to be a director".
Hiller's more memorable comedies included "The In-Laws" with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin, "Plaza Suite" starring Walter Matthau, "The Wheeler Dealers" with James Garner and Lee Remick, "The Out-of-Towners" with Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis, "The Lonely Guy" with Steve Martin and Charles Grodin, and "Author, Author" with Al Pacino and Dyan Cannon. Hiller teamed comics Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor twice, in the 1976 hit "Silver Streak" and with less success in 1989's "See No Evil, Hear No Evil.".

Personal Quotes (1)

[on Rome, Open City (1945)] It was all that neorealism; it just caught me at the right time. I can't even remember, but I know there were a few films at that time, neorealist films, that they were doing in Europe that we were not doing here. It just felt so real to me and so good. I didn't jump and say, "Oh, I want to make movies like that," but I guess I was feeling that without realizing it. The same as when I finally woke up and said, "I want to be a director."

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