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Albert R. Broccoli Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (16) | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 5 April 1909New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 27 June 1996Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart failure)
Birth NameAlbert Romolo Broccoli
Nickname Cubby

Mini Bio (1)

Albert Romolo Broccoli was born in Astoria, Queens (New York City) on April 5th, 1909. His mother and father, Cristina and Giovanni Broccoli, raised young Albert in New York on the family farm. The family was in the vegetable business, and Albert claimed one of his uncles brought the first broccoli seeds into the United States in the 1870's. Albert's cousin Pat DiCicco gave him the nickname "Cubby" after a comic strip character named Kabibble. Cubby worked in a pharmacy and then as a coffin-maker, but a trip to see his cousin in Los Angeles gave him an ambition for film stardom. Pat was an actor's agent, and introduced Cubby to such stars as Randolph Scott, Cary Grant and Bob Hope.

In 1940, at the age of 31, Cubby married actress Gloria Blondell. That same year the head of 20th Century-Fox offered him an assistant director position on The Outlaw (1943), directed by Howard Hawks and produced by his good friend Howard Hughes. After this initial job opportunity Cubby became the top assistant director at Fox. He went on to serve as A.D. on such films as The Song of Bernadette (1943) and The Black Swan (1942). When World War II began, Cubby joined the U.S. Navy, where he met future film producer Ray Stark, and together they become heads of entertainment for the troops. Cubby and Gloria decided to end their marriage in 1945, but remained good friends. After the war Cubby determined to get back into the movie business.

In 1946 his cousin Pat worked out the financing for a project called Avalanche (1946), on which Cubby served as production manager. The film spawned a partnership between Cubby and director Irving Allen. Broccoli and Allen later formed Warwick Productions, which eventually became a very successful independent production company based in London, England. After the poor response to "Avalanche", however, Broccoli worked various odd jobs, including selling Christmas trees in California, and eventually took a job as a talent agent, where he represented, among others, Robert Wagner and Lana Turner.

In 1951 Cubby married Nedra Clark. That same year he left the talent agency and, together with his partner Allen, reformed Warwick to make Paratrooper (1953). The film, released in the US as "Paratrooper", was very profitable. Broccoli and Allen become the most successful independent producers in England, turning out such hits as Safari (1956), Zarak (1956) and The Bandit of Zhobe (1959). Cubby and Nedra wanted to start a family but, according to the doctor, Nedra was unable to become pregnant. They instead adopted a young baby boy named Tony. Shortly afterwards Nedra became pregnant after all, and gave birth to a girl, whom they named Tina. Unfortunately, Nedra died in New York shortly afterwards. Cubby was now a widower with two children to raise. He spent months trying to get new film projects off the ground and support his family.

Cubby met Dana Wilson at a New Year's Eve party and there was an instant attraction. The two fell in love and, after five weeks, Cubby proposed marriage. Dana flew to London and started a new life with Cubby. However, things were about to turn sour for him. After making The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960), which was financed out of his and Allen's own pockets, the two went bankrupt due to the poor box-office returns because of adverse reaction to the subject matter--Oscar Wilde's homosexuality. The film wasn't allowed to be advertised in the US and never made back its production costs during initial release. Cubby and Allen ended their partnership after the failure of the film. On June 18, 1960, Dana gave birth to a baby girl, Barbara Broccoli. One night Dana asked Cubby if there was something he really wanted to do. Cubby replied. "I always wanted to film the Ian Fleming James Bond books."

Cubby then managed to meet with Harry Saltzman, the man who held the option to the books. Together they formed Eon Productions Ltd. and Danjaq S.A. to make the first James Bond film, Dr. No (1962). However, they needed financing. The two men flew to New York and met with Arthur Krim, the head of United Artists. Within the hour Broccoli and Saltzman had a deal to make the first 007 film adventure. Despite the small budget of $1 million, the producers insisted on filming on location in Jamaica and using the then virtually unknown Sean Connery in the title role. Bond became the most successful film series in history and made Cubby Broccoli a household name.

Together with Saltzman, Broccoli produced From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). After nine years as partners, Saltzman sold his share of Eon/Danjaq to United Artists and Cubby became the sole producer of the James Bond films. He later brought in his stepson, Michael G. Wilson, and his daughter Barbara, making it a true family affair. Broccoli's last non-Bond film was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). He had purchased the rights to this Ian Fleming story when he got the 007 book option. They brought in songwriters Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who were under contract to Disney, to write the music for this musical.

In 1982 Broccoli received the Irving G. Thalberg Award for his long and successful producing career. The award was presented by Roger Moore at the Academy Awards ceremony. Broccoli stated that it was one of the happiest days of his life and was very pleased to have received such a great honor. He stopped during his speech to thank all of the hundreds of crew technicians and actors who have helped make his films possible. In 1990 he was honored by having his star placed on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and was even honored by the Queen of England for his contribution to cinema and the British community. Broccoli's last film was Licence to Kill (1989). He had heart problems throughout the early 1990s and was unable to go to the set of GoldenEye (1995).

Cubby's last years were spent at his home in Beverly Hills, surrounded by his children and grandchildren. Despite awards, honors and an amazing film career, the most important thing in his life was his family. After undergoing a triple-bypass in 1995, Cubby Broccoli passed away on Thursday, June 27, 1996, surrounded by loved ones. He was 87 and was one of the best-loved and most respected producers in Hollywood. No one ever had anything bad to say about Cubby and, according to many, he was a gentleman who cared about every one of his cast and crew and was the last true film producer. Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli's legacy lives on thanks to his family, which carries on the tradition of making the James Bond films.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (3)

Dana Broccoli (21 June 1959 - 27 June 1996) (his death) (1 child)
Nedra Clark (December 1951 - 1956) (her death) (2 children)
Gloria Blondell (1940 - 1945) (divorced)

Trivia (16)

His daughter and stepson both carry out his legacy and took over his business of making James Bond films.
Was a close friend with Alfred Hitchcock
His James Bond series is the most successful in film history - from 1962 to 1997 they grossed more than $1 billion.
Father of Tina Banta and Tony Broccoli (adopted), from his marriage to Nedra Clark.
Interred at Forest Lawn (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California, USA, in the Court of Remembrance.
Cary Grant was best man at his wedding to Dana
Ex-brother-in-law of Joan Blondell.
Cousin of Pat DiCicco.
There was a memorable incident on one of the James Bond film sets: several crew members decided to get some drinks, and charged them to Broccoli. When he later discovered what had happened, he was not at all angry about having to pay for all of those drinks; the only thing about this which upset him was that the crew had spelled his name wrong on the checks!
Father of Barbara Broccoli, from his marriage to Dana Broccoli.
Stepfather of Michael G. Wilson
His Catholic funeral mass was attended by Bond actors Timothy Dalton, Desmond Llewelyn and Maryam d'Abo.
Admitted he never foresaw the enormous success of the James Bond series.
A friend and mentor to Roger Moore.
Timothy Dalton, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan all attended his funeral and spoke some parting words. George Lazenby and Sean Connery declined to attend. Connery and Broccoli had fallen out once Connery left the series.
Along with Lois Maxwell, he was one of only two people to work on all 14 "Bond" films from Dr. No (1962) to A View to a Kill (1985).

Personal Quotes (10)

[on George Lazenby and his one-time performance as James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)] He could have been a good Bond, but the minute he signed up, he became impossible. He now says he made a mistake. Occasionally, he would call and say he wanted to do Bond again, but I said we couldn't do that. It was a good movie, though, with a good script. George did the best he could in the role.
I honestly feel a responsibility toward all the Bond fans out there. I know they look forward to these pictures, and so I'm going to go on delivering them as long as I can. Also, it's a challenge, which I enjoy. We try to make each picture more exciting than the one before, to take Bond somewhere he hasn't already been.
[on Cary Grant's decision to turn down Broccoli's offer to play James Bond] He didn't want to do it. He said, "It's a good idea, and I like it, but I can't do Bond." And we couldn't have paid him the money - it would have taken up half our budget.
[Asked which of the Bonds had the most sex appeal] When George [George Lazenby] walks through the office, the secretaries fall off their chairs.
I've never made up my mind who Bond is. Sometimes I think it's very dramatic, but mostly it's comedy. One thing I know for certain - it's entertainment.
I love looking at the old Bond films. Maybe it's purely out of reminiscence, the nostalgic things you think about. But there were some very good films made and I think that the public has enjoyed them, too.
That we were lucky to stumble upon Ian Fleming and Bond was a bit of a good fortune. The rest was all hard work.
For every dollar you give away, you'll get a hundred back. And for every buck you steal, you'll lose a thousand.
[on Sean Connery] It was the sheer confidence he exuded. I've never seen a surer guy. Every time he made a point he hit the desk with that great fist of his, or slapped his thigh. It wasn't just an act either. When he left we watched him through the window as he walked down the street. He walked like the most arrogant son-of-a-gun you've ever seen. 'That's our Bond', I said.
I've never made up my mind who Bond is. Sometimes I think it's very dramatic, but mostly it's comedy. One thing I know for sure - it's entertainment.

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