Wise, Robert Earl

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WISE, ROBERT EARL (1914–2005), U.S. film producer and director. Born in Winchester, Indiana, Wise worked at rko studios from 1933 to 1943, and edited Orson Welles' classic, Citizen Kane (Oscar nomination for Best Editing, 1941). He was made a director in 1943 and became one of Hollywood's most successful filmmakers. He won four Academy Awards – as director and producer of West Side Story (1961), and co-director and producer of The Sound of Music (1965), one of the most profitable films ever made. In all, he directed more than 40 films. Among them are The Body Snatcher (1945); The Set-Up (1949); The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951); Executive Suite (1954); Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956); Until They Sail (1957); I Want to Live (Oscar nomination for Best Director, 1958); Run Silent, Run Deep (1958); Two for the Seesaw (1962); The Haunting (produced, 1963); The Sand Pebbles (produced, Oscar nomination for Best Picture, 1966); Star (1968); The Andromeda Strain (produced, 1971); Two People (produced, 1973); The Hindenburg (produced, 1975); Audrey Rose (1977); Star TrekThe Motion Picture (1979); Rooftops (1989); and the tv movie A Storm in Summer (2000).

Among his many honors and awards, Wise received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1967 for his contribution to the industry as a creative producer, and the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 1998. Wise served as president of the Directors Guild of America from 1971 to 1975, and as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1985 to 1988. He was active in the civil rights movement in Hollywood.


S. Leeman, Robert Wise on His Films: From Editing Room to Director's Chair (1995); F. Thompson, Robert Wise: A Bio-Bibliography (1995).

[Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]