Robert Altman

Robert Altman, one of the most innovative, experimental and lionized film directors of the last 35 years, died at a Los Angeles Hospital on Nov. 21, 2006, it was announced. He was 81 and had worked continuously as a director from his 1970 breakthrough "M*A*S*H" until his death. Mr. Altman was a member of maverick breed of movie directors who took Hollywood by storm in the late '60s and early '70s, including Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdonovich, Martin Scorcese, Hal Ashby, Dennis Hopper and William Friedkin. His utterly original films hit a counter-cultural nerve with their portrayal of an America roiling with comic hypocrisy. His heroes were misfits and malcontents, such as Donald Sutherland's rebel war doctor Hawkeye Pierce in "M*A*S*H," Warren Beatty's hapless Old West entrepreneur in "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," and Elliott Gould's cynical, modern-day Philip Marlowe in "The Long Goodbye." His movies often upended classic Hollywood genres such as the detective story, the western, the war film and the musical, revealing them as myths and lies.

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  • Born: Feb 20, 1925 in Kansas City, MO, USA
  • Death: Nov 20, 2006 in Los Angeles, California