American director, b Kansas City, Missouri

Altman got his start in TV, directing seasons and episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, U.S. Marshal, Bonanza, Lawman and Route 66, among others. IMDB lists a series of early films prior to and mixed in with Altman's TV work, but only one (The James Dean Story) is at all memorable.

Altman has slowly developed a style of intricate, complex storytelling, involving enormous casts. M*A*S*H was his first big hit, and was supposedly the first R-rated film to use the word "fuck". Altman has developed a following among Hollywood actors, allowing him to pick and choose actors. The Player, arguably his most successful film, is a long, self-referential murder mysterery and a big who's who of cameos. (Check out the extended cast list on IMDB if you haven't seen the film). Short Cuts represents a kind of implosion of his style: it's really long and slow, and while it's still a good movie, it just seems to collapse under its own weight.

Altman has been nominated four times for the Best Director Oscar Award (Short Cuts, The Player, Nashville, MASH), but hasn't won. At Cannes, Altman won a Golden Palm for MASH, and a Best Director award for The Player.

Filmography:

The Delinquents (1957)
The James Dean Story (1957)
Countdown ( 1968)
That Cold Day in the Park (1969)
M*A*S*H (1969)
Brewster McCloud (1970)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
Images (1972)
Thieves Like Us (1972)
California Split (1974)
Nashville (1975)
Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976)
3 Women (1977)
A Wedding (1978)
Quintet (1978)
A Perfect Couple (1979)
Health (1979)
Popeye (1980)
Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)
Streamers (1983)
Secret Honor (1983)
O.C. & Stiggs (1984)
Fool for Love (1985)
Beyond Therapy (1985)
Aria (1987)
Vincent & Theo (1990)
The Player (1992)
Short Cuts (1993)
Prêt-à-Porter (1994)
Kansas City (1996)
The Gingerbread Man (1998)
Cookie's Fortune (1999)
Dr. T & the Women (2000)
Gosford Park (2001)
The Company (2003)
A Prairie Home Companion ( 2006)

Source: IMDB

Editors Note:

Robert Altman died on November 20, 2006, at age 81 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood of complications from leukemia.

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