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Robert Altman Dies
Director dead at 81

21 November 2006  |  Written by   

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Robert Altman, Hollywood legend and maverick director of films like M*A*S*H* and Short Cuts, died in Los Angeles on Monday night. He was 81 years old.

Altman was born in 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri, and served in the Air Force in World War II, before beginning his career in film. He briefly tried acting, appearing in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in 1947, as well as songwriting and screenwriting, but it was as a director that he made his career.

 Making his name with M*A*S*H*, he followed it up with a series of ensemble pieces characterised by overlapping dialogue and an improvised feel. Films like McCabe and Mrs Miller, The Player, Short Cuts and Gosford Park established his skill in working with and reinventing different genres, and he received an honorary Award at the Oscars in 2006.

He died in a Los Angeles hospital last night, but the cause of death has not yet been disclosed. He is survived by his wife Kathryn and five children.  Robert Altman, RIP.

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Your Comments

RE: Robert Altman Dies
Goodbye Bob, and thank you for all those scenes of gratuitous female nudity (which were entirely essential to the plot). More

Posted by Mason Verger at 21:35 on 04 December 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Robert Altman Dies
This comment has been deleted by an administrator. More

Posted by Jasper at 02:35 on 28 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Gone but not forgotten
Sad news. RIP. More

Posted by Glorfindel at 23:59 on 23 November 2006 | Report This Post

Gone but not forgotten
In a world where mediocrity is big business it was so refreshing that Altman never had his radicalism marginalised by his age or nationality. He was an inspiration until the last breath and for that he has more in common with Che Guevera than he does with Steven Spielberg More

Posted by midgetgem at 15:00 on 23 November 2006 | Report This Post

Prarie Home Companion
Any chance we'll finally get a UK release of his last film, A Prarie Home Companion? More

Posted by Henrik at 23:16 on 22 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Robert Altman Dies
I can't say it enough times. He was a great director on of the best on his field as an ensamble director. Short cuts is a great fim and so are so many others of his. He'll be missed. May he rest in peace. More

Posted by jeanne at 20:22 on 22 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Robert Altman Dies
trebuchet ms"]Very sad news, one of cinema's true greats is no longer with us.  I must confess to feeling partly responsible because I almost sat down to watch Short Cuts on DVD Monday night, but instead watched Mom and Dad Save The World.  I'm sorry Mr Altman, for you I'll delay my viewing of Adventures in Babystiiting and I'll watch Nashville tonight instead.] More

Posted by Rod Hull at 14:54 on 22 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Robert Altman Dies
I commented in the other thread on him but the words are worth repeating.  Even at 81, his death comes as an incredible shock, and the most saddening movie industry news in a long, long time.  There are many of his films I have yet to see but watching an Altman movie for the first time is always an event - even his failures are always ambitious and singular.  And in McCabe and Mrs Miller, Nashville, Short Cuts, Gosford Park and others he carved a huge place for himself More

Posted by rudeboy at 14:05 on 22 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Robert Altman Dies
Why is that weird? I can't say I liked all of Altman's films, but The Player is one of the most enjoyable films about the film industry, and Gosford Park, despite its Merchant Ivory-esque subject matter, is a thoroughly entertaining blend of social comedy and murder mystery. Sad that there will be no more, but 81 is decent old innings.      More

Posted by emilysdad at 11:26 on 22 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Robert Altman Dies
Your words touch my heart. More

Posted by rick_7 at 11:14 on 22 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Robert Altman Dies
For some reason, I have never seen a Robert Altman film. Weird. More

Posted by Jasper at 10:29 on 22 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Robert Altman Dies
A great loss.  A brilliant and visionary director.  His career ebbed and flowed but the heights were astonishing, the misfires usually fascinating.  A true original: subversive, insightful, outrageous and ever entertaining.  RIP. More

Posted by rick_7 at 10:14 on 22 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Robert Altman Dies
He gave us great films of such great variety. He will be missed so much around the film world and im sure there are hundreds of movie stars thinking about the days they worked with Robert Altman. Rest in Peace Robert. You long ago earned your place in movie heaven. . . . . . More

Posted by stuartbannerman at 10:07 on 22 November 2006 | Report This Post

Very sad, Mr Altman was such a lively and prolific Director, I find his death especially tragic. To me, he was a rebel who did things his way and his age be damned. We will miss him. More

Posted by cleanbreak films at 08:24 on 22 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Robert Altman Dies
d of news that when you hear you don't want to believe. t=verdana] loss and a true legend of cinema. More

Posted by stuieboy at 23:45 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Robert Altman Dies
Those of you who read my reviews, comments and top movies, will know what a M*A*S*H fan I am. The film has been and always will be, my favourite movie, so the news that the genius behind that masterful film has died has both shocked and upset me deeply.   Robert Altman was one of those rare directors who threw the rule books out of the window and  created a style that many have tried but failed to copy. His unique ability of mixing dialogue and the use of sound is so hard to expla More

Posted by wrenster at 22:56 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

Very sad, but atleast he won't have to witness the rapid decline in what Lionsgate considers entertainment these days More

Posted by CameronJames at 22:40 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

The saddest news in the film world for a long time. His films have left an indelible mark in my mind. The impact of 'The Long Goodbye', 'California Split' and 'Short Cuts' will stay with me forever. Robert Altman was utterly inimitable, and will forever be irreplacable. RIP. More

Posted by Crumax at 21:42 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

true great
a true hollywood great...will be greatly missed rip More

Posted by luxylux at 21:29 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Sorely Missed
Just heard of his passing listening to the radio... What sad news. RIP Bob. More

Posted by mrsumner at 20:42 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Sorely Missed
Gave Hollywood a good kick up the arse with M.A.S.H - God rest him More

Posted by Sphinx at 20:17 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

Sorely Missed
A wonderful talent, but I suppose he lived for a good long time, still its a shame. RIP. More

Posted by donald carrick at 20:06 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Sad news indeed
Only just found out. A true loss. RIP.  More

Posted by sushiandrice at 19:53 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Sad news indeed
damn shame. great director. I find The Player so utterly watchable. Never got bored of that movie. And of course there is M*A*S*H   R.I.P More

Posted by Sutty at 19:48 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Sad news indeed
]Really upset about Altman's passing. Truly, an original film-maker, his style has clearly influenced many & actor's would gladly work for nothing to be in his films. ]Many obviously recognise the genius that is The Player, Short Cuts, Nashville, etc, but I recently caught some of his overlooked pieces such as Thieves Like Us & 3 Women, and they'd put most film-makers best efforts to shame. ]A sad & irreplacable loss to the film industry. More

Posted by felix sore foot at 19:30 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

Sad news indeed
Gosford Park is one of my favourite films of the last few years. Great director of actors. Will be missed. More

Posted by Teamwak at 19:20 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

He will be missed by film fans the world over. More

Posted by draney at 19:20 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

Another one bites the dust...this is really sad,a bunch of Cinema talents have been dying this year,some more shocking than others.They will all be missed...Damn,I feel old now. More

Posted by rams at 18:48 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

I'm very sad to hear about this. In an age when labels such as "genius" and "innovative" are cheapened by their attachment to any old tripe, Altman was one of the few directors totally deserving of such superlatives. An absolute maverick who approached cinema on his own terms and who enriched the medium with a string of modern classics.e=2] y, the wonderful *emain his most cherished work. A biting satire released at the height of the Vietnam War it was a sleeper hit that became everythin More

Posted by Harry Lime at 18:46 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

What tha?!?!? Shocked. Thanks for some truly great movies Robert. RIP More

Posted by Chaos Engine at 18:32 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

Sad News, man.
Though his spirit will live on in his films. What a loss to the industry. More

Posted by Rich Empire at 18:18 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

sad knews the guy was a true talent!  More

Posted by galvatron at 17:24 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

Whoa. A ripe old age though. RIP Mr. Altman. More

Posted by doctorolorinbats1975 at 17:22 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

The don
A one-off filmmaker. Stylish, witty and prolific. Responsible for a surprising amount of modern classics - Nashville, MASH, The Long Goodbye, Short Cuts, the list goes on. RIP. More

Posted by My_Magician at 17:09 on 21 November 2006 | Report This Post

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