Robert Wise

Robert Wise
Chris Haston / NBC


Robert Wise
Film: South side of the 6300 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Sept. 10, 1914 in Winchester, IN
Died Sept. 14, 2005 of heart attack in UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, CA

Robert Wise was a highly honored film editor-turned-director who won four Academy Awards for producing and directing "West Side Story" (with Jerome Robbins, the first time a director Oscar was shared) and "The Sound of Music."

His early editing years included Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" (1941), earning him an Oscar nomination, and "The Magnificent Ambersons" (1942).

In a directing career that began in 1944 when he took over the reins of the stylish horror classic "The Curse of the Cat People" in mid-production, Wise defied being pigeonholed.

Earning a reputation as a disciplined and impeccable craftsman, he worked in virtually every genre — high drama, romantic comedy, film noir, the supernatural and science fiction.

Among the better-known of his 40 films:

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951), the landmark science fiction thriller starring Michael Rennie; "Somebody Up There Likes Me" (1956), the biopic starring Paul Newman as world middleweight champion Rocky Graziano; "I Want to Live!" (1958), a psychological study of a woman awaiting execution in the gas chamber, which earned Susan Hayward a lead actress Oscar; "The Haunting" (1963), a classic haunted-house thriller costarring Julie Harris and Claire Bloom; "The Sand Pebbles" (1966), an epic-length war drama that earned Steve McQueen his only Academy Award nomination; and "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979), the first of six feature films starring the cast of the original series.

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1941 Best Film Editing Citizen Kane Nomination
    1958 Best Director I Want to Live! Nomination
    1961 Best Picture West Side Story Win
    1961 Best Director West Side Story Win
    1965 Best Director The Sound of Music Win
    1965 Best Picture The Sound of Music Win
    1966 Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award Win
    1966 Best Picture The Sand Pebbles Nomination

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