Richard Brooks

Richard Brooks

Infobox Actor
bgcolour = silver

name = Richard Brooks
birthname = Ruben Sax
birthdate = May 18, 1912
location = Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
deathdate = death date and age|1992|3|11|1912|5|18
deathplace = Los Angeles, California
spouse = Jean Brooks (1941-1944) Jean Simmons (1960-1977)
academyawards = Best Adapted Screenplay 1960 "Elmer Gantry"
awards = NBR Award for Best Director 1967 "In Cold Blood"

Richard Brooks (May 18, 1912 – March 11, 1992) was an American screenwriter, director, novelist and occasional producer.

Early life and Career

Brooks was born Ruben Sax to Russian Jewish immigrants in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from West Philadelphia High School, and later Temple University. He was a sports reporter at several newspapers (the Atlantic City Press Union, the Philadelphia Record and the New York World-Telegram), then moved into radio at WNEW in New York. He served at the NBC network as a staff writer in the 1930s before trying his hand at directing for the stage at the Mill Pond Theatre in New York. He then spent several years in Hollywood as a staff writer for low-budget pictures and serials before serving in the U.S. Marines during World War II.

His second published novel was "Splinters" in 1930, but his 1937 novel, "The Brick Foxhole", proved a larger success - it is the story of a group of Marines who pick up and then murder a homosexual man, and the novel is a stinging indictment of intolerance. The book was made into a movie in 1947 as "Crossfire", though the intolerance was switched from homophobia to anti-Semitism to please studio executives and 1940s audiences (Brooks received credit for the book on which the movie is based, but was contractually barred from actually working on the screenplay).

In the 1940s he wrote the screenplays for the critically acclaimed "Key Largo" and "Brute Force", both suspenseful examples of film noir. In 1950 he directed his film "Crisis", which gave a much darker role to the actor Cary Grant than he had previously attempted. He won his only Oscar in 1960 for his screenplay for "Elmer Gantry", although he was nominated for the films "Blackboard Jungle" (1955), " Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1958), "The Professionals" (1966), and "In Cold Blood" (1967).

Other notable films directed by Brooks include "The Brothers Karamazov" starring Yul Brynner, "Lord Jim" starring Peter O'Toole, and "The Last Time I Saw Paris" with Elizabeth Taylor.

Personal life and demise

In 1965, he married the British actress Jean Simmons, whom he directed in "Elmer Gantry", and they had one daughter. They divorced in 1977.

Brooks died from congestive heart failure in 1992 in Beverly Hills, California and was interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Brooks has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6422 Hollywood Blvd.

External links

*imdb name|id=0112218|name=Richard Brooks
* [ The Richard Brooks Collection] at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
*findagrave|6509 Retrieved on 2008-04-02

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