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Academy Award-winning filmmaker Howard Hawks directed Only Angels Have Wings, Sergeant York, Scarface, Bringing Up Baby and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
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Howard Hawks was born on May 30, 1896, in Goshen, Indiana. His first script, Tiger Love, was produced in 1924. He made his directorial debut in 1926, with The Road to Glory. Hawks directed Only Angels Have Wings in 1939 and Sergeant York in 1941. The last film he directed was Rio Lobo, released in 1970. Four years later, Hawks won an honorary Academy Award. He died on December 26, 1977, in Palm Springs, California.
Director, screenwriter and producer Howard Hawks was born on May 30, 1896, in Goshen, Indiana. With more than 45 films to his credit, Howard Hawks created many classic films in a variety of genres, from westerns to musical comedies. He spent many of his early years in Indiana before his family moved out to California.
Hawks graduated from Cornell University with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1917. After college, he had a job at the Mary Pickford Company as an assistant prop man before joining the military. Hawks served in the Army Air Corps during World War I. After the war, he returned to California. Some reports indicate that he tried his hand at being a professional racecar driver and others say that he worked as a designer in an airplane factory.
In any case, Hawks found his way into the film industry by the early 1920s, working first as a prop man and later a story editor. He had his first script, Tiger Love, produced in 1924. Two years later, Hawks made his debut as a director with The Road to Glory (1926), which he also helped write.
Making the leap to sound, Hawks directed his first talking picture, The Dawn Patrol, in 1930. The WWI drama starred Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and featured many exciting aerial fight scenes. Switching genres, he tackled the gangster saga Scarface with Paul Muni, George Raft, and Boris Karloff. The violent tale was caught up in a censorship battle waged by the producer Howard Hughes against the film industry's production code administration. Finally released in 1932, the film was a big hit and paved the way for more such crime dramas.
Proving to be quite versatile, Hawks moved on to lighter fare in the mid-1930s. He directed Twentieth Century (1934) with John Barrymore and Carole Lombard, which helped make Lombard a star. Around this time, Hawks worked on a number of films with Cary Grant. He directed Grant in 1938's Bringing Up Baby with Katharine Hepburn and 1940's His Girl Friday with Rosalind Russell. Turning to more serious material, Hawks also worked with Grant on the 1939 drama Only Angels Have Wings, which launched the career of Rita Hayworth.
Continuing to garner praise for his serious work, Hawks directed with Gary Cooper in the 1941 war drama Sergeant York. It was based on the true story of a sharpshooter during World War I. A big success, the film netted 11 Academy Award nominations, including one for Hawks. This was the only Academy Award nomination that he received during his career.
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