Robert Wise Biography, Life, Interesting Facts

Film Director

Robert Wise

Birthday :

September 10, 1914

Died On :

September 14, 2005

Also Known For :


Birth Place :

Winchester, Indiana, United States of America

Zodiac Sign :


Robert Wise was known as an all in one person. He came to prominence as a film director and producer. For 39 years, Robert did what he loved best, and it was nothing else than his multifaceted career. He was seen in a wide array of genres including musicals, horror, drama, sci-fi among others. His incredible work earned him two Oscars. Though he passed through a great deal of effort, Wise didn’t receive a personal recognition throughout his career. But his work as a director created him an indelible path to success. His fame called when he made the long-awaited musicals called West Side Story as well as The Sound of Music. Just like his second name “Wise” employed efficiency and willpower that made him to also work within his budget. Read along to see his early and later achievements.

Robert’s Personality

Regardless of how close he was to his friends, Robert loved his own company to the brim. When it came to things that concerned money, Robert was wiser than a harmless dove. He hated to define his end goals, but success seemed to follow him like a plague. Robert was more interested in the destination than present state. At a glance, something was amiss in Wise’s career, but slowly and surely he developed a good sense of self-confidence that earned him a “Heaven Sent” pseudonym. It’s no doubt that Robert was created to fathom beyond his limits. Afterall, his rewards and recognitions say it all. Read along.


Childhood And Early Life

On 10th, September 1914 a duo, Earl Waldo Wise and Olive Longenecker were blessed with a son in Indiana, Winchester, United States. He was none other than Robert Earl Wise who had an elder brother called David as well as three younger siblings. Robert’s father served as a meat packer in Winchester. At his tender age, Wise was taken to a nearby local school called Connersville High School. Afterward he joined Franklin College in Indianapolis. However, he was forced to drop out of school due to 1930s Great Depression.



At first, Robert tasted the waters of entrepreneurship when he went to work with his brother as an accountant in Los Angeles. It was under RKO Pictures that he served as an editor assistant. He was then appointed to serve as the leading editor of sound effects and later as a film editor. He took the chance to edit well vast films including The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In1994 he directed a film called Citizen Kane that was originally written by Orson Welles in 1940s.

For two years, Robert managed to direct two horror movies titled The Curse of the Cat People and The Body Snatcher. He followed it up with a film titled The Set Up in 1949 that later garnered Cannes Film Festival.

In 1950s Robert left RKO Company. It was also the same year that he signed a three-year deal with 20thCenturyFox. Without further ado, he directed a film called The Day the Earth Stood Still. Before the end of the contact, Robert joined MGM where he made several films including Executive Suite in 1954.

Still in 1950s Wise opted to partner with Lehman brothers where they released a film called Somebody Up There Likes Me in 1956. In the mid of 1958, Robert and his alumni came up with a WW II drama that was famously known as Run Silent Run Deep. “I want to live” followed the same year which garnered him an Oscar Award for being the Best Director.

Robert came to make to musicals called West Side Story in 1961.The following year his effort was seen in a horror movie called The Haunting. It was later defined as the best horror movie to be released during the 19th century. This gave birth to another musical called The Sound of Music with the help of Julie Andes. Without a doubt, the movie garnered five Oscars, all thanks to Roberts’s directive role. A movie called Sand Pebbles won an Oscar in 1920.


Later Career

In 1968 Robert Wise released another musical called Star in partnership with Julie Andes. Though it didn't receive resounding success, Robert bounced back to thrillers with a release of a film called The Andromeda Strain.

In between his career, Robert was appointed as the CEO of the Directors Guild of America. He remained in the position for five years. In 1975 Robert made a film called The Hindenburg that also starred George C. Scott. This paved the way for a tremendous film named as Audrey Rose in 1977.

From 1979 to 2000 Robert directed films such as Star Trek, Rooftops, and Storm in summer. In between his career, he was appointed as the leading arm man of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Wise’s Awards And Achievements

Roberts Wise’s first awards included an Academy Award in 1939 then The Critics Prize in 1949.Other awards and recognitions include Golden Globe Award, Saturn Award, D.W. Griffith Award, Sidney P. Solow Memorial Award, Lifetime an achievement Award among others. Robert Wise welcomed the new millennium in style when he was honored with a Producers Guild Hall of Fame.


Personal Life And Legacy

On 25th, May 1942 Robert Wise married Patricia Doyle with whom he had a son called Robert A. Wise. Sad to say, Patricia, breathed her last on 22nd, September 1975. He then married Millicent Franklin on 29th, January 1977 with whom he stayed with till his demise on 14th, September 2005. He died at 91 years of age in California due to a heart attack. In his honor, The Directors Guild of America Library was named after him in 1998.

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