Robert Rossen was a film director, screenwriter, and producer from the United States. His film ‘All the King’s Men’ was nominated for an Academy Award for ‘Best Picture,’ and he was nominated for ‘Best Director,’ for the same picture. He was the author of a number of powerful and amazing plays that depicted how people battled the system and were finally destroyed by it. It was, in some ways, his own tale of having to battle his way to the top and being corrupted by an immoral system. His idealistic concepts in the films bordered on naiveté at times, but his handling of the majority of them was simply outstanding. His most recent film was a commentary on how society’s ideals had deteriorated. Later films were less utopian and more realistic. Due to his untimely demise, he was unable to complete his last endeavor. His most recent video was about a group of persons living in the Cape Kennedy region who were experiencing social and psychological issues.
Childhood and Adolescence
Robert Rossen was born on March 16, 1908, in New York City.
His father was a rabbi and his parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia.
The family was destitute and resided on New York City’s Lower East Side.
After graduating from high school, he went to ‘New York University.’
Career of Robert Rossen
Robert Rossen began his career as a professional welterweight boxer before switching to creating theater plays.
During the 1920s, he began presenting plays for the ‘Washington Square Players’ and then the ‘Theater Guild.’
He worked as an actor, stage manager, and lastly director of theatre productions from 1930 to 1935.
In 1935, he wrote and directed his first play, a comedy about a naive dancer called “The Body Beautiful.”
In 1936, he signed a contract with Warner Bros. as a screenwriter, and he worked with Mervyn Le Roy until 1945.
From 1937 through 1945, he was a member of the Communist Party in Hollywood, for which he later had to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).
His debut script, starring Bette Davis and released in 1937, was a reflection of the rise of racketeering and prostitution in many strata of society, as well as the need for women’s empowerment in the struggle against corruption.
He also authored scripts for films such as ‘They Won’t Forget’ in 1937, ‘Racket Busters’ in 1938, ‘Dust Be My Destiny’ and ‘The Roaring Twenties’ in 1939, ‘A Child Is Born’ in 1940, ‘Blues in the Night’, ‘The Sea Wolf’ and ‘Out of the Fog’ in 1941, ‘Edge of Darkness’ in 1943, ‘A Walk in In 1949, he also produced the film “The Undercover Man.”
He wrote the screenplay for his first directing effort, ‘Jonny O’clock,’ in 1947. It was a narrative about a bunch of gamblers who were involved in a murder. The movie was a failure.
His second picture, ‘Body and Soul,’ (1947), was a major box office hit. He made enough money from the movie to start his own firm, which he was able to do with the help of ‘Columbia Pictures.’ In 1949, he wrote, produced, and directed the picture ‘All the King’s Men’ with the help of Columbia Pictures. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, Broderick Crawford for Best Actor, and Mercedes McCambridge for Best Supporting Actress.
He directed and produced the somewhat successful picture ‘The Brave Bulls’ in 1951.
He grew apprehensive about working with others following the HUAC controversy, in which he was asked to testify against fellow Communist party members, despite the fact that he had a couple of excellent hit films. He was first banned because he refused to cooperate. He gave the committee several names of putative Communists on his second appearance before the HUAC and was granted a reprieve in 1953.
His career as a film director in Hollywood took a turn for the worst after this occurrence. Following that, in 1955, he directed the melodrama ‘Mambo,’ starring Vittorio Gassman, Shelly Winters, and Silvana Mangano. In 1956, he directed the historical epic ‘Alexander the Great,’ starring Richard Burton, and in 1957, he directed ‘Island in the Sun,’ a narrative about racial conflicts.
In 1959, he directed the film ‘They Came to Cordua,’ which starred Gary Cooper and Rita Hayworth. It was a box office flop, despite the fact that many people believed it should have been a hit. Rossen tried several times to edit and release the film, but he was unsuccessful.
The film ‘The Hustler,’ starring Paul Newman, helped him reclaim some of his previous form and reclaim some of the notoriety he had lost as a result of the HUAC scandal. It was a tale of victors and losers in the world of professional pool players that he had witnessed during his boyhood and adolescence. The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won two of them.
His following picture, ‘Lilith,’ starring Warren Beatty and Jean Seberg, established that he hadn’t lost his touch and that he was still a fantastic filmmaker. It was about a psychiatric worker who became unwell and had no choice but to seek care. The movie ‘Roaring Twenties’ was set in the aftermath of World War I and the beginning of the ‘Great Depression,’ which depicted social and economic inequality.
Achievements & Awards
His film ‘All the King’s Men’ was nominated for an Academy Award for ‘Best Picture’ in 1949. In addition, he was nominated for ‘Best Director.’ ‘Academy Awards’ for ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Best Supporting Actress’ were also given to the film. For this picture, he received the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for Best Director and ‘Best Picture.’ For the film ‘The Hustler,’ he got the ‘New York Film Critics’ award for ‘Best Direction’ in 1961. He was also nominated for an Academy Award for ‘Best Director’ for the picture.
Personal History and Legacy
In 1936, he married Susan Siegal, with whom he had two daughters, Carol and Ellen, and a son, Steven. Robert Rossen died on February 18, 1966, at the age of 57, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA. He died suddenly as a result of a succession of ailments from which he never recovered.
Estimated Net Worth
Robert is one of the wealthiest directors and one of the most popular. Robert Rossen’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
Robert Rossen had a lengthy history of drinking, which had resulted in a number of health issues.