John Huston

John Huston
John Huston - publicity.JPG
Huston in Chinatown (1974)
John Marcellus Huston

(1906-08-05)August 5, 1906
DiedAugust 28, 1987(1987-08-28) (aged 81)
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, actor
Years active1930–1987
Dorothy Harvey
(m. 1925; div. 1933)

Lesley Black
(m. 1937; div. 1945)

Evelyn Keyes
(m. 1946; div. 1950)

Enrica Soma
(m. 1950; died 1969)

Celeste Shane
(m. 1972; div. 1977)
Partner(s)Zoe Sallis
Children5, including Anjelica, Tony, Danny, and Allegra Huston
Parent(s)Walter Huston
Rhea Gore
Military career
Service/branch United States Army
RankUS-O4 insignia.svg Major[1]

John Marcellus Huston (ən/; August 5, 1906 – August 28, 1987) was an American film director, screenwriter, and actor. Huston was a citizen of the United States by birth but renounced U.S. citizenship to become an Irish citizen and resident. He returned to the United States, where he lived the rest of his life.[2] He wrote the screenplays for most of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are today considered classics: The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The African Queen (1951), The Misfits (1961), Fat City (1972), and The Man Who Would Be King (1975). During his 46-year career, Huston received 15 Oscar nominations, winning twice, and directed both his father, Walter Huston, and daughter, Anjelica Huston, to Oscar wins.

Huston was known to direct with the vision of an artist, having studied and worked as a fine art painter in Paris in his early years. He continued to explore the visual aspects of his films throughout his career, sketching each scene on paper beforehand, then carefully framing his characters during the shooting. While most directors rely on post-production editing to shape their final work, Huston instead created his films while they were being shot, making them both more economical and cerebral, with little editing needed.

Some of Huston's films were adaptations of important novels, often depicting an "heroic quest," as in Moby Dick, or The Red Badge of Courage. In many films, different groups of people, while struggling toward a common goal, would become doomed, forming "destructive alliances," giving the films a dramatic and visual tension. Many of his films involved themes such as religion, meaning, truth, freedom, psychology, colonialism, and war.

Huston has been referred to as "a titan", "a rebel", and a "renaissance man" in the Hollywood film industry. Author Ian Freer describes him as "cinema's Ernest Hemingway"—a filmmaker who was "never afraid to tackle tough issues head on."[3]

Early life

John Huston was born on August 5, 1906, in Nevada, Missouri. He was the only child of Rhea (née Gore) and Canadian-born Walter Huston. His father was an actor, initially in vaudeville, and later in films. His mother initially worked as a sports editor for various publications, but gave it up after John was born. Similarly, his father gave up his stage acting career for steady employment as a civil engineer, although he returned to stage acting within a few years. He later became highly successful on both Broadway and then in motion pictures. He had Scottish, Scots-Irish, English and Welsh ancestry.

Huston's parents divorced in 1913, when he was six, and as a result much of his childhood was spent living in boarding schools. During summer vacations, he traveled with each of his parents separately — with his father on vaudeville tours, and with his mother to horse races and other sports events. Young Huston benefited greatly from seeing his father act on stage, as he was later drawn to acting.[1] Some critics, such as Lawrence Grobel, surmise that his relationship with his mother may have caused his five marriages, and why few of his relationships lasted. Grobel wrote, "When I interviewed some of the women who had loved him, they inevitably referred to his mother as the key to unlocking Huston's psyche."[4] According to actress Olivia de Havilland, "she [his mother] was the central character. I always felt that John was ridden by witches. He seemed pursued by something destructive. If it wasn't his mother, it was his idea of his mother."[4]

As a child he was often ill and was treated for an enlarged heart and kidney ailments. He recovered after an extended bedridden stay in Arizona, and moved with his mother to Los Angeles, where he attended Abraham Lincoln High School. He dropped out after two years to become a professional boxer, and by age 15 was a top-ranking amateur lightweight boxer in California. He ended his brief boxing career after suffering a broken nose.[1]

He also engaged in many interests, including abstract painting, ballet, English and French literature, opera, and horseback riding. Living in Los Angeles he became infatuated with the new film industry and motion pictures, as a spectator only. To Huston, "Charlie Chaplin was a god."[5]

He moved back to New York to live with his father, who was then acting in off-Broadway productions, and had a few small rôles.[6] He remembered, while watching his father rehearse, being fascinated with the mechanics of acting:

What I learned there, during those weeks of rehearsal, would serve me for the rest of my life.[5]

After a short period acting on stage, and having undergone surgery, he travelled alone to Mexico. During two years there, among other adventures, he obtained a position as an honorary member of the Mexican cavalry. He returned to Los Angeles and married a girlfriend from high school, Dorothy Harvey. Their marriage lasted seven years, (1926–1933).

Other Languages
Afrikaans: John Huston
العربية: جون هيوستن
aragonés: John Huston
asturianu: John Huston
تۆرکجه: جان هیوستون
беларуская: Джон Х’юстан
български: Джон Хюстън
bosanski: John Huston
català: John Huston
čeština: John Huston
Deutsch: John Huston
Ελληνικά: Τζον Χιούστον
español: John Huston
Esperanto: John Huston
euskara: John Huston
français: John Huston
galego: John Huston
한국어: 존 휴스턴
հայերեն: Ջոն Հյուսթոն
hrvatski: John Huston
Bahasa Indonesia: John Huston
italiano: John Huston
ქართული: ჯონ ჰიუსტონი
Lëtzebuergesch: John Huston
magyar: John Huston
македонски: Џон Хјустон
Malagasy: John Huston
მარგალური: ჯონ ჰიუსტონი
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਜੌਨ ਹਿਊਸਟਨ
polski: John Huston
português: John Huston
română: John Huston
Runa Simi: John Huston
русский: Хьюстон, Джон
Simple English: John Huston
slovenčina: John Huston
српски / srpski: Џон Хјустон
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: John Huston
svenska: John Huston
Türkçe: John Huston
українська: Джон Г'юстон
Tiếng Việt: John Huston
Winaray: John Huston