Huston in Chinatown (1974)
John Marcellus Huston
August 5, 1906
|Died||August 28, 1987 (aged 81)|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, actor|
(m. 1925; div. 1933)
(m. 1937; div. 1945)
(m. 1946; div. 1950)
(m. 1950; died 1969)
(m. 1972; div. 1977)
|Children||5, including |
John Marcellus Huston (
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
Huston has been referred to as "a titan", "a rebel", and a "renaissance man" in the Hollywood film industry. Author
John Huston was born on August 5, 1906, in
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. 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." According to actress
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
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, "
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. 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.
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).