Howard Hawks

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Howard Hawks (May 30, 1896 – December 26, 1977) was an American film director. A film-maker of extraordinary versatility, he was responsible for such durable classics as His Girl Friday (1940), The Big Sleep (1946) and Red River (1948).

Early Life

Hawks led an itinerant early life. Born in Indiana, he later moved with his parents to Wisconsin, before settling in California. Following service in the air force during the First World War, he worked as a racing driver, a pilot and an aeronautical designer. These experiences resurfaced in his popular films.

Career as Director

Hawks directed eight silent films, but he really came of age with the advent of sound. From the start he demonstrated a sure touch for dialogue in such films as Bringing Up Baby (1938) and Sergeant York (1941). A political conservative, he never won a best director Oscar, but did receive an honorary Academy Award in 1975. Hawks's films do celebrate the strong man, but also offer strong roles for favored actresses such as Katharine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall. He died at his home in Palm Springs in 1977.

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