Rossen, Robert

BORN 16 Mar 1908, New York City, New York - DIED 18 Feb 1966, New York City, New York
BIRTH NAME Rosen, Robert
CAUSE OF DEATH heart failure following surgery
GRAVE LOCATION Hastings-on-Hudson, New York: Westchester Hills Cemetery, 400 Saw Mill River Road

Son of a Russian-Jewish immigrant rabbi. He was educated at New York University and he directed two plays in 1932. In 1935 he wrote "The Body Beautiful". It ran for only four performances, but it earned him a screenwriting contract in Hollywood. In 1936 he married and in 1940 he had a son, Stephen.

In Hollywood he was one of the authors of "The Roaring Twenties" (1939). He also wrote "Out of the Fog" (1941) and "Blues in the Night" (1941). Between 1937 and 1947 he was a member of the American Communist Party, but he was also chaiman of the Hollywood Writers Mobilization Against the War that organised war effors for writers.

In 1947 he directed "Johnny O'Clock" and in 1949 "All the King's Men", after he had stated that he was no longer a member of the Communist Party. This movie received the Academy Award for Best Picture and Rossen was nominated for Best Director.

In 1951 he had to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and he was placed on an unofficial blacklist which meant he was no longer able to work in Hollywood. In 1953 he appeared again, named 57 other communists and was removed from the blacklist. In 1954 he directed "Mambo" and in 1956 "Alexander the Great". In 1961 he directed and produced "The Hustler". In 1964 he directed his final film "Lilith" but after a conflict with its star Warren Beatty he decided to quit making movies. He had been suffering from bad health and died two years later in 1966.


The grave of Robert Rossen at Westchester Hills Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson.
Picture by Androom (13 Apr 2010)


Wikipedia (EN):

Rossetti, Christina

Published: 24 Oct 2010
Last update: 25 Feb 2022