Howard Hawks

Film Director
Born May 30, 1896

Howard Winchester Hawks was an American film director, producer and screenwriter of the classic Hollywood era. He is popular for his films from a wide range of genres such as Scarface, Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Sergeant York (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948), The Thing from Another World (1951), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and Rio Bravo (1959).… Read More

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1896 Birth Born on May 30, 1896.
1898 2 Years Old In 1898, the family moved to Neenah, Wisconsin where Frank Hawks began working for his father-in-law's Howard Paper Company.
1906 10 Years Old Between 1906 and 1909, the Hawks family began to spend more time in Pasadena, California during the cold Wisconsin winters in order to improve Helen Hawks's ill health. … Read More


1910 14 Years Old 1 More Event
Hawks was an average student at school and did not excel in sports, but by 1910 had discovered coaster racing, an early form of soapbox racing.
1911 - 1912 2 More Events
1913 17 Years Old Hawks finished his junior year of high school at Citrus Union High School in Glendora and was then sent to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire from 1913 to 1914; his family's wealth may have influenced his acceptance to the elite private school. … Read More
1914 18 Years Old In 1914, Hawks returned to Glendora and graduated from Pasadena High School that year. … Read More


In 1916, Hawks' grandfather, C.W. Howard, bought him a Mercer race car and Hawks began racing and working on his new car during the summer vacation in California. … Read More
1917 - 1923 6 More Events
1924 28 Years Old 1 More Event
Hawks worked on the scripts for all of the films produced, but had his first official screenplay credit in 1924 on Tiger Love. … Read More
1925 29 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1925, when Thalberg hesitated to follow through on his promise, Hawks broke his contract at MGM and left.


1926 30 Years Old 1 More Event
He also worked on the scripts for Honesty – The Best Policy in 1926 and Joseph von Sternberg's Underworld in 1927, famous for being one of the first gangster films.
1927 31 Years Old 1 More Event
She and Hawks began dating throughout 1927, which led Shearer to ask Ward for a divorce in 1928. … Read More
Kenneth Hawks and Mary Astor eventually married in February 1928, while Bill Hawks and Bessie Love married in December 1929.
Hawks's contract with Fox ended in May 1929 and he never again signed a long-term contract with a major studio but managed to remain an independent producer-director for the rest of his long career.
…  After several months of unemployment, Hawks renewed his career with his first sound film in 1930.
1932 36 Years Old 1 More Event
The two men fought, negotiated and made compromises with the Hays Office for over a year, until the film was eventually released in 1932, after such other pivotal early gangster films as The Public Enemy and Little Caesar. … Read More


1936 40 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1936, he made the aviation adventure Ceiling Zero with James Cagney and Pat O'Brien.
1938 - 1940 3 More Events
In 1941, Hawks made Sergeant York, starring Gary Cooper as a pacifist farmer who becomes a decorated World War I soldier.
1942 46 Years Old He was nominated for Academy Award for Best Director in 1942 for Sergeant York, but he received his only Oscar in 1975 as an Honorary Award from the Academy. … Read More
1943 47 Years Old After making the World War II film Air Force in 1943 starring John Garfield, Hawks did two films with real-life lovers Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. … Read More


1946 - 1951 4 More Events
He followed this with the 1952 western film The Big Sky, starring Kirk Douglas.
1953 57 Years Old In 1953, Hawks made Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which featured Marilyn Monroe famously singing "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." … Read More
1955 59 Years Old In 1955, Hawks shot a film atypical within the context of his other work, Land of the Pharaohs, which is a sword-and-sandal epic about ancient Egypt that stars Jack Hawkins and Joan Collins. … Read More


1959 - 1965 4 More Events
1966 70 Years Old In 1966, Hawks directed El Dorado, starring Wayne, Robert Mitchum and Caan, which was released the following year.
1970 74 Years Old He then made Rio Lobo, with Wayne in 1970.
1977 82 Years Old Hawks died on December 26, 1977, at the age of 81, from complications arising from a fall when he tripped over his dog several weeks earlier at his home in Palm Springs, California. … Read More
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