Richard Brooks

United States Marine
Born May 18, 1912

Richard Brooks was an American screenwriter, film director, novelist and occasional film producer. His outstanding works as director are Blackboard Jungle (1955), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Elmer Gantry (1960) – for which he won an Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) – In Cold Blood (1967) and Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977).… Read More

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1912 Birth Born in 1912.


1929 17 Years Old He attended public schools Joseph Leidy Elementary, Mayer Sulzberger Junior High School and West Philadelphia High School, graduating from the latter in 1929. … Read More


1938 26 Years Old Brooks also began writing plays in 1938 and tried directing for Long Island's Mill Pond Theater in 1940. … Read More
1941 29 Years Old He didn't find film work but was hired by the NBC affiliate to write original stories and read them for a daily fifteen-minute broadcast called Sidestreet Vignettes. His second marriage, in 1941, to Jeanne Kelly, an actress at Universal Studios, may have helped to open the door to writing for the studio. … Read More


1943 31 Years Old With no prospect of moving into more prestigious productions, he quit Universal and joined the Marine Corps in 1943 during World War II. … Read More
1944 32 Years Old In 1944 he divorced his wife, then known in films as Jean Brooks. … Read More
1945 33 Years Old His book was published in 1945 to favorable reviews. … Read More
1946 34 Years Old …  In 1946 he married again, to Harriette Levin, who had no apparent connection to the film industry. Their marriage lasted until 1957, when she sought a default divorce. … Read More
1947 35 Years Old After Hellinger died suddenly in 1947, Brooks wrote screenplays for three Warner Brothers films, including Key Largo (1948), starring Bogart and wife Lauren Bacall and directed and co-written by John Huston, another Brooks mentor.


1955 43 Years Old In 1955, Brooks was one of four American auteur filmmakers named as rebels by the French magazine Cahiers du Cinéma. … Read More
1960 48 Years Old For Brooks, Elmer Gantry was significant for personal as well as professional reasons. In 1960 he married his leading actress, Jean Simmons, after her divorce from Stewart Granger. Brooks helped to raise Simmons' daughter Tracy by Granger. The couple had another daughter, Kate, together in 1961. They separated in 1977 and were legally divorced in 1980. … Read More


1977 65 Years Old …  In 1977, he released another controversial film, an adaptation of Judith Rossner's 1975 novel Looking for Mr. Goodbar. … Read More
1992 80 Years Old 1 More Event
He suffered from heart ailments and a stroke before dying at his home in 1992 at the age of 79.
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