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Richard Fleischer

AKA Richard O. Fleischer

Born: 8-Dec-1916
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Died: 24-Mar-2006
Location of death: Woodland Hills, CA
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Film Director

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Soylent Green

Richard Fleischer was a director who worked in virtually all genres and made dozens of movies, including efficient low-budget thrillers and all-star action-adventures. His films share no obvious style or philosophy, except that most were well-made and still hold an audience's attention, even decades after they were made.

His best work includes the tense noir The Narrow Margin with Marie Windsor, the solemn Pearl Harbor docudrama Tora! Tora! Tora!, and several films about killers, including 10 Rillington Place with Richard Attenborough, The Boston Strangler with Tony Curtis, and the Leopold & Loeb story Compulsion with Dean Stockwell and Orson Welles.

Fleischer made some imaginative if now-dated science fiction films, including 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with Kirk Douglas and James Mason, the inner-body epic Fantastic Voyage with Raquel Welch, and the doomsday appetite-suppressant Soylent Green with Charlton Heston. He also made the overwrought Biblical drama Barabbas with Anthony Quinn, the kids' musical Dr Dolittle with Rex Harrison, the squeaky-clean adolescent comedy The Happy Time with Charles Boyer, and a slave saga some audiences found offensive, Mandingo, wherein Mason owned Ken Norton.

Fleischer won his only Oscar for a post-WWII documentary he produced but did not direct, Design for Death (written by Dr. Seuss and wife). He has been retired since the early 1990s.

His father, Max Fleischer, was an animator famous for Betty Boop, Popeye, and Superman cartoons. The elder Fleischer produced some of the first cartoons with synchronized sound, made the first sing-along cartoons ("follow the bouncing ball") and invented the rotograph, an early device for showing live actors and cartoon characters in the same scene. Max's brother Dave Fleischer directed many Popeye shorts, but the brothers did not speak to each other in the last twenty years of their lives. Another brother, Lou, ran the music department at Fleischer Studios, and for years voiced Popeye's hamburger-hungry friend Wimpy.

The Fleischers, father and son, have given Max Fleischer credit for inventing Betty Boop, but others dispute this claim, and argue for Grim Natwick, an employee of the Fleischer Studio.

Father: Max Fleischer (animator, b. 19-Jul-1883, d. 11-Sep-1972 heart failure)
Sister: Ruth Fleischer (b. 1907, d. 7-Jun-2001)
Wife: Mary (three children)
Son: Mark

    University: Brown University (dropped out)
    University: Yale University

    Million Dollar Mystery (12-Jun-1987)
    Red Sonja (3-Jul-1985)
    Conan the Destroyer (29-Jun-1984)
    Amityville 3-D (18-Nov-1983)
    Tough Enough (20-May-1983)
    The Jazz Singer (19-Dec-1980)
    Ashanti (9-Mar-1979)
    Crossed Swords (17-Mar-1978)
    The Incredible Sarah (5-Nov-1976)
    Mandingo (7-May-1975)
    Mr. Majestyk (17-Jul-1974)
    The Spikes Gang (8-Jul-1974)
    The Don Is Dead (14-Nov-1973)
    Soylent Green (19-Apr-1973)
    The New Centurions (3-Aug-1972)
    Blind Terror (2-Sep-1971)
    The Last Run (7-Jul-1971)
    10 Rillington Place (12-May-1971)
    Tora! Tora! Tora! (23-Sep-1970)
    Che! (29-May-1969)
    The Boston Strangler (16-Oct-1968)
    Doctor Dolittle (5-Dec-1967)
    Fantastic Voyage (24-Aug-1966)
    Barabbas (10-Oct-1962)
    The Big Gamble (Jul-1961)
    Crack in the Mirror (19-May-1960)
    These Thousand Hills (6-May-1959)
    Compulsion (1-Apr-1959)
    The Vikings (11-Jun-1958)
    Between Heaven and Hell (11-Oct-1956)
    Bandido (Sep-1956)
    The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1-Oct-1955)
    Violent Saturday (Apr-1955)
    20000 Leagues Under the Sea (23-Dec-1954)
    Arena (24-Jun-1953)
    The Happy Time (30-Oct-1952)
    The Narrow Margin (3-May-1952)
    Armored Car Robbery (8-Jun-1950)
    Trapped (1-Oct-1949)
    Follow Me Quietly (7-Jul-1949)
    The Clay Pigeon (29-Jun-1949)
    Bodyguard (4-Sep-1948)
    So This Is New York (Jun-1948)
    Banjo (15-May-1947)
    Child of Divorce (15-Oct-1946)

    Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (5-May-2010) · Himself

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