Hal Ashby

Hal Ashby

director, editorial department, actor

Hal Ashby was born on Sep 02, 1929 in USA. Hal Ashby's big-screen debut came with Friendly Persuasion directed by William Wyler in 1956. Hal Ashby is known for Being There directed by Hal Ashby, Peter Sellers stars as Chance and Shirley MacLaine as Eve Rand. Hal Ashby has got 3 awards and 11 nominations so far. The most recent award Hal Ashby achieved is Guild of German Art House Cinemas. The upcoming new movie Hal Ashby plays is 8 Million Ways to Die which will be released on Apr 25, 1986.

Hal Ashby was born the fourth and youngest child in a Mormon household, in Ogden, Utah, to Eileen Ireta (Hetzler) and James Thomas Ashby, on September 2, 1929. His father was a dairy farmer. After a rough childhood that included the divorce of his parents, his father's suicide, his dropping out of high school, getting married and divorced all before he was 19, he decided to leave Utah for California. A Californian employment office found him a printing press job at Universal Studios. Within a few years, he was an assistant film editor at various other studios. One of his pals while at MGM was a young messenger named Jack Nicholson. He moved up to being a full fledged editor on Le cher disparu (1965) and started editing the films of director Norman Jewison.A highlight of his film editing career was winning an Oscar for the landmark Dans la chaleur de la nuit (1967). Itching to become a director, Jewison gave him a script he was too busy to work on called Le propriétaire (1970). It became Ashby's first film as a director. From there he delivered a series of well-acted, intelligent human scaled dramas that included La dernière corvée (1973), Shampoo (1975), En route pour la gloire (1976), Retour (1978) and Bienvenue Mister Chance (1979). Great reviews and Oscar nominations became common on Ashby films.Ashby was always a maverick and a contrary person and success proved difficult for Ashby to handle. He became unreliable due to his dependence on drugs and a reclusive lifestyle. He actually collapsed while making The Rolling Stones concert film Rolling Stones (1982) in Arizona. Although he recovered, he was never the same after that. He began taking too much time in post production on his films and actually had a couple of his later projects taken away from him to be edited by others. He tried to straighten himself out, but in the 1980s, he was considered by many to be unemployable. Just when he felt he was turning a corner in his life, he developed cancer that spread to his liver and colon. He died on December 27, 1988. Actor Sean Penn dedicated his first film as a director, The Indian Runner (1991) to Ashby and John Cassavetes, even though Penn was never directed by either one. Because he did not have a set visual style, many mistake this for no style at all. His career is not discussed as often as the careers of some of his contemporaries.

  • Birthday

    Sep 02, 1929
  • Place of Birth

    Ogden, Utah, USA

Known For


3 wins & 11 nominations

Guild of German Art House Cinemas
Foreign Film (Ausländischer Film)
Winner - Guild Film Award - Gold
Valladolid International Film Festival
Best Film
Winner - Golden Spike
Show more

Movies & TV Shows