1. John Marcellus Huston was an American film director, screenwriter and actor.
2. He wrote the screenplays for most of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are today considered classics: The Maltese Falcon .
3. During his 46-year career, Huston received 15 Oscar nominations, won twice, and directed both his father, Walter Huston, and daughter, Anjelica Huston, to Oscar wins in different films.
4. Huston was known to direct with the vision of an artist, having studied and worked as a fine art painter in Paris in his early years.
5. He continued to explore the visual aspects of his films throughout his career: sketching each scene on paper beforehand, then carefully framing his characters during the shooting.
6. While most directors rely on post-production editing to shape their final work, Huston instead created his films while they were being shot, making them both more economical and cerebral, with little editing needed.
7. In many films, different groups of people, while struggling toward a common goal, would become doomed, forming “destructive alliances,” giving the films a dramatic and visual tension.
8. Before becoming a Hollywood filmmaker, he had been an amateur boxer, reporter, short-story writer, portrait artist in Paris, a cavalry rider in Mexico, and a documentary filmmaker during World War II.
9. Huston has been referred to as “a titan”, “a rebel”, and a “renaissance man” in the Hollywood film industry.
10. He was the only child of Rhea and Canadian-born Walter Huston, originally Walter Houghston.
11. His father was an actor, initially in vaudeville, and later in films.
12. His mother initially worked as a sports editor for various publications but gave it up after Huston was born.
13. Similarly, his father gave up his stage acting career for steady employment as a civil engineer, although he returned to stage acting within a few years.
14. He would later become highly successful on both Broadway and then in motion pictures.
15. During summer vacations, he traveled with each of his parents separately — with his father on vaudeville tours, and with his mother to racetracks or other sports events.
16. The young Huston benefited greatly from seeing his father act on stage, as he was later drawn to the world of acting. Some critics, such as Lawrence Grobel, surmise that his relationship with his mother may have been the cause of his five marriages, and why few of his relationships lasted.
17. As a child he was often ill and was treated for an enlarged heart and kidney ailments.