Norman Foster (director)

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Norman Foster
Norman-Foster-1927-Vandamm.jpg
Norman Foster in 1927
Born Norman Foster Hoeffer
(1903-12-13)December 13, 1903
Richmond, Indiana, U.S.
Died July 7, 1976(1976-07-07) (aged 72)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, director, screenwriter
Years active 1926–1976
Spouse(s) Claudette Colbert (m. 1928; div. 1935)
Sally Blane (m. 1935; his death 1976)
Children 2

Norman Foster (born Norman Foster Hoeffer, December 13, 1903 – July 7, 1976) was an American actor, film director and screenwriter.

Life and career[edit]

Norman Foster was born Norman Foster Hoeffer on December 13, 1903,[1] in Richmond, Indiana.[2] He originally became a cub reporter on a local newspaper in Indiana before going to New York in the hopes of getting a better newspaper job but there were no vacancies.

He tried a number of theatrical agencies before getting stage work and later appeared on Broadway in the George S. Kaufman/Ring Lardner play June Moon in 1929. He also acted in London.[citation needed] He began working in crowd scenes in films before moving to bigger parts.

Foster wrote several plays. He gave up acting in the late 1930s to pursue directing, although he occasionally appeared in movies and television programs. Foster directed a number of Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto mysteries, including Charlie Chan in Panama (1940), Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939), Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939), Charlie Chan in Reno (1939), Mr. Moto's Last Warning (1939), Mysterious Mr. Moto (1938), Mr. Moto Takes a Chance (1938), Thank You, Mr. Moto (1937), and Think Fast, Mr. Moto (1937). He co-wrote and directed the "My Friend Bonito" segment of Orson Welles's unfinished Pan-American anthology film It's All True (1941).[3]:310–311 Initially engaged as a second-unit director who would film background material,[4]:189 Foster came to do much more and the quality of his work would have been recognized with a co-director credit on the film.[5]:31–34 A co-production of RKO Pictures and the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, the non-commercial project was later terminated by RKO.[3]:41

As Welles prepared to go to Brazil to film the Rio Carnival for It's All True, he temporarily suspended "Bonito" (for which filming was never completed) so Foster could return to Hollywood to direct Journey into Fear (1943). Welles played a small on-screen role in the Mercury Production, and denied that he took over direction of the film himself.[6]:155

Some of Foster's other directorial efforts include Kiss the Blood off My Hands (1948), Rachel and the Stranger (1948), Woman on the Run (1950) and The Sign of Zorro (1958). He directed the Davy Crockett segments of the Walt Disney anthology television series Disneyland that were edited into the feature films Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955) and Davy Crockett and the River Pirates (1956). Foster's second verse of his lyrics to Disney's Zorro theme song which was "He is polite, but the wicked take flight, when they catch the sight of Zorro. He's friend of the weak, and the poor, and the meek, this very unique Senor Zorro." never aired on the television series. This version of the Zorro Theme including these verses was performed by The Chordettes. These verses later appeared in the Disney Sing-Along Songs version of the Zorro Theme in its 1987 direct-to-video episode, "Heigh-Ho". In 1967, he directed Brighty of the Grand Canyon, based on a children's novel by Marguerite Henry about a burro in the Grand Canyon National Park.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Foster was married to Claudette Colbert from 1928 until their divorce in 1935. In October 1935, he wed actress Sally Blane, an older sister of Loretta Young. They had their first child (born in June 1936) named Gretchen (Loretta Young's birth name). They also had a son, Robert.[7]

Death[edit]

Foster died in 1976 from cancer in Santa Monica, aged 72. He and Blane are interred in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City.[citation needed]

Theatre credits[edit]

Date Title Role Notes
September 14 – November 1926 Just Life Dick Fellows Henry Miller's Theatre, New York[8]
October 20 – November 1926 Sure Fire Philip Cole Waldorf Theatre, New York[8]
January 18 – July 1927 The Barker Chris Miller Biltmore Theatre, New York[8]
November 22, 1927 – March 1928 The Racket Dave Ames Ambassador Theatre, New York[8]
September 12 – December 1928 Night Hostess Rags Conway Martin Beck Theatre, New York[8]
November 1 – December 1928 Tin Pan Alley Fred Moran Biltmore Theatre, New York[8]
April 24 – May 11, 1929 Carnival Bobbie Spencer Forrest Theatre, New York[8]
October 9, 1929 – June 4, 1930 June Moon Fred M. Stevens Broadhurst Theatre, New York[8]
December 31, 1930 – January 1931 Savage Rhythm Writer (with Harry Hamilton)
John Golden Theatre, New York[8]

Film and television credits[edit]

Actor[edit]

Norman Foster and Claudette Colbert in Young Man of Manhattan (1930)
Norman Foster and Clara Bow in No Limit (1931)
Norman Foster and Carole Lombard in It Pays to Advertise (1931)
Norman Foster and Ginger Rogers in Rafter Romance (1933)
Year Title Role Notes
1929 Gentlemen of the Press Ted Hanley [9]
1929 Love at First Sight Richard Norton [9]
1930 Young Man of Manhattan Toby McLean [9]
1931 No Limit Douglas Thayer [9]
1931 It Pays to Advertise Rodney Martin [9]
1931 Men Call It Love Jack Mills [9]
1931 Up Pops the Devil Steve Merrick [9]
1931 Confessions of a Co-Ed Hal [9]
1931 Reckless Living Doggie [9]
1931 Under Eighteen Alf [9]
1932 Girl of the Rio Johnny Powell [9]
1932 Play Girl Wallie Dennis [9]
1932 Steady Company Jim [9]
1932 Alias the Doctor Stephan Brenner [9]
1932 Cohens and Kellys in Hollywood, TheThe Cohens and Kellys in Hollywood Melville Cohen [9]
1932 Week-End Marriage Ken Hays [9]
1932 Skyscraper Souls Tom [9]
1932 Strange Justice Wally Baker [9]
1932 Prosperity John Warren [9]
1933 State Fair Wayne Frake [9]
1933 Professional Sweetheart Jim Davey [9]
1933 Pilgrimage Jim Jessop [9]
1933 Rafter Romance Jack Bacon [9]
1933 Walls of Gold Barnes Ritchie [9]
1934 Orient Express Carlton Myatt [9]
1934 Strictly Dynamite Nick Montgomery [9]
1934 Elinor Norton Bill Carroll [9]
1935 Behind the Evidence Tony Sheridan
1935 Behind the Green Lights Dave Britten [9]
1935 Hoosier Schoolmaster, TheThe Hoosier Schoolmaster Ralph Hartsook [9]
1935 Ladies Crave Excitement Dan Phelan [9]
1935 Superspeed Randy Rogers [9]
1935 Bishop Misbehaves, TheThe Bishop Misbehaves Donald Meadows [9]
1935 Escape from Devil's Island Andre Dion [9]
1935 Suicide Squad Larry Parker [9]
1936 Leavenworth Case, TheThe Leavenworth Case Bob Gryce [9]
1936 Everybody's Old Man Ronald Franklin [9]
1936 Fatal Lady Philip Roberts [9]
1936 High Tension Eddie Mitchell [9]
1936 I Cover Chinatown Eddie Barton [9]
1937 Fire Trap, TheThe Fire Trap Bill Farnsworth [9]
1938 Mysterious Mr. Moto Hoodlum in tavern Uncredited[9]
1965 Merry Wives of Windsor, TheThe Merry Wives of Windsor Falstaff Also producer, screenwriter[9][2]
TBD Other Side of the Wind, TheThe Other Side of the Wind Billy Boyle [10][11]

Director[edit]

Jayne Regan and Peter Lorre in Thank You, Mr. Moto (1937)
Promotional photo of Dolores del Río and Joseph Cotten for Journey into Fear (1943)
Year Title Notes
1936 I Cover Chinatown [9]
1937 Fair Warning Also screenwriter[9]
1937 Think Fast, Mr. Moto Also screenwriter[9]
1937 Thank You, Mr. Moto Also screenwriter[9]
1938 Walking Down Broadway [9]
1938 Mr. Moto Takes a Chance Also screenwriter[9]
1938 Mysterious Mr. Moto Also screenwriter[9]
1939 Mr. Moto's Last Warning Also screenwriter[9]
1939 Charlie Chan in Reno [9]
1939 Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation Also screenwriter[9]
1939 Charlie Chan at Treasure Island [9]
1939 20,000 Men a Year Second unit director, uncredited[9]
1940 High School [9]
1940 Northwest Passage Second unit director, uncredited[9]
1940 Charlie Chan in Panama [9]
1940 Viva Cisco Kid [9]
1940 Maryland Second unit director, uncredited[9]
1941 Ride, Kelly, Ride [9]
1941 Scotland Yard [9]
1941 It's All True Segment "My Friend Bonito"
Also screenwriter; unfinished film[3]:310–311
1943 Journey into Fear [9]
1943 Santa [1][12]
1944 Escape, TheThe Escape [1][12]
1945 Hour of Truth, TheThe Hour of Truth [1]
1946 ahijado de la muerte, ElEl ahijado de la muerte [1]
1948 Rachel and the Stranger [9]
1948 Kiss the Blood Off My Hands [9]
1949 Tell It to the Judge [9]
1950 Father Is a Bachelor [9]
1950 Woman on the Run Also screenwriter[9]
1952 Navajo Also screenwriter[9]
1952 Sky Full of Moon Also screenwriter[9]
1953 Sombrero Also screenwriter[9]
1965 Indian Paint Also screenwriter[9]
1966 Brighty of the Grand Canyon Also screenwriter[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Hinkson, Jake (April 30, 2011). "Norman, Is That You? The Long Wait of Norman Foster". Bright Lights Film Journal. Retrieved 2016-11-06. 
  2. ^ a b Katz, Ephraim (1998). The Film Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). New York: HarperPerennial. p. 481. ISBN 0-06-273492-X. 
  3. ^ a b c Benamou, Catherine L. (2007). It's All True: Orson Welles's Pan-American Odyssey. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-24247-0. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Richard, "It's Not Quite All True". Sight & Sound, Volume 39 Number 4, Autumn 1970.
  5. ^ Callow, Simon, Hello Americans. New York: Viking, 2006 ISBN 0-670-87256-3
  6. ^ Welles, Orson, and Peter Bogdanovich, edited by Jonathan Rosenbaum, This is Orson Welles. New York: HarperCollins, 1992; ISBN 0-06-016616-9.
  7. ^ Lewis, Judy (1994). Uncommon Knowledge. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Norman Foster". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2016-11-06. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt "Norman Foster". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-11-06. 
  10. ^ Graver, Gary (2008). Rausch, Andrew J., ed. Making Movies with Orson Welles; A Memoir. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. pp. 47–48. ISBN 0-8108-6140-2. 
  11. ^ Karp, Josh (2015). Orson Welles's Last Movie: The Making of The Other Side of the Wind. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 144. ISBN 9781250007087. 
  12. ^ a b "Norman Foster". BFI Film & TV Database. British Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-11-06. 

External links[edit]