'John Huston' was a man of many interests--painting, boxing, sculpture, gambling, fox-hunting, etc. He had four children: Tony and
Angelica (with Ricki Soma), Danny (with another woman), and Allegra (Ricki with another man, but Huston raised the girl after Ricki died in a car crash). Huston wrote a somewhat sanitized autobiography in 1980 (friends
who read it said, "Good book, John--who's it about?").
Evelyn Keyes (1946 - 1950) (divorced)
'Dorothy Harvey' (? - ?)
'Lesley Black' (? - ?)
'Ricki Soma' (? - ?)
'Celeste (Cici); Shane'
Frequently gives his father Walter Huston a small role [father]
At one time he kept a pet monkey. His wife of
the time, Evelyn Keyes, became fed up with the noise and the mess and told Huston that either she or the monkey would have to leave. "Honey, " replied Huston, "It's you!"
Son of the actor
Walter Huston, whom he directed and with whom he bit-played in 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre' (1948).
Son Tony Huston (I) appeared with him in 'The List of Adrian Messenger' (1963).
Appeared with daughter Anjelica Huston in 'A Walk with Love and Death' (1969).
Father of director Danny Huston.
(1983) American Film Institute Life Achievement Award
Interred at Hollywood
Memorial Cemetery (now called Hollywood Forever), Hollywood, California, USA. Became an Irish citizen in 1964.
"Do it - try it - fight - write - act - direct - indulge - survive. John Huston can do it all. And he rubbed my back when I was sick." - Katharine Hepburn
Toward the end of his life he
listed what he would change: 1) I would spend more time with my children. 2) I would make my money before spending it. 3) I would learn the joys of wine instead of hard liquor. 4) I would not smoke cigarettes when I had
pneumonia. 5) I would not marry the fifth time.
Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Director, screenwriter, actor. (b. Aug. 5, 1906, Nevada, Mo.; d. Aug. 28, 1987.) A restless man with
seemingly boundless energy but diffuse ambitions, John Huston made his mark on movie history as a writer and director, with many enduring screen classics and an almost equal number of flops to his credit. Born into a
family of actors (his father was the distinguished Walter Huston), he performed on stage with his parents at the age of three. A sickly child, Huston eventually achieved physical fitness and even took up boxing in his
teens. Tiring of that, he flirted with an acting career and married his high-school sweetheart, only to abandon both for the promise of adventure in the Cavalry. He wrote his first play, "Frankie and Johnny,"
in 1928. With the help of his father, John was given a Universal screenwriting contract in 1932. He contributed dialogue to two of his father's films,A House Divided andLaw and Order as well asMurders in the Rue Morgue
(all 1932), before leaving the studio abruptly to go to Europe. Virtually penniless, he wandered around London and Paris for months before returning to America, where he briefly edited a magazine and dabbled in acting
In 1938 Huston, by now remarried and over 30 years old, decided to "settle down" and apply himself to a career. He resumed writing for the screen, landing a Warner Bros. contract in 1938.
After contributing to scripts forJezebel (1938),Juarez (1939),Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940, for which he secured his first Academy Award nomination), andHigh Sierra (1941), Huston lobbied studio executives for a
property to direct. He was given Dashiell Hammett's private-eye novel, "The Maltese Falcon," a studioowned property that had already been filmed twice in the last decade. Huston crafted a taut, no-nonsense
screenplay that was more faithful to the novel than the previous two adaptations, and eagerly acceptedHigh Sierra star Humphrey Bogart as his leading man (after George Raft turned the part down). His father, still
enjoying tremendous popularity, took a brief cameo for good luck.The Maltese Falcon (1941), a surprise hit, became the definitive private-eye picture, catapulting Bogart to major stardom, earning Huston another Oscar
nod for the script, and cementing his status as a top director.
After writingSergeant York (also 1941), which netted Huston his third Academy Award nomination, and directing the Bogart vehicleAcross the Pacific
and the domestic dramaIn This Our Life (both 1942), Huston went into the Signal Corps and turned out the wartime documentariesReport from the Aleutians (1943),The Battle of San Pietro andLet There Be Light (both 1945),
which were among the finest produced during World War 2. (The latter, a straightforward study of psychological problems in the military, was banned and went unseen until the 1970s.) He saw action on both the Pacific and
European fronts, and attained the rank of major.
Back in Hollywood after the conflict, he made uncredited contributions to the screenplays ofThe Killers andThe Stranger (both 1946) before resuming his career at
Warner Bros. He initially tackled B. Traven's dense novelThe Treasure of the Sierra Madre for which he recruited Bogart, his father Walter, and RKO cowboy star Tim Holt. Filmed in 1946 but unreleased until 1948, the
screen version of their ill-fated odyssey in search of gold in Mexico won Huston Oscars both for his direction and his screenplay (and won Walter a Best Supporting Actor statuette). John also contributed an amusing
cameo near the beginning of the picture. His other Warners films of the period,Three Strangers (1946, for which he wrote the script),Key Largo (1948, also with Bogart), andWe Were Strangers (1949), were somewhat less
successful, artistically if not commercially.
Huston moved to MGM, where he was immediately assigned to direct the Biblical spectacleQuo Vadis? a project for which he had no enthusiasm whatsoever. He persuaded
studio head Louis B. Mayer to release him from that obligation, and then produced, wrote, and directedThe Asphalt Jungle (1950), a gritty urban crime drama that earned him more Oscar nominations and, ultimately, became
a much-imitated classic of the film noir genre. Huston's next MGM film,The Red Badge of Courage (1951), faithfully adapted from Stephen Crane's harrowing Civil War novel, flopped miserably upon initial release but has
since come to be recognized as one of Huston's best films. (He always despaired that it was taken from him and recut, however. The saga of its making, and unmaking, was recounted in Lillian Ross' classic 1952 book
Picture) He collaborated with prominent film critic (and faithful Huston booster) James Agee on the script forThe African Queen (1951), which teamed Humphrey Bogart with Katharine Hepburn for unusually felicitous
results. The film's critical and commercial success restored Huston's reputation and, once again, resulted in Oscar nods for his and Agee's screenplay and his direction; it also earned Bogey his only Academy
Award.P>Moulin Rouge (1952), a lush, colorful biography of the artist Toulouse-Lautrec starring Jose Ferrer, also netted Huston a Best Director nomination and was well received. But the director's subsequent efforts
were erratic (possibly reflecting tumultuous changes in his personal life during the period).Beat the Devil (1954), filmed in Italy, was something of an in joke for Huston and Humphrey Bogart, with a spoofy,Maltese
Falcon-esque script by the director and Truman Capote. It took him three years to getMoby Dick (1956) on screens, and Huston's moody treatment of the Melville story seemed inaccessible to many. After that, the quality
and success of Huston's output varied considerably:Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) gave him another Oscar nomination (for his script), butThe Barbarian and the Geisha, The Roots of Heaven (both 1958),The Unforgiven
(1960),Freud (1962),The List of Adrian Messenger (1963),The Night of the Iguana (1964),The Bible (1966),Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967),Casino Royale (also 1967, codirected with several others),Sinful Davey, A Walk
With Love and Death (both 1969, and both featuring his teenaged daughter Anjelica), andThe Kremlin Letter (1970) showed a progressive and precipitous decline. OnlyThe Misfits (1961) seemed up to Huston's earlier
works-and even this film has achieved greater stature in the years since its initial release.
Huston began his screen acting career in 1963, earning an Oscar nod for his first supporting role, inThe Cardinal He
also appeared in his ownAdrian Messenger, The Bible (as Noah),Casino Royale andA Walk With Love and Death (1969), and worked for other directors inCandy (1968),De Sade (1969),Myra Breckinridge (1970),The Deserter
(1971),Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973),Chinatown (1974, a standout as the film's heavy),Breakout, The Wind and the Lion (both 1975),Sherlock Holmes in New York (1976 telefilm),The Great Battle (1978),The
Visitor (1979),Winter Kills (1979, as a Joseph P. Kennedy prototype), Lovesick (1983), andMomo (1986).
Huston directed and took a cameo role inThe Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), a muddled revisionist Western, and the forgettable The Mackintosh Man (1973).Fat
City (1972), a gritty story about a washed-up boxer, helped rehabilitate his directorial reputation, andThe Man Who Would Be King (1975), a Kipling adventure story Huston originally hoped to film in the 1950s with
Bogart and Clark Gable, restored him to critical favor with an Oscar nomination.Wise Blood (1979) showed the aging director more than equal to the task of adapting Flannery O'Connor's Southern Gothic. But these were
small, personal films; his more mainstream studio filmsPhobia (1980),Victory (1981), andAnnie (1982, his only musical) were unmitigated disasters. What's more, Huston's health was failing. But he rebounded-physically
and artistically-for a trio of films as mature and provocative as any he'd ever made, all of them adapted from unusual (even "difficult") novels:Under the Volcano (1984),Prizzi's Honor (1985), a black comedy
about Mafia assassins that got Huston his final Oscar nod (and won daughter Anjelica an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress), andThe Dead (1987), a James Joyce story adapted by his son Tony (and which also featured
Anjelica). (He also directed a special film commemorating America's Bicentennial,Independence in 1976.) At the time of his death Huston was handling preproduction chores and preparing the story forMr. North (1988),
which was ultimately directed by his son Danny. His role in the film was assumed by Robert Mitchum.
Huston, who was as colorful as any character he depicted on film, wrote an autobiography, "An Open
Book," in 1980. Screenwriter Peter Viertel's fictionalized chronicle of Huston directingThe African Queen "White Hunter, Black Heart," published in 1953, became a film in 1990, with Clint Eastwood doing a
pretty fair imitation of the director. Huston is also the only person to direct both a parent and a child to Oscar-winning performances. In fact, the Huston family is the only one in the Academy annals with three
generations of Oscar winners. He was once married to actress Evelyn Keyes.