Hal Ashby

Hal Ashby ( born September 2, 1929 in Ogden, Utah, † December 27, 1988 in Malibu, California ) was an American film director and editor.


Ashby's Mormon parents divorced early. He lived with his father who then took his own life (Hal found his body ). Ashby was already divorced with 19 again, when he decided to go from Utah to California. Although he had no college education, but still got a job in the press department at Universal. Once in the movie business, he rose to the average wizard, as he worked on several film studios.

His first ever responsible work was the film The Cincinnati Kid by Norman Jewison, for whom he worked exclusively as an editor. For Jewison's 1967 film produced In the Heat of the Night Ashby won the Academy Award for Best Editing.

Cooperation with Jewison eventually led him to work as a director. His debut as a director, he was in 1970 with the film The homeowner, who made him one of the protagonists of the New Hollywood. His second film, Harold and Maude, initially appeared to be a failure, but he became afterwards a classic. The love story of longing for death young Harold (played by Bud Cort ) and the defiant old lady Maude (played by Ruth Gordon) still attracts many spectators in the cinema.

In the 1980s, Ashby could not build on its previous successes. In 1987 he directed the pilot film Beverly Hills Buntz, a spin -off of the series Beverly Hills Blues. The film was a flop.

Hal Ashby died from the effects of cancer.