Albert Romolo Broccoli (April 5, 1909 – June 27, 1996) known to millions of movie fans as "Cubby" Broccoli (a nickname used by a cousin), produced more than forty movies, but will be remembered by most for his contribution to one of the most successful film franchises in history, James Bond.
Life and Filmography
Broccoli was born into an Italian-American family on Long Island. The family moved to Florida, and on the death of his father Giovanni, Broccoli moved to live with his grandmother in Astoria, Queens in New York City.
In 1940, at the age of 31, Cubby married actress Gloria Blondell (younger sister of Joan Blondell); they later divorced in 1945 without having had children. Having worked many jobs, including casket maker, Broccoli became involved in the film industry. He started at the bottom working as a gofer on the 1941 film The Outlaw. Here he met Howard Hughes, who oversaw production of the movie when director Howard Hawks was fired.
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941, Broccoli joined the United States Navy, returning to Hollywood in 1945 to work as an agent at the Famous Artists Agency.
At the beginning of the 1950s, Broccoli moved once more, this time to London. A shrewd businessman, he was able to make good use of the subsidy given by the British government to subsidise films made in the UK with British casts and crews. In 1951, Broccoli married Nedra Clark, who died after giving birth to their daughter, Tina.
In the 1960s, Broccoli met and married actress and novelist, Dana Wilson (née Dana Natol), who died of cancer in 2004 at the age of 82.
In 1962, Broccoli teamed with Harry Saltzman to create the production company, EON Productions and its parent company Danjaq, LLC. Broccoli produced the first Bond movie, Dr. No, that year, and his involvement in the series continued until his death. His family, particularly daughter Barbara Broccoli and stepson Michael G. Wilson, have since produced the James Bond films.
Besides the Bond movies, Broccoli produced the Dick Van Dyke classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, from the book by James Bond author Ian Fleming, and the Bob Hope vehicle Call Me Bwana, the only film made by EON Productions outside of the James Bond franchise.
In 1981, he was honored with The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for his work in film and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Broccoli died at his home in Beverly Hills in 1996 at the age of 87 of natural causes and was interred in Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles following a Catholic funeral mass, attended by some of the James Bond movies' cast members, such as Desmond Llewelyn, Maryam d'Abo and Timothy Dalton.
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