Director, Producer, Writer
( b. Jan 09, 1929 Antwerp, BELGIUM - circa Mar 18, 2012 Manhattan, New York, USA ) Male
Ulu Grosbard was a director whose affinity for naturalistic drama shaped critical successes like the original Broadway production of David Mamet’s American Buffalo and the film version of John Gregory Dunne’s novel “True Confessions."
Mr. Grosbard was born in Antwerp Belgium where his parents, Morris and Rose, ran a haberdashery (Ulu was a childhood nickname that stuck, given to him by his older brother, Jack.) The family fled the Nazis and waited out the war in Havana, where young Ulu worked as a diamond cutter. When the family was finally allowed into the United States, he earned a B.A. and an M.A. in English from the University of Chicago and went on to Yale Drama School before serving in the Army in the mid-1950s.
Mr. Grosbard’s work was divided evenly between the theater and the movies, and though he had a long career, stretching across nearly half a century, he was highly selective in his projects. Known for his skill in cajoling substantive performances from actors and his unhurried, perfectionist’s approach to polishing a script and staging a scene, he worked with distinguished playwrights on Broadway, including Arthur Miller, Beth Henley and Woody Allen.
His apprentice work as a director was on some high-profile films, assisting Robert Rossen on “The Hustler,” Elia Kazan on “Splendor in the Grass” and Arthur Penn on “The Miracle Worker.”
He earned his first New York stage directing credit in 1962 with an Off Broadway play by William Snyder, The Days and Nights of Beebee Fenstermaker.
Source: The New York Times.