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Albert Broccoli (Albert Broccoli Broccoli)

Albert Broccoli

At the beginning of the 1950s, Albert Broccoli moved once more, this time to London, where the British government provided subsidies to film productions made in the UK with British casts and crews. Together with Irving Allen, Broccoli formed Warwick Films that made a prolific and successful series of films for Columbia Pictures. When Broccoli became interested in bringing Ian Fleming’s James Bond character into features, he discovered that the rights already belonged to the Canadian producer Harry Saltzman, who had long wanted to break into film, and who had produced several stage plays and films with only modest success. When the two were introduced by a common friend, screenwriter Wolf Mankowitz, Saltzman refused to sell the rights, but agreed to partner with Broccoli and co-produce the films, which led to the creation of the production company EON Productions and its parent (holding) company Danjaq, LLC, named after their two wives’ first names—Dana and Jacquiline. Saltzman and Albert Broccoli produced the first Bond movie, Dr. No, in 1962. Their second, From Russia with Love, was a break-out success and from then on the films grew in cost, action, and ambition. With larger casts, more difficult stunts and special effects, and a continued dependence on exotic locations, the franchise became essentially a full-time job. Broccoli made one notable attempt at a non-Bond film, an adaptation of Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 1968, and due to legal wrangling over the rights to story elements, ceded producer credit on Thunderball to Kevin McClory. Nonetheless, by the mid-1960s, Broccoli had put nearly all of his energies into the Bond series. Saltzman’s interests continued to range apart from the series, including production of a loose trilogy of spy films based on Len Deighton’s Harry Palmer, a character who operates in a parallel universe to Bond, with all the danger but none of the glamour and gadgets. Saltzman and Broccoli had differences over Saltzman’s outside commitments, but in the end it was Saltzman who withdrew from Danjaq and EON after a series of financial mishaps. While Saltzman’s departure brought the franchise a step closer to corporate control, Broccoli lost relatively little independence or prestige in the bargain. From then until his death, the racy credits sequence to every EON Bond film would begin with the words “Albert R. Broccoli Presents.” Although from the 1970s onward the films became lighter in tone and looser in plot, at times less successful with critics, the series distinguished itself in production values and continued to appeal to audiences.

In 1966, Albert Broccoli was in Japan with other producers scouting locations to film the next James Bond film You Only Live Twice. Albert had a ticket booked on BOAC Flight 911. He cancelled his ticket on that day so he could see a ninja demonstration. Flight 911 crashed after clear air turbulence. In 1981 he was honored with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for his work in film. The award was presented at the 1982 Academy Awards ceremony by the current James Bond at that time, Roger Moore. Broccoli also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (as Cubby Broccoli). A thoroughbred horse racing enthusiast, Albert Broccoli owned Brocco, who won the 1993 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park at Arcadia, California. An autobiography was published posthumously in 1999, entitled When the Snow Melts: The Autobiography of Cubby Broccoli. The end of Tomorrow Never Dies displays the dedication “In loving memory of Albert R. (Cubby) Broccoli.” The Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre is one of three situated in the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts Complex, completed in 2010. Albert Broccoli died at his home in Beverly Hills in 1996 at the age of 87 of heart failure. He had undergone a triple heart bypass earlier that year. He was interred in Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles following a Roman Catholic Funeral Mass of Christian Burial at The Church of the Good Shepherd, Beverly Hills, California attended by some of the James Bond movies’ cast members, including Desmond Llewelyn, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Maryam d’Abo.

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Born

  • April, 05, 1909
  • USA
  • New York, New York

Died

  • June, 27, 1996
  • USA
  • Beverly Hills, California

Cause of Death

  • heart failure

Cemetery

  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
  • Los Angeles, California
  • USA

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