By Robert Halmi Sr., Dan Gabbay
On July 30, 2014, presently after finishing this autobiography, Robert Halmi, the prolific manufacturer of tv videos and miniseries, died on the age of ninety. Hailed by means of type as "A Gulliver between television motion picture Producers," he had a hand in additional than two hundred long-form narrative tv tasks from 1989's Lonesome Dove, starring Robert Duvall, to 2000's "Don Quixote" starring John Lithgow. jam-packed with quite a bit of the marquee expertise of the previous century, his existence story—from battling opposed to the Nazis to turning into a photographer for all times and activities Illustrated to his tv work—is really amazing.
Robert Halmi was once born in Hungary to a father who served as reliable photographer to the Vatican and the final Habsburg court docket. while the Nazis invaded, he fought within the resistance, and prefer a lot of his countrymen he was once captured and condemned to loss of life. however the advancing purple military freed him prior to the Germans may perhaps perform the execution. Seeing the risks of the increasing Soviet empire, which additionally took carry of his place of origin in an army dictatorship, he became heel and joined the OSS to struggle the autumn of the Iron Curtain. In 1951, with $5 in his pocket and a Leica round his neck, he made his technique to the USA. As a photographer for all times and activities Illustrated, he back showcased his Bond-like skills for chasing event and dishonest loss of life by means of dangling from helicopters, searching tremendous online game in Africa with dictators, blowing himself up, marooning himself on a glacier for 3 weeks, or even portray Marilyn Monroe's bare physique for a photograph shoot. within the 3rd act of his rollicking existence, as a television magnate, he acquired an astounding 448 Emmy nods whereas befriending a Who's Who of Hollywood and dealing with the good boldface actors of our time: Jimmy Cagney gave him his final functionality. He chased George C. Scott (on a bender) via a inn. Omar Sharif did the Twist for him. He watched Patrick Stewart approximately drown at the again of an animatronic whale, and Isabella Rossellini braved a herd of rampaging elephants for him. He has lived the yank dream to the hilt. A fast moving glance again at a existence continuously in development, his remarkable tale finds approximately a century of bold and boundless optimism even within the face of poor odds. It's a narrative of conflict, love, and ambition, the fundamental American story of a lifestyles lived huge.
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Additional info for American Dreamer: My Story of Survival, Adventure, and Success
At Sárospatak I learned how to use my mind. In the Carpathians I learned how to live by my wits. Three and a half weeks into our stay, the monotony was broken. As was a Hungarian boy’s leg. I didn’t know his name, but he was a kid, no more than seventeen. He had no friends and was scared all the time. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and hear him crying. But there was nothing we could do to comfort him. We were all lonely and scared. The accident happened early in the morning when a giant tree limb, cut but not properly secured, came crashing down on the boy’s leg.
Hitler had eyes and ears everywhere—and heard all the same rumors we did. The talk of guns stockpiled in Budapest basements in preparation for a government coup. Stories about Hungarian envoys on secret missions to Ankara, Istanbul, Washington, and London, and their attempts to negotiate a separate peace with the Americans and British. , the regent’s son and an avid Anglophile, urging his father to sever Hungary’s ties to Germany. Every day there were new rumors of Hungarian resistance and rebellion, and we ate them up like kids sneaking snacks from a cookie jar.
The jail was also a distribution camp, and on the morning of our second day there, a ruddy German officer accompanied by a couple of toadies with clipboards came into the basement, pointed out the four of us as well as a dozen or so more young men our age. We were escorted in our handcuffs and at gunpoint out of the hotel to a waiting truck, which took us to a train, which took us on an eight-hour ride north through what used to be Czechoslovakia to some forgettable village on the Polish border.
American Dreamer: My Story of Survival, Adventure, and Success by Robert Halmi Sr., Dan Gabbay