Albert R. Broccoli
"Cubby" Broccoli in 1976
Born
Albert Romolo Broccoli

(1909-04-05)April 5, 1909
DiedJune 27, 1996(1996-06-27) (aged 87)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills
Other namesCubby Broccoli
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1953–1996
Notable workJames Bond film series
Spouses
(m. 1940; div. 1945)
Nedra Clark
(m. 1951; died 1958)
(m. 1959)
Children3, including Barbara
Relatives

Albert Romolo Broccoli (/ˈbrɒk.ə.li/ BROK-ə-lee;[1] April 5, 1909 – June 27, 1996), nicknamed "Cubby", was an American film producer who made more than 40 motion pictures throughout his career. Most of the films were made in the United Kingdom and often filmed at Pinewood Studios. Co-founder of Danjaq, LLC and Eon Productions, Broccoli is most notable as the producer of many of the James Bond films. He and Harry Saltzman saw the films develop from relatively low-budget origins to large-budget, high-grossing extravaganzas, and Broccoli's heirs continue to produce new Bond films.

Early life and career

Broccoli was born in the borough of Queens, New York City, the younger of two children of immigrants from the Calabria region of Italy, Giovanni Broccoli and Kristina Vence.[2] He had an older brother.[3] He acquired his nickname after his cousin, mobster Pat DiCicco, began calling him "Kabibble", after a similarly named cartoon character. This was eventually shortened to "Kubbie" and adopted by Broccoli as "Cubby".[2] The family later bought a farm in Smithtown, New York, on Long Island,[4] near their relatives the DiCiccos.[5]

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. Having worked many jobs, including casket maker, Broccoli then became involved in the film industry. He started at the bottom, working as a gofer on Howard Hughes' The Outlaw (1941), which starred Jane Russell. Here he met his lifelong friend Howard Hughes for the first time, while Hughes was overseeing the movie's production after director Howard Hawks was fired. Broccoli rose quickly to the level of assistant director by the time the U.S. entered World War II.[citation needed]

In 1951, he and Irving Allen created Warwick Films in order to take advantage of tax incentives available to them by producing films in the United Kingdom with British crews, while often using American stars. Among the films they produced are The Red Beret (1953), Hell Below Zero (1954), The Black Knight (1954), The Gamma People (1956), Safari (1956), Fire Down Below (1957), and The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960), among others. The Allen-Broccoli partnership ended in part due to a disagreement over acquiring film rights to the James Bond novels as Allen felt they were of poor quality.[6] Broccoli partnered instead with Harry Saltzman in 1961 to form Eon Productions, which would produce the Bond series.[7] (See Production of the James Bond films)

Ted Healy incident

Broccoli is alleged to have been involved in an altercation with comedian and Three Stooges creator Ted Healy outside the Trocadero nightclub, just before the latter's death in 1937. A source alleged that actor Wallace Beery, Broccoli, and film producer Pat DiCicco beat Healy so badly that he fell into a coma and died.[8] There is no documentation in contemporaneous news reports that either Beery or DiCicco was present, allegedly because the investigation and any subsequent newspaper coverage would be routinely sidelined by the MGM studio fixers, Eddie Mannix and Howard Strickling (Mannix would later become a producer and executive for MGM), since Wallace Beery was one of MGM's most highly-paid and important actors. Beery was immediately dispatched to a long vacation in Europe until the story died down.[8] Broccoli admitted that he was indeed involved in a fist fight with Healy at the Trocadero.[9] He later modified his story, stating that a heavily intoxicated Healy had picked a fight with him, the two had briefly scuffled, then shook hands and parted ways.[10] In other reports, Broccoli admitted to pushing Healy, but not striking him.[11]

There is disagreement over whether Healy died as a result of the brawl or due to his well-known alcoholism.[12] Because of the authorities' lack of interest in investigating Healy's death, an autopsy was not performed until after Healy's body had been embalmed, rendering the examiner's note that Healy's organs were "soaked in alcohol" useless in determining a cause of death.[12]

Following the autopsy, the Los Angeles county coroner reported that Healy died of acute toxic nephritis secondary to acute and chronic alcoholism. Police closed their investigation, as there was no indication in the report that his death was caused by physical assault.[11]

Personal life

Broccoli married three times. In 1940, at the age of 31, he married actress Gloria Blondell, the younger sister of Joan Blondell. They later divorced amicably in 1945[13] without having had children. In 1951, he married Nedra Clark, widow of the singer Buddy Clark. They adopted a son, Tony Broccoli, after which Nedra became pregnant. She died in 1958, soon after giving birth to their daughter, Tina. In 1959, Broccoli married actress and novelist Dana Natol. They had a daughter, Barbara Broccoli, and Natol adopted his other two children. Albert Broccoli became a mentor to Dana's teenage son, Michael G. Wilson. The children grew up around the Bond film sets, and his wife's influence on various production decisions is alluded to in many informal accounts.[14]

In 1966, Broccoli was in Japan with other producers scouting locations to film the next James Bond film You Only Live Twice. He had a ticket booked on BOAC Flight 911 and cancelled his ticket on that day so he could see a ninja demonstration. Flight 911 crashed due to clear-air turbulence, killing everyone on board.[15][16]

Michael Wilson worked his way up through the production company to co-write and co-produce. Barbara Broccoli, in her turn, served in several capacities under her father's tutelage from the 1980s on. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have co-produced the films since Albert Broccoli's death.

Later life and honors

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Death

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 an ornate sarcophagus in the outdoor Courts of Remembrance section, at Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles following a funeral mass at The Church of the Good Shepherd, Beverly Hills.[17]

Filmography

Producer with Irving Allen

Executive producer with Irving Allen

Producer with Phil C. Samuel

Producer with Howard Huth

Producer with Harry Saltzman

Executive producer with Harry Saltzman

Producer (solo)

Producer with Michael G. Wilson

Consulting producer

Cameos

See also

References

This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Albert R. Broccoli" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (October 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
  1. ^ Say How? A Pronunciation Guide to Names of Public Figures: B. The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled website. Library of Congress. November 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b Jackson, Kenneth T. (2000). The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, Volume 4. Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-684-80644-0. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  3. ^ "Broccoli, Albert Romolo ("Cubby") | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  4. ^ Broccoli, Albert R.; Zec, Donald (1999). When the Snow Melts: The Autobiography of Cubby Broccoli. Trans-Atlantic Publications. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-7522-1162-6.
  5. ^ Donati, William (2011). The Life and Death of Thelma Todd. McFarland & Company. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-7864-6518-7. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  6. ^ Broccoli, Albert R., Zec Donald. When the Snow Melts, P 104. Boxtree. 1998
  7. ^ "ABOUT EON/DANJAQ". Eon Productions. Eon Productions. Retrieved March 3, 2024.
  8. ^ a b Fleming, E.J. (2004). The Fixers: Eddie Mannix, Howard Strickling, and the MGM Publicity Machine. McFarland. pp. 174–177. ISBN 978-0-7864-2027-8.
  9. ^ "Wealthy Sportsman Confesses Fight with Ted Healy". The Oxnard Daily Courier. December 23, 1937. p. 1. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  10. ^ Cassara, Bill (2014). Nobody's Stooge: Ted Healy. BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1593937683.
  11. ^ a b "Ted Healy Died of Toxic Nephritis". Lewiston Evening Journal. December 23, 1937. p. 8. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  12. ^ a b Braund, Simon (June 2010). "The Tragic And Twisted Tale Of The Three Stooges". Empire Magazine. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  13. ^ "Gloria Blondell Granted Divorce". Kingsport News. Kingsport News. August 8, 1945. p. 3. Retrieved May 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  14. ^ Broccoli, Zec, 1998 Boxtree edition, pp. xi, 171–172, 244, ISBN 978-0-7522-1162-6
  15. ^ Hendrix, Grady (June 26, 2007). "The state of the ninja". Slate Magazine.
  16. ^ 'Inside You Only Live Twice: An Original Documentary,' 2000, MGM Home Entertainment Inc.
  17. ^ "James Bond movie producer Broccoli dies – UPI Archives". Upi.com. June 28, 1996. Retrieved June 10, 2017.