Stuart Rosenberg
Born(1927-08-11)August 11, 1927
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
DiedMarch 15, 2007(2007-03-15) (aged 79)
OccupationFilm director
SpouseMargot Pohoryles

Stuart Rosenberg (August 11, 1927 – March 15, 2007) was an American film and television director whose motion pictures include Cool Hand Luke (1967), Voyage of the Damned (1976), The Amityville Horror (1979), and The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984).[1] He was noted for his work with actor Paul Newman.

Early life

Rosenberg was born in Brooklyn, the son of Sara (née Kaminsky) and David Rosenberg.[citation needed] He studied Irish literature at New York University, and began working as an apprentice film editor while in graduate school.


After advancing to film editor, he began directing with episodes of the television series Decoy (1957–1959), starring Beverly Garland as an undercover police woman. It was the first police series on American television built around a female protagonist. Over the next two years, Rosenberg directed 15 episodes of the police-detective series Naked City (1958–1963), which like Decoy was shot in New York City. Meanwhile, Rosenberg was then hired to direct his first film, Murder, Inc. (1960), starring Peter Falk, but a strike by both the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild resulted in his leaving the film and being replaced by its producer, Burt Balaban. Rosenberg returned to television, directing 15 episodes of The Untouchables, eight of the anthology series Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, five of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and three of The Twilight Zone, along with episodes of Adventures in Paradise, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, Ben Casey, Rawhide with Clint Eastwood, and Falk's The Trials of O'Brien. He won a 1963 Emmy Award for directing "The Madman", one of his 19 episodes of the courtroom drama The Defenders.

Following the U.S.-German co-production Question 7 (1961), filmed in West Berlin, Rosenberg shot the 1965 TV movie Memorandum for a Spy and the 1966 telefilm Fame Is the Name of the Game, then made his major-studio debut with the Paul Newman hit Cool Hand Luke (1967). Rosenberg had come across Donn Pearce's chain gang novel and developed the film with actor Jack Lemmon's production company Jalem. Years later, Rosenberg replaced Bob Rafelson on the prison movie Brubaker (1980).

Other Rosenberg films include The April Fools (1969), with French actress Catherine Deneuve in her American debut opposite Jack Lemmon (who plays the first Rosenberg lead character named H. Brubaker); the Newman movies WUSA (1970), Pocket Money (1972) and The Drowning Pool (1975); the Walter Matthau police-detective thriller The Laughing Policeman (1973); the Charles Bronson action picture Love and Bullets (1979); and another action movie Let's Get Harry (1986), for which Rosenberg used the pseudonym Alan Smithee. He was famous for straight dramas and especially crime films. The most acclaimed movie he did after 'Cool Hand Luke' was The Pope of Greenwich Village.

He made his last film, the independent drama My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys in 1991.

In 1992, Rosenberg became a teacher at the American Film Institute. Among his students were Todd Field, Darren Aronofsky, Mark Waters, Scott Silver, Doug Ellin and Rob Schmidt.[2]

Personal life and legacy

Rosenberg died in 2007 of a heart attack at his home in Beverly Hills, California. He was survived by his wife Margot Pohoryles, whom he had met at New York University; son Benjamin Rosenberg, a first assistant director; as well as four grandchildren.[2]

His students' films The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Alphabet Killer, and The Wrestler, released in 2008, were dedicated in his memory.