Hollywood director Robert Mulligan dies at 83

December 23rd, 2008 - 7:15 am ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles, Dec 23 (DPA) Robert Mulligan, the director of the movie classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” which brought the issue of entrenched racism in the US South to the screen, has died. He was 83.Mulligan died Friday of heart disease at his Connecticut home, according to an announcement by his family Monday.

Though he never won an Oscar himself, he directed five different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Gregory Peck and Mary Badham in “Mockingbird”, Natalie Wood in “Love with the Proper Stranger”, Ruth Gordon in “Inside Daisy Clover” and Ellen Burstyn in “Same Time, Next Year”.

Mulligan was born Aug 23, 1925, in New York and worked briefly on the copy desk of The New York Times before starting his show business career as a messenger boy at CBS.

He soon became a director of live television shows before moving to film.

The classic 1962 adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” was named the No 25 film of all time by the American Film Institute. Both Peck, who played Atticus Finch, the lawyer and father in the film about racial injustice, and Badham, who played his daughter, are deceased.

Harper Lee, 82, who wrote the book on which the movie was based, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom of the United States for her contribution to literature in 2007.

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