Howard Hawks Overview:

Legendary director, Howard Hawks, was born Howard Winchester Hawks on May 30, 1896 in Goshen, IN. Hawks died at the age of 81 on Dec 26, 1977 in Palm Springs, CA and was cremated and his ashes scattered in desert near Calimesa CA.


Howard Hawks was a rugged, outdoorsy type. He made John Wayne westerns (effectively celebrating the Wayne persona) and strongly characterized action dramas boiling with atmosphere and featuring gutsy women and virile male camaraderie. Hawks 'featured' the nitty gritty of life: his characters are always letting their hair down to tremendous effect. Hawks also made screwball comedies that are riotous masterpieces. Women pursue and men steer clear of marriage, but Hawks gives his ladies the last laugh with almost all of the sharpest lines in the man-woman crossfire in his films.

A very tall, rangy man, Hawks served as an officer in the US Army Air Corps in his younger days, before becoming a designer in an aircraft factory. But he soon longed to return to the film business where he had briefly worked as a prop boy five years earlier. After using his own money to back an epic western (Custer's Last Stand/Bob Hampton of Placer), Hawks made contacts that enabled him to join the script department of Famous Payers-Lasky. He wrote his first screen story, Quicksands, in 1923. He started directing in 1926, but the Hawks classics really begin with the sound era.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Directors).



Although Hawks was nominated for one Oscar, he never won a competitive Academy Award. However he won one Honorary Oscar Award in 1974 , a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1941Best DirectorSergeant York (1941)N/ANominated

Academy Awards (Honorary Oscars)

1974Honorary Award, a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema


He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

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Honorary Award Oscar 1974

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Howard Hawks on the
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Howard Hawks Facts
Ashes scattered in the desert near Calimesa, California.

Is portrayed by Ivan Bonar in Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess (1983) (TV)

Quentin Tarantino said that Hawks' Rio Bravo (1959) may be his favorite movie of all time.

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