Hollywood Director Dead At Age 91

Director Robert Wise is flanked by actors Jack Lemmon and Julie Andrews as he displays the 26th American Film Institute Life Achievement Award, given to him in Beverly Hills, Calif., Feb. 19, 1998. Wise, who twice won double Oscars as producer and director of the classic 1960s musicals "West Side Story" and "The Sound of Music," died Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005, according to a family friend. He was 91. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
AP (file)
Robert Wise, who won four Oscars as producer and director of the classic 1960s musicals "West Side Story" and "The Sound of Music," has died. He was 91.

Wise died Wednesday of heart failure after falling ill and being rushed to the University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center, family friend and longtime entertainment agent Lawrence Mirisch told The Associated Press.

Mirisch said Wise had appeared in good health when he celebrated his 91st birthday Saturday.

Wise was nominated for seven Oscars, including the four he won, during a career that spanned over 50 years. The other nominations were for editing the 1941 Orson Welles classic "Citizen Kane," directing the 1958 murder mystery "I Want to Live!" and producing 1966's "The Sand Pebbles," which was nominated for best picture.

Wise was at the helm for dozens of movies of many different genres: from 1944's "The Curse of the Cat People" and the 1951 sci-fi classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still" to the 1950s war movies "The Desert Rats" and "Destination Gobi" and the Oscar-winning boxing tale "Somebody Up There Likes Me" starring Paul Newman, "The Andromeda Strain" and "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," in 1979.

Wise enjoyed his craft and kept on working long past the time when many might have retired. His last movie, according to imdb.com, was the television movie "A Storm in Summer," done five years ago using a script by "Twilight Zone" legend Rod Serling.