Director Robert Aldrich with Bette Davis

Award-winning Director, Producer, and Screenwriter Robert Aldrich was born on August 9, 1918 in Cranston, RI. Aldrich is best known for his films including Vera Cruz, The Dirty Dozen and The Longest Yard.

Aldrich grew up in Cranston and attended the Moses Brown School and later the University of Virginia. Coming from a wealthy family with ties dating back to the state’s beginnings, he rejected his inheritance and became involved in left-wing causes in the 1930’s.

Aldrich began his Hollywood career as a Production Clerk and later became an Assistant Director on films such as The Story of G.I. Joe and Force of Evil. He began directing films in the 1950’s and achieved early success with films Vera Cruz and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. His biggest hit came with 1967’s The Dirty Dozen.

Aldrich continued directing films throughout the 1970’s. He was elected President of the Director’s Guild of America in 1975. He passed away in 1983 and is buried in Hollywood Hills.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music and more for What'sUpNewp, Providence Monthly, SO RI, and The Bay. He DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse" Tuesday nights, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.