By Robert Halmi Sr., Dan Gabbay
On July 30, 2014, presently after finishing this autobiography, Robert Halmi, the prolific manufacturer of tv videos and miniseries, died on the age of ninety. Hailed by means of type as "A Gulliver between television motion picture Producers," he had a hand in additional than 2 hundred long-form narrative tv tasks from 1989's Lonesome Dove, starring Robert Duvall, to 2000's "Don Quixote" starring John Lithgow. packed with lots of the marquee expertise of the earlier century, his lifestyles story—from struggling with opposed to the Nazis to changing into a photographer for all times and activities Illustrated to his tv work—is actually amazing.
Robert Halmi used to be born in Hungary to a father who served as respectable photographer to the Vatican and the final Habsburg court docket. whilst the Nazis invaded, he fought within the resistance, and prefer a lot of his countrymen he was once captured and condemned to loss of life. however the advancing purple military freed him sooner than the Germans might perform the execution. Seeing the risks of the increasing Soviet empire, which additionally took carry of his native land in an army dictatorship, he became heel and joined the OSS to struggle the autumn of the Iron Curtain. In 1951, with $5 in his pocket and a Leica round his neck, he made his method to the USA. As a photographer for all times and activities Illustrated, he back showcased his Bond-like skills for chasing event and dishonest loss of life through dangling from helicopters, searching colossal online game in Africa with dictators, blowing himself up, marooning himself on a glacier for 3 weeks, or even portray Marilyn Monroe's bare physique for a photograph shoot. within the 3rd act of his rollicking existence, as a television multi-millionaire, he acquired an fantastic 448 Emmy nods whereas befriending a Who's Who of Hollywood and dealing with the good boldface actors of our time: Jimmy Cagney gave him his final functionality. He chased George C. Scott (on a bender) via a lodge. Omar Sharif did the Twist for him. He watched Patrick Stewart approximately drown at the again of an animatronic whale, and Isabella Rossellini braved a herd of rampaging elephants for him. He has lived the yank dream to the hilt. A fast paced glance again at a lifestyles regularly in development, his remarkable tale unearths approximately a century of bold and boundless optimism even within the face of poor odds. It's a narrative of conflict, love, and ambition, the vital American story of a existence lived huge.
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Extra resources for American Dreamer: My Story of Survival, Adventure, and Success
It was done in minutes—and our choice was made. We ran into the woods, running as hard as we could for thirty minutes, stumbling wildly in the moonlight. Finally we all fell to the ground, gasping for breath, trying not to breathe too loud, listening for footsteps. Nothing. I suspect that the reason they didn’t follow us was in Jenõ’s hand. He had grabbed the guard’s pistol. The Poles might work for the Germans, but they weren’t going to die for them, not if they could help it. They weren’t going to rush 34 And the White Horse You Rode in On blindly into the forest to face a bullet.
That the planes were in all likelihood stolen, piloted by and under the command of the German Luftwaffe, was beside the point. Hitler was exactly what Hungary was waiting for, the man on the white horse, the symbol of nationalism and victory—the trick of the aircraft the culmination of a thousand years of illusions and delusions. We all heard the story in school. ” What our enemies didn’t know was that Csaba possessed a magic herb that had the power to bring him 22 And the White Horse You Rode in On and his warriors back to life.
We laid it on pretty thick. For the most part, our youthful idealism—our infinite enthusiasm and passion for the cause—were met with one long, great national yawn. Not to say that we were alone. Throughout Hungary, and especially in Budapest, groups and individuals were quietly resisting the country’s alliance with Nazi Germany. But as our efforts fell on deaf ears, we couldn’t get any traction. In the summer of 1942, the general response in Budapest to the war was apathy. There were no bullets or bombs flying here—the only thing booming was the economy, Hungary’s farms and factories growing rich and fat from the demand to feed and oil the German war machine.
American Dreamer: My Story of Survival, Adventure, and Success by Robert Halmi Sr., Dan Gabbay