Director, Screenwriter. Born Howard Winchester Hawks in Goshen, Indiana, the son of Helen Howard and Frank W. Hawks, a successful paper manufacturer. By 1910, the family had settled in California, and in 1916, he gained entry into the infant film industry through the properties department. He made his uncredited directorial debut at 21, when he shot a scene in 'The Little Princess' (1921) with Mary Pickford during the director's absence. He would not be given a film of his own until 1926's 'The Roads to Glory' which he immediately followed with 'Fig Leaves,' his first comedy. 'The Dawn Patrol' (1930) was his first talkie, and contained aerial footage shot from a plane that was piloted by Hawks. Other now classic films followed including 'Twentieth Century' (1934), his first screwball comedy; 'Scarface' (1932); 'Bringing Up Baby' (1938); a rewrite of the Hecht-MacArthur script, 'The Front Page' into 'His Girl Friday' (1940), changing the gender of the editor and reporter from two men to a man and a woman; both 'Ball of Fire' and 'Sergeant York' in 1941, the latter earning him his only Academy Award nomination for Best Director. He was often very involved in writing screenplays for his films, but seldom asked for a screen writing credit. He first teamed Bogart and Bacall in 'To Have and Have Not (1944), and remade his own 'Ball of Fire' in 1948 as the musical, 'A Song Is Born.' He again worked with Bogart and Bacall in 'The Big Sleep' (1946), and again with Cary Grant in 1949's 'I Was a Male War Bride.' His output slowed in the 1950s, but in 1951 he produced the cult favorite, 'The Thing'; 1953 saw his penultimate comedy, 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,' and in 1959, 'Rio Bravo ' was lauded as the quintessential Western. 'El Dorado ' (1966) might be described as either a sequel to or a remake of 'Rio Bravo,' while 'Rio Lobo' (1970), was a variation on the theme, and would be his last film. In 1975, he received an Academy Award for lifetime achievement. In 1996, he was voted the fourth greatest director of all time by Entertainment Weekly. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1708 Vine Street.
Bio by: Iola