Hill, George Roy, Capt

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Captain
Last Primary MOS
7506-Billet Designator, Pilot/Naval Flight Officer
Last MOSGroup
Pilots/Naval Flight Officers
Primary Unit
1951-1953, 7506, MCAS Cherry Point, NC
Service Years
1951 - 1953

Captain

 
 

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 Personal Details 


Home State
Minnesota
Minnesota
Year of Birth
1921
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl Roger Rape (Mouse)-Deceased to remember Marine Capt George Roy Hill.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Minneapolis
Last Address
New York,N Y

Date of Passing
Dec 27, 2002
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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George Roy Hill, the versatile director whose Hollywood movies included ''Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'' and ''The Sting,'' which won Academy Awards for best film and best director, died yesterday in his apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He was 81.

The cause was complications from Parkinson's disease, said his son George Roy Hill III.

A Marine pilot in World War II and in the Korean War, an actor, a Yale graduate and a devotee of history and Bach, Mr. Hill combined scholarship and military training in his approach to his work, achieving success as a director on Broadway, in television and in films.

His career was often characterized by a nostalgia manifest not only in his subjects -- the roaring 20's, the Depression, World War I pilots, the sinking of the Titanic -- but also in his affection for the art of straightforward storytelling.

''Just as I play nothing but Bach for pleasure, so do I read nothing but history for pleasure,'' Mr. Hill said in a 1975 interview in The New York Times Magazine. ''I like to be able to sit back and pick out the most fascinating facets of an era. You have a better perspective. In the present, you get too caught up in the heat of the emotions of the moment.''

The interview was a rarity. In contrast to some of today's filmmakers, eager to hawk their wares from morning till late night on television, Mr. Hill was notably inaccessible. Some Hollywood figures thought him shy; others speculated that his reticence was rooted in his reluctance to add the costs of publicity to a film's budget. He had no interest in hiring press agents and appearing on talk shows.

''The world is slow to realize that George Roy Hill not only is a vastly talented storyteller on the screen -- but also cosmically cheap,'' Robert Redford, a close friend who starred in Mr. Hill's greatest hits, once said.

The gangly, boyish-looking Mr. Hill belonged to a generation of directors who made their mark in the so-called golden age of television in the 1950's. Like John Frankenheimer, Arthur Penn and Sidney Lumet, he gravitated to movies as the networks lost interest in serious drama, and Hollywood held out the promise of freedom from the hectic, stressful pace of television.

''Butch Cassidy'' (1969) starred Paul Newman and Robert Redford as good-natured bank robbers in the waning days of the Old West, and ''The Sting'' (1973) starred them as small-time con men who pull off a big-time swindle in Depression-era Chicago.

After the movies were released, Mr. Hill had for a while the distinction of being the sole director in history to have made two of the top 10 moneymaking films.

''Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'' won Oscars for original screenplay (William Goldman), original score (Burt Bacharach), best song (''Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head,'' by Mr. Bacharach and Hal David) and cinematography (Conrad L. Hall).

Besides the Academy Awards for best film and best director, ''The Sting'' won five other Oscars, including those for best adapted screenplay, by David S. Ward, and best score, by Marvin Hamlisch, who adapted the ragtime music of Scott Joplin.

Chronologically, Mr. Hill's other films ranged from the Tennessee Williams comedy ''Period of Adjustment'' (1962), his Hollywood debut, to varied fare like ''The World of Henry Orient'' (1964), about two hero-worshiping teenage girls; the adaptation of the James A. Michener best seller ''Hawaii'' (1966); the flapper-era musical ''Thoroughly Modern Millie'' (1967); the adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's dark, surreal World War II novel, ''Slaughterhouse-Five'' (1972); ''The Great Waldo Pepper'' (1975), about barnstorming World War I pilots; the raucous hockey comedy ''Slap Shot'' (1977); and adaptations of John Irving's novel ''The World According to Garp'' (1982) and John le Carré's ''Little Drummer Girl'' (1984).

Of all his films, ''The Great Waldo Pepper,'' which also starred Mr. Redford, may have been closest to Mr. Hill's heart. Born on Dec. 20, 1921, in Minneapolis to George R. and Helen Frances Owens Hill, he developed an early affinity for music and aviation.

After school, he liked to visit the airport. His hobby was to memorize the records of World War I aces, and he idolized Speed Homan, a pilot, he once said, ''who used to make his approach to the spectators at state fairs flying past the grandstand upside down.''

Naturally, Mr. Hill learned to fly, and until about 10 years ago owned an open-cockpit Waco biplane that was built in 1930.

At Yale he studied music and graduated in 1943 with a bachelor of arts degree. He piloted Marine transports in the South Pacific during World War II and then studied music and literature under the G.I. Bill at Trinity College, Dublin.

Needing money, he auditioned for the Irish actor Cyril Cusack's company and made his theatrical debut in 1948 in a walk-on role in George Bernard Shaw's ''Devil's Disciple'' at the Gaiety Theater in Dublin.

Mr. Hill returned to the United States, acted Off Broadway and toured with Margaret Webster's Shakespeare Repertory Company, where he met Louisa Horton, whom he married on April 7, 1951. They were later divorced.

Besides his son George of Roslyn Harbor, N.Y., Mr. Hill is survived by two daughters, Frances Breckinridge Phipps of Dumont, N.J., and Owens Hill of Topanga, Calif.; another son, John Andrew Steele Hill of Ardsley, N.Y.; and 12 grandchildren.

Mr. Hill was recalled to service at the Marine Corps jet flight training center in Cherry Hill, N.C., during the Korean War. One night he had to be talked down by a ground controller at the Atlanta airport, an incident that led to his writing ''My Brother's Keeper,'' a television play presented in 1953 by the Kraft Television Theater with Mr. Hill in the cast.

He also wrote, produced and directed television dramas like the Emmy-winning ''A Night to Remember,'' about the sinking of the Titanic; ''The Helen Morgan Story,'' a biography of the torch singer; and ''Judgment at Nuremberg.''

As a Broadway director, Mr. Hill began with ''Look Homeward Angel,'' the 1957 Ketti Frings adaptation of the Thomas Wolfe novel. It won a Pulitzer Prize. In the 1960-61 season, he directed Williams's ''Period of Adjustment,'' which led him to Hollywood.

Like many filmmakers, Mr. Hill was never happy with reviewers. On the day in 1975 when Universal Studios gave him a deal granting him total autonomy to do 15 productions in the next 5 years, Mr. Hill could not forget something that the critic Pauline Kael had written.

''What about that Pauline Kael accusing me of emphasizing male relationships with Redford and Newman?'' he said. ''What am I supposed to do, stop the action in an action picture just to drag some women in?''

   
Other Comments:

He was called back to service during the Korean war & flew Panther jets.

He never left Cherry Point during this time period.

Died in New York City of Parkinson Disease where he lived with his family.
   
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 Unit Assignments
MCAS Camp Pendleton, CAVMR-3532nd MAWMCAS Cherry Point, NC
  1943-1943, 7506, MCAS Camp Pendleton, CA
  1944-1945, 7506, VMR-353
  1951-1953, 7506, 2nd MAW
  1951-1953, 7506, MCAS Cherry Point, NC
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 Eastern Mandates Campaign (1944)/Operation Flintlock
  1944-1944 Marianas Operation /Battle of Guam (1944)
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 Ryukyus Campaign (1945)/Battle for Okinawa
  1951-1951 Korean War/CCF Spring Offensive (1951)
  1951-1952 Korean War/Second Korean Winter (1951-52)
 Colleges Attended
Yale University
  1940-1943, Yale University
  1946-1949, Trinity College, Washington DC
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