Edward Killy

Edward Killy (January 26, 1903 – July 2, 1981) was an American director, assistant director and production manager in films and television. He was one of the few individuals to be nominated for the short-lived Academy Award for Best Assistant Director. During his 30-year career he worked on over 75 films and television shows.

Edward Killy
Age-of-Innocence-Moeller.jpg
Assistant director Edward Killy (center foreground) rehearses actor John Boles (left) on the set of The Age of Innocence (1934)
Born
Edward Arthur Killy

(1903-01-26)January 26, 1903
Connecticut, United States
DiedJuly 2, 1981(1981-07-02) (aged 78)
Orange County, California, United States
OccupationDirector, assistant director, production manager
Years active1931–61
Spouse(s)Pauline Watkins Killy (?-1981, his death)

Life and careerEdit

Killy was born on January 26, 1903 in Connecticut. He entered the film industry as an assistant director at RKO Pictures, his first film being the 1931 musical comedy, Caught Plastered, directed by William Seiter, and starring the comedy duo of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey.[1] Over the next five years he assisted on over a dozen films, many of them notable films. In 1932 he was one of two assistants to George Cukor on the drama What Price Hollywood?, starring Constance Bennett and Lowell Sherman.[2] In 1933 he was one of several assistants to Dorothy Arzner on the melodrama Christopher Strong, which featured Katharine Hepburn in her first starring role.[3] He worked with Hepburn on two more films in 1933, Morning Glory (one of three assisting Lowell Sherman),[4] and one of two assisting Cukor on the classic, Little Women.[5] That year he also assisted Seiter again on another Wheeler & Woolsey comedy, Diplomaniacs,[6] as well as being one of three assistants to Thornton Freeland on the RKO musical Flying Down to Rio, which featured the first on-screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.[7] The following year Killy assisted Philip Moeller on the classic drama The Age of Innocence, the first talking version of the novel, starring Irene Dunne and John Boles.[8]

He worked with Hepburn again, being one of three assistants to Richard Wallace on The Little Minister.[9] It was during the filming of this movie when Killy gained notoriety by telling off Hepburn. She was acting up on set one day and refusing to take her place on set, so he told her, "Get on the set before you're sent back to New York to do another Lake." However, he soon became one of her favorite assistant directors.[10]

In 1935 Killy became part of a concerted effort on RKO's part to build a cadre of young directors.[11] His first assignment as the main man behind the camera was as co-director with William Hamilton, on the 1935 film Freckles, based on the 1904 novel of the same name.[12] The two would again pair up to direct the 1935 version of Seven Keys to Baldpate, starring Gene Raymond and Margaret Callahan.[13] The pair co-directed two more films before Killy was given his first solo directing assignment, 1936's Second Wife, starring Gertrude Michael and Walter Abel.[14] Over the next ten years, he directed another 20 films, mostly B movie Westerns, and being the chief director for Tim Holt's Westerns.[15] Some of the oater collaborations between Killy and Holt include: The Fargo Kid (1940), Wagon Train (1940), Along the Rio Grande (1941), and Land of the Open Range (1942).[16][17][18][19] In the mid-1940s, a young actor, Robert Mitchum, was signed to a seven-year contract with RKO, with the intent of making B-Westerns based on Zane Grey novels.[20] Killy was assigned the first of these films, 1944's Nevada.[21] He would also direct Mitchum in another film adaptation of a Grey novel, 1945's West of the Pecos, which was also Killy's last credit as the director of a film.[22]

Even after getting the opportunity to take the helm of films, Killy was one of the rare people to continue to work at the assistant director level. As an assistant he worked on several notable features including: Roberta, directed by Seiter, and starring Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Randolph Scott;[23] again with Hepburn on Alice Adams (1935), with George Stevens directing;[24] the classic war film Gunga Din, again directed by Stevens, and starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.;[25] The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), assisting William Dieterle, and starring Charles Laughton as Quasimodo and Maureen O'Hara as Esmeralda;[26] Gregory La Cava's Primrose Path, starring Ginger Rogers and Joel McCrea;[27] Bombardier (1943), directed by Richard Wallace, and starring Pat O'Brien and Randolph Scott;[28] 1944's romantic comedy, also directed by Wallace, Bride by Mistake, starring Alan Marshal and Laraine Day;[29] Susan Slept Here (1954), a romantic comedy directed by Frank Tashlin and starring Debbie Reynolds and Dick Powell in his final film performance;[30] and the Howard Hughes' production of The Conqueror, directed by Dick Powell, and starring John Wayne.[31]

In the late 1940s through the 1950s, Killy would also occasionally work as a production manager on such films as: Blood on the Moon (1948), The Big Steal (1949), Angel Face, Jet Pilot, and All Mine to Give (1958).

Killy married Pauline Watkins, and would remain married to her until his death in 1981. The two adopted a daughter in the 1930s, Audrey K. Killy. Killy died July 2, 1981 in Orange County, California.

FilmographyEdit

(Per AFI database)[32][33]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Caught Plastered: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  2. ^ "What Price Hollywood?: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  3. ^ "Christopher Strong: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "Morning Glory: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  5. ^ "Little Women: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  6. ^ "Diplomaniacs: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  7. ^ "Flying Down to Rio: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  8. ^ "The Age of Innocence: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "The Little Minister: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Fidler, Jimmie (August 6, 1936). "Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood". Santa Ana Register. p. 24. Retrieved September 3, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  11. ^ Fidler, Jimmie (December 24, 1936). "Raymond Refuses to Darken Lucille Ball's Bright Future". The Salt Lake Tribune. p. 15. Retrieved September 3, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  12. ^ "Freckles: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  13. ^ "Seven Keys to Baldpate: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  14. ^ "Second Wife: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  15. ^ Erickson, Hal. "Edward Killy, biography". AllMovie. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  16. ^ "The Fargo Kid: Abbreviated View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  17. ^ "Wagon Train: Abbreviated View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  18. ^ "Along the Rio Grande: Abbreviated View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  19. ^ "Land of the Open Range: Abbreviated View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  20. ^ "Robert Mitchum, Biography". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  21. ^ "Nevada: Abbreviated View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  22. ^ "West of the Pecos: Abbreviated View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  23. ^ "Roberta: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  24. ^ "Alice Adams: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  25. ^ "Gunga Din: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  26. ^ "The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  27. ^ "Primrose Path: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  28. ^ "Bombardier: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  29. ^ "Bride by Mistake: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  30. ^ "Susan Slept Here: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  31. ^ "The Conqueror: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  32. ^ "Edward Killy filmography". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  33. ^ "Edward Killey filmography". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 5, 2015.