The auteur filmmaker behind “MASH” died of complications from cancer. An unconventional artist, Altman was nominated for five best-directing Academy Awards over the years, and won an honorary statue this year.

Los Angeles Times:

Robert Altman, the maverick director who earned a reputation as one of America’s most original filmmakers with landmark movies such as “MASH,” “Nashville,” and “McCabe and Mrs. Miller,” has died. He was 81.

Altman, who never stopped producing and directing films, died of complications due to cancer Monday night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a spokesman for Altman’s Sandcastle 5 Productions Company in New York City said today.

Over the years, Altman earned five Academy Award nominations for best director — for “MASH,” “Nashville,” “The Player,” “Short Cuts” and, most recently, “Gosford Park.” His latest film was this year’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” an ensemble comedy with music based on the Garrison Keillor radio show.

“Bob’s restless spirit has moved on,” Meryl Streep, one of the many stars who appeared in “A Prairie Home Companion,” said in a statement. “I have to say, when I spoke with him last week, he seemed impatient for the future. He still had the generous, optimistic appetite for the next thing, and we planned the next film laughing in anticipation of the laughs we’d have.”


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