Robert Bernard Altman (February 20, 1925--November 20, 2006) was an American film director and screenwriter known for making films that are highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective. In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized his body of work with an Academy Honorary Award. His films MASH (1970), McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971), and Nashville (1975) have been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. Altman was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Helen (nee Matthews), a Mayflower descendant from Nebraska, and Bernard Clement Altman, a wealthy insurance salesman and amateur gambler, who came from an upper-class family. Altman's ancestry was German, English and Irish; his paternal grandfather, Frank Altman, Sr.
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