Robert Bernard Altman was born on February 20, 1925, in Kansas City, Missouri. After serving in World War II, Altman became interested in making films. He worked for a small Kansas City company that made independent films, before moving to Hollywood to direct TV shows.
In 1969, he was offered the chance to direct the film MASH after more than a dozen other directors had already turned it down. Altman was paid $75,000 to direct the film which became a major hit and spawned a long-running TV series.
Throughout his career, Altman created off-beat films, many of which received critical acclaim. Altman's films include Nashville, Gosford Park, The Player, and Popeye.