December 21, 2008

‘Mockingbird’ director Mulligan dead at 83

Robert Mulligan, known best for directing the1962 movie To Kill a Mockingbird, has died in Lyme, Conn., at the age of 83, his nephew says.

Mulligan's nephew, Robert Rosenthal, confirmed the Academy Award-nominated director died Saturday of heart disease, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

In addition to directing Mockingbird, which earned him the Oscar nomination for best director, Mulligan lent his talents to movies such as The Other and The Man in the Moon.

Mulligan earned a reputation for his ability to capture the raw emotion of children and teenagers facing traumatic situations, a skill he attempted to downplay in a 1991 interview.

Ordinarily they say that cliche, a 'coming-of-age movie,' and I reject that term, Mulligan said then. I think it's 'coming to life.' I felt, when I looked back on it, that I really didn't know what life was about until I was somewhere in my teens, when you become aware that sooner or later you're going to have to walk out the front door.

The Times said in addition to his niece, Mulligan is survived by his wife Sandy, three children, two grandchildren and a brother.