Writers are told to write what they know. Filmmaker Samuel Fuller took that advise to heart and spent his life recreating the one thing he knew very well…war and crime.
Fuller began working at age 13 as a copy boy. At age 17 he was the youngest reporter to run the events section of the New York Journal.
A World War II veteran, Fuller served in the United States Army where he saw duty in North Africa, Sicily, Omaha Beach, and was one of the thousands of soldiers who participated in D-Day. He was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart for his service.
While he wrote a few novels prior to his military service, Fuller is best known for his work as a filmmaker with his war themed films seeing the most success. Fuller used his experiences in the Army as the subject matter for a number of his films.
Fuller is best known for his writing, directing, and producing of films; but he also acted in nearly three dozen productions including “Metamorphosis of a Melody”, “Street of No Return”, “Return to Salem’s Lot”, and “The Big Red One”.
He is credited with writing 53 films including “The Big Red One”, “The Cape Town Affair”, an episode of “The Virginian”, “The Crimson Kimono”, “Run of the Arrow”, “Hell and High Water”, and “The Steel Helmet”.
His daughter Samantha followed in her father’s footsteps creating a film about her father’s life titled “A Fuller Life”.
As a part of the opening ceremonies for the 2019 Niagara Falls International Film Festival, Fuller was given the inaugural Icon of Film award. His wife and daughter were on hand to accept the award; as well as, for the unveiling of Fuller’s star that will be a part of the Niagara Falls Walk of Fame.
Samuel Michael Fuller was born on August 12, 1912 in Worcester, Massachusetts to Russian Jewish parents with the family name of Rabonovitch. The last name was changed to Fuller in tribute to the original Samuel Fuller an English doctor who came to the new world on the Mayflower.
Fuller died at the age of 85 in Los Angeles as a result of natural causes. He is survived by his second wife Christa and daughter Samantha.
feature photo credit: By Roland Godefroy – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1864231