The 80sWise directing ROOFTOPS
If the end of the '70s saw Robert Wise winding down from the hectic pace that he had established throghout his career, the '80s and beyond finds the director almost taking a break from films completely and concentrating on serving the film community instead.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wise
Millicent and Robert Wise
  • Wise served as the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1984 through 1987. He has also sat on the Board of Trustees of the American Film Institute and chaired its Center for Advanced Film Studies.

  • He was named chairman of the Directors Guild of America's special projects committee in 1980, organizing its fiftieth anniversary celebration in New York in 1986.

  • He has been a leading member of the National Council of the Arts and Sciences, the Department of Film at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital.

  • Lecturing1986 marked the year Wise returned to the set -- this time in the capacity of consultant to debuting director Emilio Estevez for his film WISDOM. (Wise also served as executive producer.)

    Then, after an eight-year absence from the director's chair, Wise agreed to take on the gritty film ROOFTOPS (1988), the first production for New Visions. Set in Manhattan's Lower East Side, the film was a return to the realistic, well-paced entertainment that Wise provided for audiences for so many years.

    "I'll bend as much as the idea helps to improve the scene. I'm open to all suggestions."
    Robert Wise, AFI Seminar

    In his office today

    With all of his work in movies, Wise makes his first screen acting debut in John Landis' THE STUPIDS (1996).

    In 1992 he was awarded the prestigious National Medal of Art by President George Bush. And as the 26th AFI Life Achievement Award Winner, Wise officially joins the ranks of the most important and accomplished filmmakers in movie history. 

    Robert Wise and granddaughter Alexandra


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