The Life of Albert Broccoli and the Rise of Action Films

On April 5 in the year 1909, one of the most prolific film producers who was considered the father of the modern action hero was born in New York, USA. His name was Albert Romolo “Cubby” Broccoli, the co-founder of Eon Productions, the British-based company behind the James Bond series.

Albert Broccoli
Albert Broccoli (Photo Credit:

Albert Broccoli was the son of a vegetable farming couple in New York. As a child, he helped sell vegetables from the family farm. Later, he worked in the family coffin business. Although he did not pursue higher education, he went on to make a name for himself in the movie world. In the late 1930s, he travelled to Los Angeles to meet a cousin who was an actor’s agent. After working in a series of odd jobs, he joined Twentieth Century Fox where he rose to become assistant director on the film The Outlaw which was released in 1943.

During World War II, he served as a navy officer and after being discharged, he found worked in a talent agency. At the same time, he became the production manager for the movie Avalanche which, unfortunately, was not successful in the box office. He later became friends with director Irving Allen and together formed Warwick Productions which independently produced several films in the 1950s. Meanwhile, he got the film rights for Ian Fleming James Bond novel with the help of Harry Saltzman. The duo went about looking for a financier for their planned James Bond movie but nobody cared to listen.

In 1960, Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman formed Eon (for Everything or Nothing) Productions in London. Finally, they were able to secure a $1 million financing from Arthur Krim, the head of United Artists. In 1962, they released Dr. No with then unknown Sean Connery in the title role. The movie became a big hit. Eventually, Albert became a household name and went on to produce a series of 17 internationally successful motion pictures.

Albert Broccoli died in 1996 at the age of 87. He was married three times and he had two daughters, a son and a step son.


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