Is your surname Huston?

Research the Huston family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

John Marcellus Huston (Houghston)

Birthplace: Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri, United States
Death: August 28, 1987 (81)
Middletown, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States (pneumonia as a complication of lung disease (Emphysema))
Place of Burial: Hollywood Forever Cemetery Hollywood Los Angeles County California, USA Plot: Garden of Legends (formerly Section 8), lot 6, west side of lake
Immediate Family:

Son of Walter Huston and Rhea Houghston
Ex-husband of Private; Private; Evelyn Keyes; Enrica Georgia "Ricki" Soma and Private
Father of Private; Walter Antony Huston; Anjelica Huston; Private and Danny Huston

Occupation: Writer, Director, Actor
Managed by: Gene Daniell
Last Updated:
view all 21

Immediate Family

About John Huston

American motion-picture director John Huston's taut dramas were some of the most famous movies of the 20th century, including the Humphrey Bogart classics The Maltese Falcon (1941), Key Largo (1948), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) and The African Queen (1951).

He was born John Marcellus Huston on August 5, 1906 in Nevada, Missouri, the only child of Walter Huston and Reah Gore. His father, who was of Scots and Scots-Irish descent, was an actor, initially in vaudeville, and later in films. His mother, of English and Welsh background, initially worked as a sports editor for various publications but gave it up after Huston was born. Similarly, his father gave up his stage acting career for steady employment as a civil engineer, although he returned to stage acting with a few years. He would later become highly successful on both Broadway and then in motion pictures.

He began his Hollywood career as a scriptwriter in 1931. Prior to that time Huston had been, for short periods, a professional lightweight boxer, a soldier in the Mexican cavalry, a reporter, the editor of a picture magazine, an author of short stories and plays, and an actor.

His first work as a film director was the classic hard-boiled detective tale The Maltese Falcon (1941), distinguished by sharply realistic dialogue and vividly realized characters. Other early classics were The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), a story of self-destructive greed among American gold-seekers in Mexico; and The African Queen (1952), a comic romance-adventure film set in the jungles of Central Africa. These films starred Humphrey Bogart and marked the summit of that highly popular actor's career. Huston's other screen adaptations of literary works included The Red Badge of Courage (1951) from the novel by Stephen Crane, Moby Dick (1956) from Herman Melville, The Night of the Iguana (1964) from Tennessee Williams, The Man Who Would Be King (1975) from Rudyard Kipling, Wise Blood (1979) from Flannery O'Connor, Under the Volcano (1984) from Malcolm Lowry, and The Dead (1987) from James Joyce. Among his other more successful films were Key Largo (1948), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The List of Adrian Messenger (1963), Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967), and Prizzi's Honor (1985).

Huston's best motion pictures feature fast-paced scripts, vivid characterizations, and exciting and unpredictable plots. Many of his lesser-known films were both critical and commercial failures, but even these show his ironic and often pessimistic view of human striving and his ability to coax outstanding performances from his leading actors. Huston also acted on screen, often in films that he directed, such as The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972). Perhaps his finest supporting role was in Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974). He was also acclaimed for his World War II documentaries Report from the Aleutians (1943), The Battle of San Pietro (1944), and Let There Be Light (1945; suppressed until 1981). Huston's autobiography, An Open Book, appeared in 1980.

He was married five times:

  1. Dorothy Harvey (1906–1982) — This marriage ended after a year in 1926. (Steve Hodell states "Their marriage lasted seven years, from 1926 to 1933." Her second husband, Dr. George Hodell, was one of the people accused of the Black Dahlia murder.)[38]
  2. Lesley Black — It was during his marriage to Black that he embarked on an affair with married New York socialite # Marietta FitzGerald. While her lawyer husband was helping the war effort, the pair were once rumoured to have made love so vigorously they broke a friend's bed.[39]
  3. Evelyn Keyes (1916–2008) — The Hustons adopted a son Pablo, from Mexico.
  4. Enrica Soma (1929–1969) — They had two children: a daughter, Anjelica Huston, and a son, Walter Antony "Tony" Huston, now an attorney and father of actor Jack Huston. Soma also had a daughter, Allegra Huston, as the result of an extramarital affair with John Julius Norwich; Huston treated the girl as one of his own children following Soma's death four years later.
  5. Celeste Shane — In his autobiography, An Open Book, Huston refers to her as a "crocodile", and states only that if he had his life to do over, he would not marry a fifth time.

Four of his marriages ended in divorce. His fourth wife, Enrica Soma, died in a car accident in 1969, while they were married. In addition to his children with Soma, he fathered a son, actor Danny Huston, with author Zoe Sallis.

A heavy smoker, he was diagnosed with emphysema in 1978. By the last year of his life he could not breathe for more than twenty minutes without needing oxygen.[43] He died on August 28, 1987, in his rented home in Middletown, Rhode Island, from pneumonia as a complication of lung disease. Huston is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood with his mother.


Birth: Aug. 5, 1906 Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri, USA Death: Aug. 28, 1987 Middletown, Newport County, Rhode Island, USA

Academy-Award winning motion picture director, actor, and writer of the 1920s thru 1980s. Directed Hollywood film classics such as "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948), "The Asphalt Jungle" (1950), and "The African Queen" (1951). Married for a time to actress Evelyn Keyes. Father of actress Angelica Huston. Mr. Huston was one of the "greats" of Hollywood's golden age. (bio by: A.J. Marik)

Family links:

  • Parents:
    • Walter Huston (1884 - 1950)
    • Rhea Gore Huston (1882 - 1938)
  • Spouses:
    • Evelyn Keyes (1916 - 2008)
    • Enrica Georgia Soma (1929 - 1969)*

Burial: Hollywood Forever Cemetery , Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA, Plot: Garden of Legends (formerly Section 8), lot 6, west side of lake

Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Jan 01, 2001 Find A Grave Memorial# 1332

view all 19

John Huston's Timeline

August 5, 1906
Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri, United States
April 16, 1950
Age 43
Los Angeles, CA, United States
July 8, 1951
Age 44
Santa Monica, CA, United States