At 81, Altman says adieu

Director Robert Altman passed away two days ago of complications from cancer. Though he’s best known (and rightly so) for his film work, I mention him here because he spent the early part of his career in TV, directing episodes for Bonanza, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and other series. Later on he directed Tanner ’88, a hilarious if somewhat uneven political satire for HBO. Altman was not involved in the small-screen take on his 1970 film M*A*S*H, but fans of that show owe him a debt anyway — as do all those who write, direct, and/or love dramas with lots of characters and interlocking plots.

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