Albert Romolo Broccoli, more commonly known as "Cubby", was an Italian-American New Yorker who lived from 1909 to 1996.
Broccoli's early film career saw him do nothing spectacularly famous, although The Trials of Oscar Wilde was a spectacular flop that bankrupted him and then partner Irving Allen. However, a certain series of British spy novels was becoming very popular, and Broccoli saw an opportunity. He found the rights had already been sold, so he decided to team up with a man named Harry Saltzman. When the studio execs at United Artists objected to their casting of Sean Connery as the lead character, they insisted on it.
Thus the James Bond film franchise was born.
After Dr. No, Broccoli only did two more non-Bond films (Call Me Bwana and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the latter also from an Ian Fleming novel). He narrowly avoided death during the making of You Only Live Twice after cancelling a flight at the last minute.
Saltzman, who had made some bad investments, sold his 50% stake in Bond to United Artists in 1975, then was widowed and pretty much retired as a result. Broccoli ran the show ? and what a show. He never got an Oscar, but was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for lifetime achievement at the 1982 Academy Awards. He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Broccoli's first marriage ended in an amicable divorce, and his second wife died of cancer. He had a daughter, Barbara, with his third wife, Dana Wilson. Today, Barbara Broccoli and her stepbrother, Michael G. Wilson, run the James Bond franchise.
Albert Broccoli died in 1996 of heart failure, having had a triple bypass only a year before. Tomorrow Never Dies is dedicated to him.
And if you're wondering: yes, an ancestor of his did breed, discover, and/or was somehow involved with broccoli the plant enough so to have it named after him or her.
Received an honorary CBE.
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