One of England's best and most successful action directors of the '30s, Robert Stevenson became a filmmaker whose work was seen by tens of millions of filmgoers well into the late '60s His name was seldom noticed, however, as the director of such Walt Disney hits as Mary Poppins, Son of Flubber, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Old Yeller, The Absent-Minded Professor, and The Love Bug. The son of a businessman, Stevenson was a science student at Cambridge, and was led to film through his graduate work in psychology. He began directing movies in 1932, and soon proved himself equally adept in all genres and subject material, capable of deriving bracing tension and excitement from material as diverse as historical drama, African adventure epics, and contemporary thrillers -- among his most notable movies in those categories, respectively, are Tudor Rose, King Solomon's Mines (the 1937 version with Paul Robeson), and Non-Stop New York. Like Alfred Hitchcock, he was signed by David O. Selznick in 1939 and brought to America, but unlike Hitchcock, Stevenson never made a movie for Selznick during the 10 years he was under contract to him. He joined the Disney organization in 1957, and became their top filmmaking hand in live-action films, directing at least a half-dozen Disney classics and another half-dozen confirmed hits over the next 20 years.
by Bruce Eder biography