Albert Romolo Broccoli, CBE, nicknamed “Cubby”, was an American film producer, who made more than 40 motion pictures throughout his career, most of them in the United Kingdom, and often filmed at Pinewood Studios. Co-founder of Danjaq, LLC and EON Productions, Broccoli is most notable as the producer of the James Bond films. He and Harry Saltzman saw the films from relatively low-budget origins to large-budget, high-grossing extravaganzas, and Broccoli’s heirs continue to produce new Bond films.
Broccoli was born into an Italian-American family on Long Island. The family moved to Florida, and on the death of his father Giovanni, Broccoli moved to live with his grandmother in Astoria, Queens in New York City. Having worked many jobs, including casket maker, Broccoli then became involved in the film industry. He started at the bottom, despite his new found fortune,} working as a gofer on Howard Hughes’ The Outlaw, which starred Jane Russell. Here he met his life-long friend Howard Hughes for the first time, while Hughes was overseeing the movie’s production after director Howard Hawks was fired. Broccoli rose quickly to the level of Assistant Director by the time the U.S. entered World War II.
During his early period in Hollywood, Broccoli may have taken part in a bar room brawl which took the life of comedian Ted Healy. According to E. J. Fleming’s book The Fixers, Broccoli, his cousin, gangster Pasquale ‘Pat’ DiCicco, and film star Wallace Beery fought with Healy and beat him to death. Fleming asserts that MGM executives Eddie Mannix and Howard Strickling, in an attempt to save the reputation of their star Beery, fabricated a story about college students attacking Healy, immediately followed by a four-month trip to Europe for Beery. Immigration records confirm a four-month trip to Europe on Beery’s part immediately after Healy’s death, ending April 17, 1938.
Broccoli joined the United States Navy following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and afterward worked several years as an agent at the Famous Artists Agency. He returned to production crew work again as an assistant director, a second unit director, then director and producer doing several films a year and continually working his way up the ladder while establishing many key personal contacts with Hollywood luminaries and movie moguls.