top of page

John Huston Becomes Irish Citizen

Jan. 3, 1964 - John Huston, one of America’s leading filmmakers, gave up his United States citizenship today and became a citizen of Ireland. The Missouri-born director — whose father, the late Walter Huston, once portrayed Abraham Lincoln for D.W. Griffith — signed the document that made him an Irish citizen in the Dublin office of Justice Minister Charles Haughey. Then he returned to his 100-acre estate in Ireland’s western coastal region, where he has resided for 12 years. Mr. Huston said his decision had “nothing whatsoever” to do with his income tax situation. “I believe,” he said, “that a person should be a citizen of the country in which he lives.” His film activities have carried him to various corners of the world in recent years — to Africa for “The Roots of Heaven” and “The African Queen,” to Ireland and the Azores for “Moby Dick,” to Germany for “Freud,” to Mexico for his latest, “The Night of the Iguana,” and soon to Italy to prepare for his next, “The Bible.”

“I hope to work in Hollywood again,” Mr. Huston said today, “and I envision no difficulty in obtaining the necessary visa and working permit, though I have no immediate plans.” “My move,” he explained, “had less to do with economics than with my love for Thoreau and ‘Walden Pond.’ Now that I’m older, I like to relax and contemplate nature, and this where I go to do it. I’ve been thinking about this step for a year or two, but I didn’t tell anyone.” The 57-year-old director recently appeared as an actor in Otto Preminger’s “The Cardinal,” playing an Irish-American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Huston’s great-grandfather — who spelled his name Houghston — emigrated from Ireland in 1840. He went to Canada and then the United States. The filmmaker expects his wife, Enrica (known by her nickname “Ricki”), and their children, Anjelica, 12, and Walter, 13, to follow his example and become Irish citizens within a few weeks.


bottom of page