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Fred Schepisi

Fred Schepisi

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Also Known As: Frederici Alan Schepisi Died:
Born: December 26, 1939 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Australia Profession: director, producer, screenwriter, commercial director, messenger, auto mechanic, advertising copywriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A former director of TV commercials, Fred Schepisi made his mark in the late 1970s and early 80s with sensitively handled dramas which defied easy categorization and were therefore somewhat underrated. Schepisi is generally attracted to stories pitting strong outsiders against small-minded establishments which are recounted with a smooth and straightforward filmmaking technique even when shifting back and forth between flashbacks, time zones and diverse locations. He has also proved a master at translating difficult material (i.e., plays and novels) into entertaining and captivating feature films.

A former director of TV commercials, Fred Schepisi made his mark in the late 1970s and early 80s with sensitively handled dramas which defied easy categorization and were therefore somewhat underrated. Schepisi is generally attracted to stories pitting strong outsiders against small-minded establishments which are recounted with a smooth and straightforward filmmaking technique even when shifting back and forth between flashbacks, time zones and diverse locations. He has also proved a master at translating difficult material (i.e., plays and novels) into entertaining and captivating feature films.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
3.
  It Runs in the Family (2003) Director
4.
  Last Orders (2001) Director
5.
  Fierce Creatures (1997) Director
6.
  I.Q. (1994) Director
7.
8.
  Mr. Baseball (1992) Director
9.
  The Russia House (1990) Director
10.
  Cry in the Dark, A (1988) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 I Think I Cannes (1999)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia
:
Spent 18 months in a seminary
1954:
Began working at age 15 as a dispatch boy for a Melbourne advertising agency (date approximate)
1964:
By age 25 he took over a Melbourne advertising agency with two partners (date approximate)
:
Worked as director of TV commercials
1966:
Founded The Feature Film House (later The Film House) production company
:
Assessed student films at Swinburne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
1973:
Film directorial debut with "The Priest" segment of anthology film, "Libido"
1976:
Feature film debut as director and producer, "The Devil's Playground"
1978:
Directed and produced most expensive film made in Austrailia up until that time, "The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith"; garnered international attention
1982:
First US produced feature, "Barbarosa"
1984:
Helmed "Iceman" about an explorer who discovers a 40,000 year-old man
1985:
Directed the uneven but well-acted adaptation of David Hare's play "Plenty", starring Meryl Streep
1987:
Earned praise for his light touch on "Roxanne", Steve Martin's updated version of "Cyrano de Bergerac"
1988:
Reunited with Streep for "Evil Angels/A Cry in the Dark", based on a true life story of an Australian woman accused of murdering the child she claimed was carried off by a dingo
1990:
Returned to producing with the big screen adaptation of John Le Carre's "The Russia House"; also directed
1993:
Directed the screen adaptation of John Guare's play "Six Degrees of Separation"
1994:
Teamed Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins in the romantic comedy "I.Q.", featuring a splendidly hammy turn by Walter Matthau as Albert Einstein
1994:
Executive produced the Australian-made "That Eye, the Sky"
1997:
Shared directorial duties on "Fierce Creatures", a comedy that reunited much of the cast of "A Fish Called Wanda"
2001:
Helmed the screen version of the award-winning novel "Last Orders", featuring Bob Hoskins and Michael Caine; screened at Toronto Film Festival
2003:
Directed "It Runs in the Family," the first film teaming of Kirk Douglas and his son Michael
2005:
Produced and directed an ensemble cast, including Ed Harris, Helen Hunt and Paul Newman in "Empire Falls," the HBO adaptation of Richard Russo's novel
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

His last name is pronounced "SKEP-see".

"There's a whole conventional pattern for cutting, and that's what you see in most movies. And I just don't think it's right. I don't think it's got any magic to it at all." --Fred Schepisi speaking about his unconventional approach to editing his films, quoted in The New Yorker, December 20, 1993.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Joan Ford. Married Ford when he was 20 years old; divorced; had four children together.
wife:
Rhonda Finlayson. Production manager, casting director, singer, actor. Divorced.
wife:
Mary Rubin. Artist.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Andrew Schepisi.
son:
Quentin Schepisi.
son:
Jason Schepisi.
daughter:
Alexandra Schepisi.
child:
Ashley Schepisi.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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