skip navigation
Ron Shelton

Ron Shelton

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

White Men Can't Jump DVD Two basketball hustlers, black and white, count on racial myth to cash in on... more info $6.98was $6.98 Buy Now

Bull Durham: Collector's Edition... In celebration of 20 years since fastball seductions, hilarious strikeouts and... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Tin Cup DVD "Tin Cup" (1996) stars Kevin Costner as Roy McAvoy, a washed up golf pro who... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Ronald Shelton Died:
Born: September 15, 1945 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Whittier, California, USA Profession: director, screenwriter, producer, second unit director, professional baseball player, window dresser, ditch digger, sculptor, house painter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Former slick-fielding, light-hitting minor league infielder Ron Shelton first tried his hand at sculpture before establishing himself as a screenwriter in the early 1980s and as a leading writer-director by the end of the decade. With his literary values, sharp ear for naturalistic dialogue, and penchant for strong, interesting female characters, Shelton has become Hollywood's premier purveyor of the sports film. His character-driven scripts have emphasized acting far more than any formal attributes, and he has used the rehearsal process to discover the right behavior before blocking for the camera. Though he has not limited himself exclusively to sports, Shelton has returned again and again to athletics as a rich source of metaphor and analogy.

Former slick-fielding, light-hitting minor league infielder Ron Shelton first tried his hand at sculpture before establishing himself as a screenwriter in the early 1980s and as a leading writer-director by the end of the decade. With his literary values, sharp ear for naturalistic dialogue, and penchant for strong, interesting female characters, Shelton has become Hollywood's premier purveyor of the sports film. His character-driven scripts have emphasized acting far more than any formal attributes, and he has used the rehearsal process to discover the right behavior before blocking for the camera. Though he has not limited himself exclusively to sports, Shelton has returned again and again to athletics as a rich source of metaphor and analogy.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Hollywood Homicide (2003) Director
2.
  Dark Blue (2003) Director
3.
  Play it to the Bone (1999) Director
4.
  Tin Cup (1996) Director
5.
  Cobb (1994) Director
6.
  White Men Can't Jump (1992) Director
7.
  Blaze (1989) Director
8.
  Bull Durham (1988) Director
9.
  Under Fire (1983) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
3.
 Intimate Portrait: Gladys Knight (2003) Interviewee
4.
 Billy Wilder: The Human Comedy (1998) Interviewee
5.
 Sports on the Silver Screen (1997) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Signed as second baseman by the Baltimore Orioles farm system out of college
:
Started out at Bluefield in the Appalachian League
:
Advanced to Stockton (California) Clearwater (Florida), Fort Worth (Texas), and finally, a Triple-A team of the International League, the Rochester Red Wings in Rochester, New York
:
Worked at various jobs including digging ditches and dressing mannequins at Sears to support his family
:
Invested his savings in attending graduate school to study sculpture at the University of Arizona
1974:
Moved to L.A. (date approximate)
:
Began exhibiting sculpture; subject of one-man show at the Space Gallery in Los Angeles
:
Began writing fiction and screenplays
:
First completed script, "A Player To Be Named Later" landed him an agent; later developed into "Bull Durham"
1981:
First feature work, as associate producer of "The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper", directed by Roger Spottiswoode
1983:
First produced script, co-writer on Spottiswoode's "Under Fire"; also served as second unit director
1988:
Directorial debut, "Bull Durham"; also scripted
1989:
Wrote and directed "Blaze", based on the relationship of Louisiana governor Earl Long and famed stripper Blaze Starr
1991:
Executive produced a short film entitled "Sharkskin"
1992:
Scored big hit as writer-director of basketball flick "White Men Can't Jump"
1994:
Stayed with basketball, providing script for William Friedkin's "Blue Chips"; also served as executive producer
1994:
Returned to baseball with "Cobb", writing and directing film based on sportswriter Al Stump's experiences with Ty Cobb during the last year of the legendary player's life
1996:
Co-wrote (with Tony Hendra) "The Great White Hype", an unsatisfying look at boxing and its promotion
1996:
Wrote and directed the golf-themed "Tin Cup", which fell short despite the presence of "Bull Durham" star Kevin Costner
1999:
Helmed the boxing-themed "Play It to the Bone"; played one-week Oscar qualifying engagement in L.A.
2003:
Directed the intense cop drama "Dark Blue" from a story by James Ellroy
2003:
Shared screenplay credit for "Bad Boys 2"
2003:
Wrote and directed the crime thriller "Hollywood Homicide" starring Harrison Ford
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Westmont College: Santa Barbara , California - 1967
University of Arizona: Tucson , Arizona - 1974

Notes

"The rehearsal process is where Shelton defines his fairly freewheeling mode of operation. 'You've got to start with behavior,' he says. 'I don't agree with the school of directors who tell you where to stand and how to behave or who set up shots for lighting. The camera does not exist in my mind until the behavior is right . . ."

"'The camera,' Shelton insists, 'must be motivated by behavior, and not the other way around. Once the behavior is right, we can pretty much figure out what the blocking is so that on the day of shooting, we can make new discoveries, we can let go, we can let it breathe and try new things, because we're coming in with a foundation and an intention. That's the key: knowing the intention in the scene. With that established, I want the actors to find the freedom to try things.'" --quoted by Jeff Silverman in AMERICAN FILM, December 1989

"I love movies, but what drives me crazy is that in all their technology and slickness, the human balance is lost. Cinematography is often gained at the expense of drama and human emotion. We've been distorted by technology. I'm trying to get life on the screen even though life contradicts the movies by being messy. But if I can explore it spontaneously in a medium so unspontaneous, well that's the best thing I can do." --Shelton in NEW YORK NEWSDAY, March 23, 1992

"He has a real voice. He's an intelligent, compassionate, honest writer with a wonderful take on character. He has the ability to imagine complex people and then bring them off the page. He also has an interesting take on powerful women. He genuinely admires women in a way that not all men do." --Roger Spottiswoode in NEW YORK NEWSDAY, March 23, 1992

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Lolita Davidovich. Actor. Met when Shelton cast her as stripper Blaze Starr in "Blaze" (1989).

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Valentina Shelton. Born in November 1999; mother is Lolita Davidovich.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute