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Randall Wallace

Randall Wallace

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: July 28, 1949 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Jackson, Tennessee, USA Profession: screenwriter, director, producer, songwriter, singer, novelist, youth minister (Methodist)

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

After graduating from Duke University, Tennessee-born Randall Wallace relocated to Los Angeles and began writing novels. Within several months, he had landed at Stephen Cannell Productions as a producer and writer. Wallace went on to work in those capacities on the series "J.J. Starbuck" (NBC, 1987-88), starring Dale Robertson, the short-lived "Sonny Spoon" (NBC, 1988), with Mario Van Peebles, and "Broken Badges" (CBS, 1990-91). A Scottish vacation led Wallace to make the transition to the big screen. While visiting Edinburgh, he learned of the 13th-century adventurer William Wallace, who led a revolt against English rule. After further research, he penned the script for "Braveheart" (1995), which caught the attention of Mel Gibson, who directed and starred in the epic. Wallace's screenplay won praise from critics, enthralled audiences and earned nominations for both the Writers Guild of America Award and an Oscar. The script writer moved behind the camera to helm the uneven but popular 1998 remake of "The Man in the Iron Mask", starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Wallace next turned to a WWII-era drama about a pair of sailor brothers in love with the same woman. He had encountered director Michael Bay at an...

After graduating from Duke University, Tennessee-born Randall Wallace relocated to Los Angeles and began writing novels. Within several months, he had landed at Stephen Cannell Productions as a producer and writer. Wallace went on to work in those capacities on the series "J.J. Starbuck" (NBC, 1987-88), starring Dale Robertson, the short-lived "Sonny Spoon" (NBC, 1988), with Mario Van Peebles, and "Broken Badges" (CBS, 1990-91).

A Scottish vacation led Wallace to make the transition to the big screen. While visiting Edinburgh, he learned of the 13th-century adventurer William Wallace, who led a revolt against English rule. After further research, he penned the script for "Braveheart" (1995), which caught the attention of Mel Gibson, who directed and starred in the epic. Wallace's screenplay won praise from critics, enthralled audiences and earned nominations for both the Writers Guild of America Award and an Oscar. The script writer moved behind the camera to helm the uneven but popular 1998 remake of "The Man in the Iron Mask", starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Wallace next turned to a WWII-era drama about a pair of sailor brothers in love with the same woman. He had encountered director Michael Bay at an industry function and at Bay's recommendation was offered a job by Disney to write the screenplay for "Pearl Harbor" (2001). Rejiggering the original story idea, Wallace made the main characters friends from Tennessee instead of siblings. As played by Ben Affleck and Josh Harnett, the pair are buddies and friendly rivals both in the skies (as pilots) and on the ground (for the affections of a nurse played by Kate Beckinsale). During the pre-production phase, Wallace and director Bay clashed over rewrites. The writer was particularly adamant about not making the dialogue too contemporary (including the use of certain profanities), but the director won out by hiring other writers to tweak the script. (Although Bay did ask Wallace to remain on the project and consult with the new writers, an offer Wallace rejected.) Despite the difficulties, "Pearl Harbor" was one of the summer's most anticipated films.

Retaining a war theme, Wallace returned to the director's chair to helm "We Were Soldiers" (2002), his own adaptation of the Vietnam War-themed book "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young", which marked a reunion with Mel Gibson who both produced and starred.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Secretariat (2010)
2.
  We Were Soldiers (2002) Director
3.
4.
  Thunder Boat Row (1989) Creator

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Rookie, The (2002) Texas Oilman
2.
3.
 Family Tree (2001) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in Tennessee
:
While attending Duke, started a record company, with himself as the only client
:
Briefly worked at Opryland in Tennessee
:
Moved to Los Angeles
:
Began writing novels
1978:
Wrote first screenplay, the unproduced "Bully Brigade"
:
Landed job at Stephen Cannell Productions
1987:
Was co-producer and story editor for "J.J. Starbuck" (NBC)
1988:
Created and wrote premiere of "Sonny Spoon" (NBC); also series co-producer
1989:
Co-produced and wrote busted pilot "Thunder Boat Row"
1990:
Wrote premiere of "Broken Badges" (CBS); also served as co-executive producer
1995:
Feature screenwriting debut, "Braveheart"; earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations
1998:
Made feature directorial debut with remake of "The Man in the Iron Mask"
2001:
Penned the script for the big budget epic "Pearl Harbor"
2002:
Wrote and directed "We Were Soldiers," a Vietnam War drama starring Mel Gibson
2008:
Wrote several songs with singer/songwriter Richard Marx; one of those songs, "Flame In Your Fire" appears on Marx's album <i>Emotional Remains</i>
2008:
Executive produced and narrated "Fight or Die" for the Discovery Channel
2010:
Appeared as himself in the seventh season of HBO's "Entourage"
2010:
Directed the biopic "Secretariat," about the racehorse that won the U.S. Triple Crown in 1973
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Education

E C Glass High School: Lynchburg , Virginia -
Duke University: Durham , North Carolina - 1971

Notes

Not to be confused with photographer Randall Wallace.

Wallace has written an 1,112-page unpublished novel "Love and Honor".

He founded Wallace Literary, a place in L.A. for writers to go to work in an environment that is "nuturing and inspiring".

"In terms of a style of writing, the big surprise and transition was that, in television, you're expected to have your complete story mapped out because you never just wrote the screenplay. I didn't like that much. I understood why it was necessary, but I thought that was a prescription for hackneyed writing," --Wallace on his work for the small screen, quoted in scr(i)pt, The Screenwriter's Magazine, March/April 1998.

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Russian Rose"
"So Late Into the Night"
"Blood of the Lamb"
"Where Angels Watch"
"Brave Heart" Pocket Books
"Pearl Harbor"
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