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Edward Zwick

Edward Zwick

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Also Known As: Ed Zwick Died:
Born: October 8, 1952 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Winnetka, Illinois, USA Profession: director, producer, screenwriter, journalist, author, magazine editor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Often considered to be a throwback to an older Hollywood era, director Edward Zwick was an extremely cerebral director whose movies consistently featured fully rounded characters, difficult moral issues and plots driven on the ambiguity of authority and on individual conscience as the ultimate arbiter of truth. Zwick got his start in television, directing episodes of long-gone shows until he partnered with friend Marshall Herskovitz to produce the Emmy Award-winning drama, "thirtysomething" (ABC, 1987-1991). While enjoying the fruits of his small screen success, Zwick struck a major chord with his second feature, "Glory" (1989), which told the often neglected story of African-American soldiers fighting for the Union during the Civil War. He parlayed this award-worthy epic into a string of financial and critical hits, including "Legends of the Fall" (1994), "Courage Under Fire" (1996) and "The Siege" (1998), before he settled into a producer's role on "Shakespeare in Love" (1998) and "Traffic" (2000). Though he would take more time off between directing projects later in his career, Zwick continued to make epic films that were large in scope while remaining intensely personal, confirming that he was...

Often considered to be a throwback to an older Hollywood era, director Edward Zwick was an extremely cerebral director whose movies consistently featured fully rounded characters, difficult moral issues and plots driven on the ambiguity of authority and on individual conscience as the ultimate arbiter of truth. Zwick got his start in television, directing episodes of long-gone shows until he partnered with friend Marshall Herskovitz to produce the Emmy Award-winning drama, "thirtysomething" (ABC, 1987-1991). While enjoying the fruits of his small screen success, Zwick struck a major chord with his second feature, "Glory" (1989), which told the often neglected story of African-American soldiers fighting for the Union during the Civil War. He parlayed this award-worthy epic into a string of financial and critical hits, including "Legends of the Fall" (1994), "Courage Under Fire" (1996) and "The Siege" (1998), before he settled into a producer's role on "Shakespeare in Love" (1998) and "Traffic" (2000). Though he would take more time off between directing projects later in his career, Zwick continued to make epic films that were large in scope while remaining intensely personal, confirming that he was one of the more well-rounded directors working in Hollywood.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Defiance (2008)
3.
4.
  The Last Samurai (2003) Director
5.
  Siege, The (1998) Director
6.
  Courage Under Fire (1996) Director
7.
  Legends of the Fall (1994) Director
8.
  Leaving Normal (1992) Director
9.
  Glory (1989) Director
10.
  About Last Night (1986) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 WOMEN vs. MEN (2002) Moderator
2.
 America Responds: A Special Report (2001) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began directing and acting in high school, leading to an apprenticeship at the Academy Festival in Lake Forest, IL
1972:
Worked as editor and feature writer for <i>The New Republic</i> and <i>Rolling Stone</i> magazines
:
Received a Rockefeller Fellowship to study theater abroad
1976:
Short film "Timothy and the Angel," made while a student at AFI, won first place at the student film competition at the 1976 Chicago Film Festival
1976:
Made series debut, as writer, director and producer for "Family" (ABC)
1982:
Helmed ABC movies "Having It All" and "Paper Dolls"
1983:
Directed, co-wrote story and co-produced Emmy-winning TV-movie "Special Bulletin" (NBC); marked beginning of collaboration with Marshall Herskovitz
1985:
Co-formed Bedford Falls Company with Herskovitz
1985:
Directed episodes of ABC's "The Insiders" (premiere) and NBC's "The Best Times"
1986:
Feature directorial debut, "About Last Night..."
1987:
Returned to series TV as the creator, writer and producer (with Herskovitz) of "thirtysomething" (ABC)
1989:
Became an established feature director with "Glory"; first association with Denzel Washington
1992:
Helmed the feature "Leaving Normal," starring Christine Lahti
1994:
Debut as feature producer, "Legends of the Fall"; also directed
1994:
Helped put the angst back in adolescence as one of the executive producers of the cult ABC series "My So Called Life" (ABC); after its cancellation MTV obtained broadcasting rights
1996:
Helmed the Persian Gulf War drama "Courage Under Fire"; second film with Denzel Washington
1996:
Returned to TV as executive producer (with Herskovitz) of the short-lived ABC drama "Relativity"; also directed episodes
1998:
Served as one of the producers for Herskovitz's "Dangerous Beauty"
1998:
Produced and directed "The Siege," about a terrorist campaign in NYC and the resultant martial law; third film with Denzel Washington
1998:
Served as a producer on the Oscar-winning film "Shakespeare in Love"; at one time Zwick was set to direct the film but the project was put on hold
1999:
Re-teamed with Herskovitz as co-creator and co-exeuctive producer of the ABC drama series "Once and Again"
2000:
Signed on as one of the producers for "Traffic"; earned a Best Picture Academy Award nomination
2001:
Produced the drama feature "I Am Sam"
2003:
Directed the Epic "The Last Samurai," featuring Tom Cruise
2006:
Directed Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou in "Blood Diamond"
2008:
Directed the World War II drama "Defiance"
2010:
Directed Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway in "Love and Other Drugs," based on the book <i>Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman</i>
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Education

AFI Conservatory: - 1975
Harvard University: Cambridge , Massachusetts - 1974
AFI Conservatory: Los Angeles , California - 1975
Center For Advanced Film Studies, American Film Institute: - 1975 - 1977

Notes

"My feelings are that nothing in life is simple. In my experience, the way in which things resolve themselves are never cut and dried ... I am interested in things that are situational, if you will. I think that has informed a lot of the work I've done. I used to think that the politics of 'thirtysomething' had to do with ambivalence and the dialectic on which things exist in opposition and in tension. I think that's a truer vision of life than a more Manichean one of simple good and bad, or good and evil." --Edward Zwick quoted in Cineaste, Volume XXII No. 3

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Liberty Godshall. Screenwriter.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Literature and Liberalism"

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