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Dan Curtis' Dracula DVD Academy Award-winner Jack Palance sinks his teeth into the role of the immortal... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

The Dan Curtis Macabre Collection... The horror is here! These four discs bring the best of horror director Dan... more info $49.98was $49.98 Buy Now

The Turn Of The Screw DVD A classic of scary storytelling, "The Turn of the Screw" (1974) is based on the... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Dead Of Night DVD From the twisted minds of producer/director Dan Curtis ("Dark Shadows") and... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Dark Shadows: Special Edition... This Special Edition DVD includes an abundance of additional material for fans... more info $24.98was $24.98 Buy Now

War And Remembrance: The Complete Epic... A sequel to the acclaimed adaptation of Herman Wouk's "The Winds of War" (1983),... more info $129.98was $129.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: Daniel Meyer Curtis Died: March 27, 2006
Born: August 12, 1927 Cause of Death: Brain Tumor
Birth Place: Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA Profession: producer, director, screenwriter, film sales representative

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Producer-director Dan Curtis began his showbiz career as a salesman at NBC and later MCA. In the early 1960s, the Bridgeport, CT native founded his own production company and also became the owner and executive in charge of the Emmy-winning sports program "CBS Golf Classic" (1963-73). Curtis then moved into daytime TV as the creator of the drama serial "Dark Shadows" (1966-71). At its premiere, the show had a Gothic tone to it as it centered on an orphaned governess who goes to work for a wealthy family. Ratings were low and the network threatened cancellation. Taking an anything goes approach, the writers introduced a character of a vampire and the show swiftly became a must-see. "Dark Shadows" was somewhat campy in its day but it also appealed to a rabid fan base that continues to the present. While its roster of performers boasted such figures as Joan Bennett, Oscar nominee Grayson Hall and Jonathan Frid as the vampire Barnabas Collins, it also introduced future TV and film players ranging from Marsha Mason (who had a bit role) to Kate Jackson, Emmy-winner John Karlen and David Selby, among others. Eschewing typical soap opera stories, the series mined many of the popular themes found in sci-fi...

Producer-director Dan Curtis began his showbiz career as a salesman at NBC and later MCA. In the early 1960s, the Bridgeport, CT native founded his own production company and also became the owner and executive in charge of the Emmy-winning sports program "CBS Golf Classic" (1963-73). Curtis then moved into daytime TV as the creator of the drama serial "Dark Shadows" (1966-71). At its premiere, the show had a Gothic tone to it as it centered on an orphaned governess who goes to work for a wealthy family. Ratings were low and the network threatened cancellation. Taking an anything goes approach, the writers introduced a character of a vampire and the show swiftly became a must-see. "Dark Shadows" was somewhat campy in its day but it also appealed to a rabid fan base that continues to the present. While its roster of performers boasted such figures as Joan Bennett, Oscar nominee Grayson Hall and Jonathan Frid as the vampire Barnabas Collins, it also introduced future TV and film players ranging from Marsha Mason (who had a bit role) to Kate Jackson, Emmy-winner John Karlen and David Selby, among others. Eschewing typical soap opera stories, the series mined many of the popular themes found in sci-fi and horror literature (e.g., time travel, the Frankenstein and Wolf Man myths, etc.) but did not neglect the romance of the genre. If for nothing else, Curtis could be recalled for pushing the boundaries of daytime drama storytelling. He segued to the big screen with features based on the mythology of the show. "House of Dark Shadows" (1970) recast the original story and was more graphically violent that TV would allow. A second spin-off film "Night of Dark Shadows" (1972) proved less successful as did Curtis' attempt to revive the series in primetime for NBC in 1991.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Our Fathers (2005)
2.
3.
  Love Letter, The (1998) Director
4.
  Trilogy of Terror II (1996) Director
5.
6.
  Me and the Kid (1993) Director
7.
  Johnny Ryan (1990) Creator
8.
9.
  Mrs. R's Daughter (1979) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Intimate Portrait: Jane Seymour (1998) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Connecticut
1952:
Worked as head of sales in the film division of NBC
:
Was network television program sales representative at MCA
1962:
Founded Dan Curtis Productions
:
Was owner and producer of the Emmy-winning sports program "CBS Golf Classic"
1966:
Created, directed, and executive produced the ABC daytime soap "Dark Shadows"
1968:
First primetime TV production, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (ABC); starred Jack Palance
1970:
Feature debut as producer and director "House of Dark Shadows," loosely based on the popular TV show
1971:
Provided the story for and produced and directed "Night of Dark Shadows", a second film loosely based on the TV show
1972:
Introduced the character of Carl Kolchak in the ABC TV-movie "The Night Stalker"
1973:
Produced the ABC miniseries "Frankenstein"
1974:
Directed and produced the ABC miniseries "The Turn of the Screw," starring Lynn Redgrave
1974:
Produced and directed the CBS TV-remake of "Dracula," starring Palance
1975:
Directed and produced the memorable thriller "Triology of Terror" (ABC); all three stories starred Karen Black
1976:
Penned the screenplay adaptation, produced and directed "Burnt Offerings," starring Black and Bette Davis
1978:
Provided story, directed and produced the autobiographical TV-movie "When Every Day Was the Fourth of July" (NBC)
1979:
Executive produced and directed episodes of the short-lived series "Supertrain" (NBC)
1980:
Directed and executive produced the autobiographical "The Long Days of Summer" (ABC), a sequel to "When Every Day Was the Fourth of July"
1983:
Served as producer and director of the epic 18-hour ABC miniseries "The Winds of War," based on the book by Herman Wouk
1988:
Directed and executive produced the 12-part sequel miniseries "War and Remembrance" (ABC)
1990:
Executive produced "Johnny Ryan" (NBC), a pilot for a drama series that was not picked up by the network
1991:
Revived "Dark Shadows" (ABC) as a primetime serial; executive produced, wrote and directed miniseries version; executive produced and directed episodes of the short-lived series
1992:
Directed and co-executive produced the CBS miniseries "Intruders," purportedly based on true cases of UFO abductions
1993:
Last feature to date "Me and the Kid"; produced, scripted and directed
1996:
Executive produced, directed, and co-wrote (with William F. Nolan) two segments of the sequel "Trilogy of Terror II" (USA Network)
1998:
Helmed and produced "The Love Letter," a CBS "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation
2000:
In January, announced plans to co-author and co-direct a Broadway musical based on "Dark Shadows" with music by Robert Colbert and lyrics by Rupert Holmes
2005:
Directed final two TV-movies, "Saving Milly" (CBS) and "Our Fathers" (Showtime)
2005:
Produced a pilot episode for a reboot of "Dark Shadows" (The WB)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Bridgeport: Bridgeport , Connecticut - 1947
Syracuse University: Syracuse , New York - 1950
Center For Advanced Film Studies, American Film Institute: - 1991

Notes

"Horror stories are the most difficult type of things to do because you need imagination and humor, and you can never make a mistake. The first screw-up, you lose all credibility and you're dead with the audience ... A logic lapse or the wrong kind of laugh can sink you. Every single word is a deathtrap." --Dan Curtis quoted in Cinefantastique, Volume 28, No. 4-5.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Norma May Klein. Mother Dorothy Daniels.
wife:
Norma May Klein. Married on June 22, 1952.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Edward Philip Curtis. Has five.
mother:
Mildred Bernice Cherkass. Cohn, Catherine Perry. Survived her.
daughter:
Cathy Curtis. Divorced.
daughter:
Tracy Curtis. Had one other; survived him.
daughter:
Tracy Curtis. Producer, former actor.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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