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The Brothers McMullen DVD The lives and loves of three Long Island Irish-Catholic brothers get the family... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

She's The One DVD In this excellent follow-up to "The Brothers McMullen" (1995), director Edward... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: Edward Burns, Edward Fitzgerald Burns, Edward J. Burns Jr. Died:
Born: January 29, 1968 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Valley Stream, New York, USA Profession: director, actor, screenwriter, producer, production assistant, busboy, van driver

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Like Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino and Allison Anders, actor-writer-director Edward Burns rose to prominence during the indie film boom of the mid-1990s on the strength of his debut film, "The Brothers McMullen" (1995). A thoughtful, good-natured comedy-drama about three Irish-Catholic siblings, it won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and established Burns as a director on the rise. Unfortunately, some of his subsequent efforts, which included "She's The One" (1996), "Sidewalks of New York" (2001) and "Nice Guy Johnny" (2010) felt like rehashes of "McMullen" in their wordiness and low-wattage conflicts. Burns also enjoyed an occasional side career as an actor, most notably in "Saving Private Ryan" (1998), but his tenacity and dedication to intimate dramas - for better or worse - were his calling cards for his decade-plus career.Edward J. Burns Jr., born Jan. 28, 1968 in Woodside, Queens County, NY, was the son of police sergeant Edward J. Burns, Sr. and his wife Molly, a Federal Aviation Administration manager at Kennedy Airport in New York. Burns grew up with his older sister Mary and younger brother Brian in Valley Stream, Long Island; there, he enjoyed a typical Irish-Catholic upbringing,...

Like Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino and Allison Anders, actor-writer-director Edward Burns rose to prominence during the indie film boom of the mid-1990s on the strength of his debut film, "The Brothers McMullen" (1995). A thoughtful, good-natured comedy-drama about three Irish-Catholic siblings, it won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and established Burns as a director on the rise. Unfortunately, some of his subsequent efforts, which included "She's The One" (1996), "Sidewalks of New York" (2001) and "Nice Guy Johnny" (2010) felt like rehashes of "McMullen" in their wordiness and low-wattage conflicts. Burns also enjoyed an occasional side career as an actor, most notably in "Saving Private Ryan" (1998), but his tenacity and dedication to intimate dramas - for better or worse - were his calling cards for his decade-plus career.

Edward J. Burns Jr., born Jan. 28, 1968 in Woodside, Queens County, NY, was the son of police sergeant Edward J. Burns, Sr. and his wife Molly, a Federal Aviation Administration manager at Kennedy Airport in New York. Burns grew up with his older sister Mary and younger brother Brian in Valley Stream, Long Island; there, he enjoyed a typical Irish-Catholic upbringing, including time served as a alter boy. His parents, both dyed-in the-wool movie buffs, encouraged their children to pursue goals that would take them far beyond their neighborhood. Film eventually became his chosen medium, and after time at Oneonta College and State University of New York at Albany, he transferred to Hunter College, where he began making short films.

After graduation, Burns found work as a production assistant on a variety of television news programs, including "Entertainment Tonight" (syndicated, 1981- ), while writing and directing the 45-minute short "Brandy," which made its way into the 1992 Independent Feature Film Market. The following year, he began work on a feature about his Irish-American roots in suburban New York. Shot on 16mm film at the home of Burns' parents for less than $30,000 - some of which came from Burns' father, who was credited as an executive producer - and utilizing a crew of fellow "Entertainment Tonight" staffers, "The Brothers McMullen" was a surprisingly heartfelt, funny picture about a trio of siblings who learn to contend with their collective past as their lives take a variety of turns in regards to love, fidelity, maturity and family. Burns himself led the cast of unknowns as brother Barry, who struggled with committing to Audrey, played by Burns' real-life girlfriend, Maxine Bahns.

"McMullen" was a major hit at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival, capturing its Grand Jury Prize and making Burns a rising star in the burgeoning world of independent features. Released theatrically by Fox Searchlight Pictures, it netted $10 million at the box office, which in turn yielded a green light for a second Burns film. The follow-up, 1996's "She's the One," featured several cast and crew members from "McMullen," including Bahns and co-star Mike McGlone, but the success of the first film allowed him a $3 million budget that afforded such name performers as Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz, as well as an original song score by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. A romantic comedy about a pair of Irish-Catholic brothers (Burns and McGlone) who wrestle with heartbreak, broken marriages and new loves, "She's the One" received mixed reviews, many of which cited its similarity to "McMullen," and it did not perform as well with moviegoers. The picture also signaled the end of Burns' personal relationship with Bahns; after news that the pair would marry, they split in March of 1997.

Undaunted, Burns forged ahead with this third film, "No Looking Back" (1998), a lower budget romantic drama with Lauren Holly as a restless small-town waitress who escapes the doldrums of her life via an old flame, played by Burns. A major disappointment in the wake of "McMullen" and "She's the One," it failed to lure Burns' fans to theaters, and was largely overshadowed by tabloid reports that Burns and Holly had become an item during production. Both dismissed the news items, but Burns would soon develop a reputation for dating his female leads in subsequent films.

While Burns' efforts as director occasionally struggled to find an appreciative audience, his turns as an actor caught the eye of Hollywood. His laconic, dry-witted delivery and model-grade good looks received a first-class introduction to mainstream audiences through Steven Spielberg's World War II epic, "Saving Private Ryan" (1998), which cast him as Private Robert Reiben, one of only three members of Army Captain Tom Hanks' team to survive a mission to save missing a GI called home by the government. However, subsequent efforts to mint him as a leading man, including the cop thriller "15 Minutes" (2001) with Robert De Niro, and "A Sound of Thunder" (2006), with Burns as a time-traveling scientist, were dismal failures, though he made for an appealing con man in the thriller "Confidence" (2003) with Dustin Hoffman. In later years, Burns seemed more comfortable in supporting roles, frequently as a boyfriend or fiancé whose disinterest spurs the female lead to seek romance elsewhere, as in "The Holiday" (2006) or "27 Dresses" (2008). Burns also enjoyed a brief stint as a boyfriend of Grace Adler (Debra Messing) in season three of "Will and Grace" (NBC, 1998-2006), and a season-long run as himself on "Entourage" (HBO, 2004- ) that centered on him penning a television series for the struggling Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon).

Burns returned to the director's chair in 2001 for "Sidewalks of New York," a gentle comedy-drama about a group of romantically damaged Big Apple residents - again led by Burns, but also featuring Rosario Dawson, Dennis Farina, Stanley Tucci and Brittany Murphy - who try to overcome their fear of commitment. Shot in 17 days for less than $1 million, it received modest praise and turned a profit, which brought Burns back into the indie fold. It also served as the terminal point for his relationship with co-star Heather Graham, whom he had been dating since his breakup with Lauren Holly in 1998. The pair officially split in 2000, prior to the film's release. That same year, he began dating model Christy Turlington, with whom he would endure a tumultuous relationship for several years. Initially engaged in 2001, they broke up shortly after the attacks on New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. They reunited and were married in 2003, the same year Turlington gave birth to their daughter, Grace. A son, Finn, followed in 2006.

Burns' directorial career saw diminishing returns in the years that followed "Sidewalks of New York." "Ash Wednesday" (2002), with Burns as a guilt-ridden Irish-Catholic and a woefully miscast Elijah Wood as his long-lost brother, opened in only two theaters and grossed less than $3,000. Its follow-up, "Looking for Kitty," reunited Burns with some of his veteran players, including David Krumholtz and Connie Britton, in a comedy-drama about a basketball coach (Krumholtz) who hires a mouthy PI (Burns) to find his missing wife. It received more positive reviews, but again, only garnered a limited release. Burns tried his hand at television with "The Fighting Fitzgeralds" (NBC, 2001) a comedy about an Irish firefighter (Brian Dennehy) whose retirement is routinely interrupted by his family, but the series - co-produced by Burns' brother Brian under their joint production company, Irish Twins - lasted less than a season.

Despite growing critical sentiment that Burns had squandered the goodwill generated by his debut, he was still able to raise the financing for film projects. In 2006, he saw the release of "The Groomsmen," with Burns again drawing from life as a groom-to-be that is about to marry his longtime girlfriend (Brittany Murphy), who, like Turlington, is five months pregnant at the time of the ceremony. Though his supporting cast, which included Jay Mohr, John Leguizamo, Donal Logue and Matthew Lillard, received solid reviews, the film performed poorly during its theatrical run. The romantic drama "Purple Violets" (2007), with Selma Blair and Patrick Wilson, did not even make it to theaters; instead, the film earned the distinction for being the first feature to debut on iTunes. Burns also kept himself busy with a graphic novel, Dock Walloper, in 2007 and a series of noir-styled Internet shorts called "The Lynch Pin," with Burns as a hired killer, in 2009. The following year saw him back on the festival trail with his latest film, "Nice Guy Eddie," with Burns now playing the libertine uncle to Matt Bush's title character, the sort of congenial good guy that Burns himself played a decade prior.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Newlyweds (2011)
2.
3.
4.
6.
  Ash Wednesday (2002) Director
7.
  Sidewalks of New York (2001) Director
8.
  No Looking Back (1998) Director
9.
  She's The One (1996) Director
10.
  Brothers McMullen, The (1994) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Kingdom Come (2012)
2.
 Alex Cross (2012)
3.
 Newlyweds (2011)
4.
 Nice Guy Johnny (2010)
5.
6.
 One Missed Call (2008)
7.
 27 Dresses (2008)
8.
 Purple Violets (2008)
9.
 Holiday, The (2006)
10.
 River King, The (2006)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Woodside, Queens and Valley Stream, NY
:
Worked as a production assistant and van driver for "Entertainment Tonight" until January 1995
1994:
Shot first feature "The Brothers McMullen" over the course of eight months
1995:
After winning the Grand Prize at Sundance, sold the film to 20th Century Fox's Searchlight Pictures
1996:
Helmed second feature, "She's the One"; also scripted and starred alongside Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz
:
Formed Irish Twin Productions and signed a two-year development deal with Fox Television
1998:
Directed and wrote third feature, the romantic comedy "No Looking Back"
1998:
Co-starred with Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan"
2001:
Played a cop alongside Robert De Niro in "15 Minutes"
2001:
With brother Brian, executive produced the NBC sitcom "The Fighting Fitzgeralds"
2001:
Wrote, directed and starred in the romantic comedy "Sidewalks of New York"
2002:
Wrote an episode for the HBO drama series "The Wire"; episode was nominated for an NAACP Image Award
2003:
Starred as a con artist in the drama "Confidence"
2004:
Premiered "Looking for Kitty" at the Tribeca Film Festiva; produced, directed and co-starred (released in 2006)
2005:
Played a love interest for Grace (Debra Messing) on NBC's "Will & Grace"
2006:
Guest starred as himself on several episodes of the HBO series "Entourage" where he worked with Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) on a television show
2006:
Wrote, directed and co-starred as an apprehensive groom in "The Groomsmen"
2007:
Helmed the romantic comedy "Purple Violets," in which he co-starred with Debra Messing and Patrick Wilson; was the first feature film to be released and distributed by iTunes
2008:
Appeared in the romantic comedy "27 Dresses" opposite Katherine Heigl
2010:
Wrote, directed, and produced the romantic comedy "Nice Guy Johnny"; also acted in film
2011:
Played a newly married man opposite Caitlin Fitzgerald in the romantic relationship drama "Newlyweds"; also wrote, directed, and produced
2012:
Co-starred with Sam Worthington in the crime thriller "Man on a Ledge"
2012:
Cast in the ensemble comedy "Friends with Kids," written and directed by co-star Jennifer Westfeldt
2012:
Featured in crime thriller "Alex Cross," based on the novel <i>Cross</i> by James Patterson and starring Tyler Perry
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

State University of New York at Oneonta: Oneonta , New York -
State University of New York at Albany: Albany , New York -
Hunter College: New York , New York - 1992

Notes

When asked if which he preferred, acting or directing and why, Edward Burns replied: "By far my favorite is the writing. It's the only part of the process that isn't collaborative, and you don't need anyone else's money to do it." --From an interactive chat at www.usatoday.com, November 19, 2001.

"He's more than a flash in the pan. He's an original talent with a voice and a vision, and he has a strong personal center. Because of that, I don't think he'll be affected by the glamour, the oversophisticated stuff. He's going to be around." --Robert Redford on Burns to Us, September 1996.

"I'm an Irish-American kid who got to make films, and I like to write about the people I know. The backgrounds of the characters are autobiographical. But it's not my family. I know characters similar to most of the charcters I write about. But it's not really my family or my life." --Edward Burns in Us, September 1996.

"If all goes well, I'll be making films for the rest of my life, so I don't feel the need to make my hundred-million dollar box-office classic right now. I've made two movies. I don't know a fucking thing about filmmaking. Ten years from now, when I've made another ten movies, maybe I'll have the chops to make a great film." --Burns quoted in Interview, July 1996.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Maxine Bahns. Actor. Met in 1989; appeared in "The Brothers McMullen" and "She's the One"; reportedly planned to marry in 1997; separated in March 1997.
companion:
Lauren Holly. Actor. Began relationship during filming of "No Looking Back"; both claim to be "just buddies".
companion:
Heather Graham. Actor. Dated from 1998 until spring 2000.
companion:
Christy Turlington. Model. Born c. 1968; dating from c. September 2000; engaged as of early 2001; wedding had been scheduled for October 2001 in Italy but was postponed because of world events; separated in early 2002; reconciled in March 2003; married June 7, 2003.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Edward J Burns Sr. Retired police sergeant. Credited as one of the excutive producers of "The Brothers McMullen".
mother:
Molly Burns. Works for the Federal Aviation Administration; served as caterer on "Brothers McMullen".
sister:
Mary Burns. Born c. 1963; mother of three.
brother:
Brian Burns. Producer, screenwriter, director. Born c. February 1969.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Three Screenplays"

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