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John D Hancock

John D Hancock

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Also Known As: John Hancock Died:
Born: February 12, 1939 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Kansas City, Missouri, USA Profession: director, screenwriter, producer, musician

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

OBIE Award-winning theater director John Hancock used a grant from the American Film Institute to produce, direct and co-author his first film, the short "Sticky My Fingers . . . Fleet My Feet" (1970), for which he received an Oscar nomination. He directed his first feature "Let's Scare Jessica to Death" (1971), a creepy little tale of murder and deception, and followed with his most critically acclaimed work, "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973), which advanced the careers of stars Robert De Niro and Michael Moriarty. He acquitted himself well with "Baby Blue Marine" (1976) and "California Dreaming" (1979) before venturing into series TV during the 1980s and 1990's, helming episodes of NBC's "Hill Street Blues" and CBS' "The Twilight Zone", among others. Hancock returned to features as the auteur of "Weeds" (1987), producing, directing and co-writing (with wife Dorothy Tristan) this unique character study of cons-on-the-boards, based on Rick Cluchey's real-life experiences with the San Quentin Drama Group. He then directed "Prancer" (1989), his last feature to date, shooting the movie in his Indiana boyhood home of LaPorte. Though the film worked for kids as a charming fantasy about a child's undying...

OBIE Award-winning theater director John Hancock used a grant from the American Film Institute to produce, direct and co-author his first film, the short "Sticky My Fingers . . . Fleet My Feet" (1970), for which he received an Oscar nomination. He directed his first feature "Let's Scare Jessica to Death" (1971), a creepy little tale of murder and deception, and followed with his most critically acclaimed work, "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973), which advanced the careers of stars Robert De Niro and Michael Moriarty. He acquitted himself well with "Baby Blue Marine" (1976) and "California Dreaming" (1979) before venturing into series TV during the 1980s and 1990's, helming episodes of NBC's "Hill Street Blues" and CBS' "The Twilight Zone", among others.

Hancock returned to features as the auteur of "Weeds" (1987), producing, directing and co-writing (with wife Dorothy Tristan) this unique character study of cons-on-the-boards, based on Rick Cluchey's real-life experiences with the San Quentin Drama Group. He then directed "Prancer" (1989), his last feature to date, shooting the movie in his Indiana boyhood home of LaPorte. Though the film worked for kids as a charming fantasy about a child's undying devotion to an animal, Hancock was also able to provide adults with an effectively sentimental mirror of childhood innocence.

In 1998, he opened his own production company FILMACRES in LaPorte, Indiana. He has produced and directed the feature film "A Piece of Eden" in 1999 and directed the suspense thriller "Suspended Animation" in 2001-2002.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Suspended Animation (2003) Director
2.
  Piece of Eden, A (1999) Director
3.
  Prancer (1989) Director
4.
  Steal the Sky (1988) Director
5.
  Weeds (1987) Director
6.
  California Dreaming (1979) Director
7.
  Baby Blue Marine (1976) Director
8.
  Bang The Drum Slowly (1973) Director

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in LaPorte County, Indiana
:
As an adolescent, was an accomplished violinist and later concertmaster of the Chicago Youth Orchestra
1962:
Served as artistic director of the New Repertory Theater in NYC
:
Was artistic director of San Francisco Actors Workshop
:
Served as artistic director at the Pittsburgh Playhouse
1970:
With a grant from the American Film Institute, produced, directed and co-authored first short film, "Sticky My Fingers . . . Fleet My Feet"; received Oscar nomination for Best Live Action Short Subject
1971:
Directed first feature, "Let's Scare Jessica to Death"
1973:
Sustained credible melodrama of a dying baseball player and his pal in second feature directorial effort, "Bang the Drum Slowly"
1976:
Brought Norman Rockwell's America to life in "Baby Blue Marine"
1979:
Helmed revisionist beach party movie "California Dreaming"
:
Directed episodes of series TV during the 1980s and 1990s, including "Hill Street Blues" and "The Twilight Zone"
1987:
Produced, directed and co-wrote (with wife Dorothy Tristan) "Weeds", an odd, original mix of comedy and drama based on Rick Cluchey's real-life experience with the San Quentin Drama Group
1989:
Directed feature film "Prancer"
1998:
Opened own film production company, FILMACRES,in LaPorte, Indiana
1999:
Produced and directed feature film "A Piece of Eden"
2001:
Directed Suspense thriller feature film "Suspended Animation"
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Education

AFI Conservatory: Los Angeles , California -
Actors Studio: New York , New York -
Harvard University: Cambridge , Massachusetts - 1961

Notes

Hancock should not be confused with either the late American actor (1941-1992) of the same name or with the American screenwriter John Lee Hancock.

About choosing to direct "Prancer" and his return to his boyhood home: "I was attracted to the script because of the story's innocence and feeling. With its centering on children and animals, it is the type of project that not too many people care to undertake . . . LaPorte is a great place to make a picture. The people are friendly and cooperative and the area has its own unique quaintness and charm." --John Hancock, PR for "Prancer"

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Ann Hancock. Married in 1966; divorced in 1974.
wife:
Dorothy Tristan. Actor, writer. Married on December 29, 1975.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Ralph David Hancock. Musician and farmer.
mother:
Ella Mae Hancock. Teacher and farmer.

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