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John Herzfeld

John Herzfeld

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Newark, New Jersey, USA Profession: director, screenwriter, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This screenwriter and director of both TV and films got his start as an actor (and still appears before the camera from time to time). After graduating from college, Herzfeld moved to Los Angeles and began acting, debuting as a junkie in the TV-movie "Lieutenant Schuster's Wife" (ABC, 1972). He went on to play small roles in "Some Kind of Miracle" (CBS, 1979), "A Rumor of War" (CBS, 1980), "Victims" (NBC, 1982) and "Shattered Spirits" (ABC, 1986). He also played Paul Michael Glaser's brother on "Starsky and Hutch" (ABC, 1975-1979) and turned up on "Kojak" and "Baretta." But by the time his acting career was winding down, Herzfeld had already become a successful writer and director with the acclaimed "ABC Afterschool Special" installments, "Stoned" (1981) and "Run, Don't Walk" (1982), involving drugs and disablement, respectively. (He earned an Emmy for helming the former.) Herzfeld went on to write and/or direct myriad TV-movies, including the remake of "Splendor in the Grass" (NBC, 1981), "Daddy" (ABC, 1987), the acclaimed AIDS drama "The Ryan White Story", starring Lukas Haas, and the true-crime story "The Preppie Murder" (both ABC, 1989), one of the three lurid Amy Fisher biopics, "Casualties of...

This screenwriter and director of both TV and films got his start as an actor (and still appears before the camera from time to time). After graduating from college, Herzfeld moved to Los Angeles and began acting, debuting as a junkie in the TV-movie "Lieutenant Schuster's Wife" (ABC, 1972). He went on to play small roles in "Some Kind of Miracle" (CBS, 1979), "A Rumor of War" (CBS, 1980), "Victims" (NBC, 1982) and "Shattered Spirits" (ABC, 1986). He also played Paul Michael Glaser's brother on "Starsky and Hutch" (ABC, 1975-1979) and turned up on "Kojak" and "Baretta."

But by the time his acting career was winding down, Herzfeld had already become a successful writer and director with the acclaimed "ABC Afterschool Special" installments, "Stoned" (1981) and "Run, Don't Walk" (1982), involving drugs and disablement, respectively. (He earned an Emmy for helming the former.) Herzfeld went on to write and/or direct myriad TV-movies, including the remake of "Splendor in the Grass" (NBC, 1981), "Daddy" (ABC, 1987), the acclaimed AIDS drama "The Ryan White Story", starring Lukas Haas, and the true-crime story "The Preppie Murder" (both ABC, 1989), one of the three lurid Amy Fisher biopics, "Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story" (CBS, 1993), featuring Alyssa Milano, and the thriller "Comes the Dawn" (HBO, 1995). Still bitten by the acting bug, he also played cameo roles in a number of these projects.

Herzfeld began his big screen career writing screenplays for the romance "Voices" (1979) and the teen comedy "Hang Tough" (1982), before writing and directing the English-language version of the Israeli war drama "The Last Winter" (1982). His next writing/directing project, the dreadful John Travolta-Olivia Newton-John comedy "Two of a Kind" (1983) derailed his screen career.

He played a small role in "Cobra" (1986) and appeared in the documentary "Stephen Verona: Self Portrait" (1995), but Herzfeld was at an admittedly low point when he began writing "2 Days in the Valley" (1996). Inspired by a cemetery near his San Fernando Valley home, he scripted a darkly funny tale of ten characters and how their lives intersect and change over 48 hours. Independently shot, the film provided good roles for an impressive cast of Herzfeld's old TV and film co-workers, such as Danny Aiello, Paul Mazursky, Jeff Daniels, Teri Hatcher, Eric Stoltz and Louise Fletcher. As a follow-up, he returned to the small screen to helm "Don King: Only in America", a 1997 HBO biopic of the boxing promoter.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Bobby Z (2007)
2.
  15 Minutes (2001) Director
3.
4.
  2 Days in the Valley (1996) Director
6.
  Preppie Murder, The (1989) Director
7.
  Ryan White Story, The (1989) Director
8.
  Father's Revenge, A (1988) Director
9.
  Daddy (1987) Director
10.
  Two of a Kind (1983) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Ryan White Story, The (1989) Florist
4.
 On Fire (1987) Nico
5.
 Shattered Spirits (1986) Detective Pearlman
6.
 Cobra (1986) Cho
7.
 Victims (1982)
8.
 Some Kind Of Miracle (1979) Hal Siegal
9.
 Cannonball (1976)
10.
 Lieutenant Schuster's Wife (1972) Junkie
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1972:
Made small screen acting debut in TV-movie "Lt. Schuster's Wife" (ABC)
1979:
First screenplay credit, "Voices"
1981:
TV writing and directing debut, "Stoned", an "ABC Afterschool Special"
1982:
Directed and wrote English-language version of Israeli film "The Last Winter"
1983:
First solo directing credit, "Two of a Kind"; also wrote screenplay
1996:
Wrote and directed first film in ten years, "2 Days in the Valley"
1997:
Directed the HBO biopic "Don King: Only in America"
2001:
Wrote and directed "Fifteen Minutes"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Memphis State University: Memphis , Tennessee -
University of Miami: Miami , Florida -

Notes

"I'd like very much to be able to go back and forth and do features and TV. And I think that line in the sand, so to speak, is really evaporating at the moment. When you look at Barry Levinson doing 'Homicide,' David Lynch is doing a show, Oliver Stone is now developing a series. . .I think that everything is starting to come together now. I think that there won't be that attitude [that] one is better than the other. You tell a story, you tell a story. You can tell some stories better in the movies and some better on TV." --John Herzfeld

Herzeld acted in his own TV-movies "Stoned" (ABC, 1981), "On Fire" (ABC, 1987), "The Ryan White Story" (ABC, 1989) and "Barbara Taylor Bradford's 'Remember'" (NBC, 1993).

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