David S. Ward


Director, Screenwriter
David S. Ward

About

Also Known As
David Ward, David Schad Ward, David S Ward
Birth Place
Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Born
October 24, 1947

Biography

David S. Ward specialized in writing and directing feature films which often used a familiar backdrop to tell an unfamiliar tale. He got his big break when he sold "Steelyard Blues/The Final Crash," a film about a D.A. embarrassed by his ex-con brother and his ex-hooker girlfriend, to Michael and Julia Phillips in 1971. Released in 1973, the film starred Howard Hesseman as the lawyer, Do...

Family & Companions

Rosana DeSoto
Wife
Actor. Married on September 20, 1980.

Biography

David S. Ward specialized in writing and directing feature films which often used a familiar backdrop to tell an unfamiliar tale. He got his big break when he sold "Steelyard Blues/The Final Crash," a film about a D.A. embarrassed by his ex-con brother and his ex-hooker girlfriend, to Michael and Julia Phillips in 1971. Released in 1973, the film starred Howard Hesseman as the lawyer, Donald Sutherland as his brother and Jane Fonda as the girl. Most critics found it entertaining, but it was not as popular as the other Ward-Phillips 1973 collaboration, "The Sting." Starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, the movie was about the gambling con job deluxe. Meticulously directed by George Roy Hill, featuring a wonderful cast (besides Newman and Redford, there was Robert Shaw, Charles Durning, Eileen Brennan and Ray Walston) and fueled partly by Marvin Hamlisch's score adapted from Scott Joplin rags, "The Sting" was a popular and critical hit. It went on to win seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and one for Ward's original screenplay.

But it was several years before Ward's word was back on the big screen. He wrote and directed the unsuccessful "Cannery Row" (1982), adapted from John Steinbeck's novel. Troubled from the outset when Raquel Welch was replaced by Debra Winger, it was one of the films said to have helped bring down a studio (in this case, MGM/UA). Although Ward continued to work as a screenwriter, including "The Milagro Beanfield War" (1988) directed by Robert Redford, it was not until 1989 that he directed another film. "Major League," about the locker room and playing field stories of a Cleveland team aiming to beat the Yankees, was a popular hit and spawned a sequel, "Major League II" (1994) which Ward only directed. He also wrote and directed John Goodman in the actor's first star vehicle, "King Ralph" (1991), a lame comedy about an American who inherits the throne of England. Ward had better luck with his script contributions to Nora Ephron's "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993) which netted him another Oscar nomination. He directed Kelsey Grammer (in his first feature lead) and Lauren Holly in the comedy "Down Periscope" (1996).

Life Events

1958

Screenwriting debut, "Steelyard Blues"

1973

First successful film as screenwriter, "The Sting"; won Oscar for Best Original Screenplay

1982

Feature directing debut "Cannery Row"; also scripted

1988

Co-wrote the screen adaptation of "The Milagro Beanfield War"

1989

Enjoyed hit as writer-director of the sports comedy "Major League"

1993

Wrote and directed the controversial sports film "The Program" about a college football team; one scene where the team members lie down in moving traffic created a stir when young men emulated it

1993

Contributed to the script for Nora Ephron's "Sleepless in Seattle"; shared Academy Award nomination

1994

Producing debut, "Major League II"; also scripted

1996

Stumbled with the lame comedy "Down Periscope"

Videos

Movie Clip

Sleepless In Seattle (1993) - Not Even When I Was Young Leaving her parents’ Christmas dinner in (Annapolis) Maryland, having just announced their engagement, Walter (Bill Pullman) and Annie (Meg Ryan) head back to Washington D.C. in separate cars, and she hears Jonah (Ross Malinger) call the radio show (Caroline Aaron the host) on behalf of his widowed dad (Tom Hanks), early in Sleepless In Seattle, 1993.
Sleepless In Seattle (1993) - A Million Tiny Little Things Christmas Eve after dark, hesitant bride-to-be Annie (Meg Ryan) stops by a Baltimore diner where the staff (Linda Walem, LaTanya Richardson) are listening to the same radio show she heard in the car, Caroline Aaron the host, Tom Hanks the reluctant widowed dad Sam, in Sleepless In Seattle, 1993.
Sleepless In Seattle (1993) - Men Never Get This Movie! Writer-director Nora Ephron, Meg Ryan as Annie (engaged to “Walter”) and Rosie O’Donnell as pal Becky dig into director Leo McCarey’s An Affair To Remember, 1957, with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, while Meg considers a letter to the widowed father (Tom Hanks) she heard on the radio, in Sleepless In Seattle, 1993.
Sleepless In Seattle (1993) - All I Could Say Was Hello (Significant SPOILER!) Meg Ryan as (otherwise) engaged Annie is benevolently stalking Tom Hanks, as single-dad Sam, (with Ross Malinger as his son and Rita Wilson, Tom’s real-life wife, as his sister, though Meg assumes she’s a girlfriend), then explaining to Becky (Rosie O’Donnell) back in Baltimore, leading to a second reference to Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, in An Affair To Remember, 1957, in Sleepless In Seattle, 1993.
Steelyard Blues (1973) - You Ain't Even Dangerous Opening in jail, Melvin Stewart the inmate harassing top-billed Donald Sutherland, whom we learn has been a demolition derby driver, among other things, from Steelyard Blues, also starring Jane Fonda, an early effort from the prolific TV director and professor Alan Myerson.
Steelyard Blues (1973) - Where There Ain't No Jails Veldini (Donald Sutherland), just out of jail, with his crew (Jane Fonda as girlfriend Iris, John Savage his younger brother, Peter Boyle his often-institutionalized pal “Eagle”) visiting mechanic-thief Duval (Garry Goodrow), who’s proposing they rehabilitate a “flying boat” plane, in Steelyard Blues, 1973.
Steelyard Blues (1973) - Put Your Thing On The Table Just-paroled Veldini (Donald Sutherland) visits his hooker girlfriend Iris (Jane Fonda) on the job, Roger Bowen her “John,” having a laugh, early in Steelyard Blues, 1973, co-starring Peter Boyle, John Savage and Howard Hesseman.
Sting, The (1973) - We Use The Wire Billie (Eileen Brennan) brushes back cop Snyder (Charles Durning), as Hooker (Robert Redford), Gondorff (Paul Newman) and the gang (Ray Walston, Harold Gould, Jon Heffernan) plan the con, in The Sting, 1973.
Sting, The (1973) - Real Horse's Ass Arriving in Chicago, referred by their deceased mutual friend Luther, grifter Hooker (Robert Redford) meets Billie (Eileen Brennan) and his dissolute partner-to-be Gondorff (Paul Newman), early in The Sting, 1973.
Sting, The (1973) - Lay Off The Skirts An elaborate piece in the con game, Twist (Harold Gould) and J-J (Ray Walston) launch the fake paint job, as Hooker (Robert Redford) reels in the mark Lonergan (Robert Shaw), Ken Sanson the clueless Western Union functionary, in The Sting, 1973.
Sting, The (1973) - We're Millionaires! The second scene, Depression-era Joliet, IL,introducing Hooker (Robert Redford), Luther (Robert Earl Jones), the "Erie Kid (Jack Kehoe), running a venerable scam on mob courier Mottola (James J. Sloyan), in George Roy Hill's depression-era caper comedy The Sting, 1973.
Sting, The (1973) - We Usually Require A Tie Now on the train, con artists Hooker (Robert Redford) and Gondorff (Paul Newman) check out the mark's pinched wallet, then join him (Robert Shaw as "Lonergan") for the crucial card game, in The Sting, 1973.

Trailer

Family

Robert McCollum Ward
Father
Miriam Ward
Mother
Joaquin Atwood Ward
Son
Sylvana Bonifacia DeSoto Ward
Daughter

Companions

Rosana DeSoto
Wife
Actor. Married on September 20, 1980.

Bibliography