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Norman Jewison

Norman Jewison

Norman Jewison has been a vibrant force in the motion picture industry for three decades. During that time, he has been personally nominated for four Oscars. His films have received 45 nominations and 12 Academy Awards. He has also been nominated for three Best Director awards by the Directors Guild of America, and received many international honors as well. Jewison was presented with the prestigious Irving Thalberg Award at the 1999 Academy Awards ceremony.

Jewison recently produced and directed a two-hour documentary for the Millennium Twentieth Century Project for The Showtime Channel. This documentary reflects on the importance of humor in America during the last 100 years.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Jewison made his stage debut at age five. Later he staged and performed in both dramas and musical comedies at Malvern Collegiate Institute before leaving for World War II with the Royal Canadian Navy. On his return he enrolled at the University of Toronto's Victoria College, earning a bachelor's degree in general arts in 1950.

After six years with CBC Television in Toronto, Jewison was invited to New York to direct the memorable series Your Hit Parade for CBS. He followed this with The Andy Williams Show, two Harry Belafonte specials, The Fabulous Fifties, Danny Kaye's television debut, The Broadway of Lerner and Loewe and the award-winning Judy Garland specials. For his efforts, he received three Emmy Awards.

Jewison's debut as a film director came with the 1962 comedy, 40 Pounds of Trouble with Tony Curtis. After three more romantic comedies for Universal, two with Doris Day, Jewison co-wrote and directed the successful classic The Cincinnati Kid, starring Steve McQueen, as an independent filmmaker.

Since then Jewison's films have covered a wide range of subjects and styles: from the pre-glasnost political satire The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!, the stylish The Thomas Crown Affair, to the sultry mystery In The Heat of the Night, (winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1967), and the angry irony of And Justice for All with Al Pacino.

Jewison also directed the hit screen version of Broadway's Fiddler on the Roof, the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, the futuristic Rollerball and the political drama F.I.S.T. In 1984, Jewison directed and co-produced the critically acclaimed A Soldier's Story, adapted from Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning play which was nominated for three Academy Awards. Two years later Jewison directed and produced Agnes of God, a feature he filmed in his native country, which was honored with three Oscar nominations, including Best Supporting Actress nominations for Meg Tilly and Anne Bancroft

Moonstruck resulted in yet another nomination for Jewison's direction. The film was a multiple Oscar-winner, with Cher winning Best Actress honors, Olympia Dukakis winning for Best Supporting Actress and John Patrick Shanley for Best Original Screenplay.

In recent years, he has directed In Country, Other People's Money, Only You and Bogus. Additionally Jewison and Yorktown Productions produced Picture Windows, a dramatic series for Showtime, directed by some of today's most noted directors including Jewison, Joe Dante, Peter Bogdanovich and Jonathan Kaplan. He also executive-produced Geronimo, a true tale of the last and most feared Apache war chief's dramatic early years. The project was one in a series of original dramas portraying historical events in Native American history filmed for TNT and cast with all Native American actors.

In 1982, Jewison was made an Officer of the Order of Canada; in 1989, he was made a member of the Order of Ontario; and in 1993, he was elevated to a Companion to the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honour. In November 1986, Jewison established the Canadian Film Centre (CFC), which offers filmmakers the opportunity to hone their skills to a state of the art level. The CFC recently honoured Jewison with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.

In October of this year, he was honored with the George Eastman Kodak Award from the National Association of Theater Owners at the annual ShowEast convention in Atlantic City.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Norman Jewison Facts

Birth NameNorman Frederick Jewison
OccupationDirector, Producer
BirthdayJuly 21, 1926 (95)
BirthplaceToronto, Ontario, Canada

Selected Filmography

Jesus Christ Superstar
Fiddler on the Roof
Pillow Talk / Lover Come Back / Send Me No Flowers / The Thrill of It All 4-Movie Laugh Pack
The Hurricane
The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming
The Thomas Crown Affair
Only You
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