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Mark Rydell

Mark Rydell has acted in both films and television, but is perhaps best known for his work behind the camera as an Academy Award-nominated director. His films have amassed an impressive 26 Academy Award nominations and 31 Golden Globe nominations, with a number of wins on both.

He earned an Oscar(& nomination, as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe Award nominations, for Best Director for the drama On Golden Pond, which won Oscars for Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn and the screenplay. The film earned 10 Academy Award nominations in all, including one for Best Picture. Rydell had garnered his first Golden Globe nomination in 1968 for his feature film directorial debut on The Fox. He more recently received an Emmy nomination for Best Director for Crime of the Century, and was this year honored by his peers with a Directors Guild of America Award nomination for the television miniseries James Dean. James Franco won a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance in the title role of James Dean, which Rydell also executive produced and in which he appeared as studio mogul Jack Warner.

In addition, Rydell has directed and produced the films The Cowboys, starring John Wayne; Cinderella Liberty, which earned three Oscars nominations; and

Intersection. His directing credits also include The Reivers, starring Steve McQueen; Harry and Walter Go to New York; The River, starring Mel Gibson and Sissy Spacek, which received five Oscar It nominations; and For the Boys and The Rose, both of which brought Oscar nominations to Bette Midler.

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Rydell trained at the Juilliard School of Music and started out as a jazz pianist in New York and Chicago. He segued to acting when he won a scholarship to Sanford Meisner's renowned Neighborhood Playhouse, and later joined the Actors Studio where he is presently the artistic director of the West Coast branch. Rydell's earliest acting work was in live television and a continuing role in the daytime drama As The World Turns. He made his Broadway debut in Seagulls Over Sorrento, with Rod Steiger, and made his feature film debut with John Cassavetes and Sal Mineo in 1956's Crime In The Streets.

Shortly thereafter, Rydell began his directing career on the classic television series Ben Casey, and also helmed the first episode of I Spy, starring Bill Cosby and Robert Culp. He went on to direct more than 50 episodes of dramatic television. Though his focus has been on directing, Rydell has continued to act, appearing in such films as Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye, David Seltzer's Punchline, and Sydney Pollack's Havana, in which he played mobster Meyer Lansky.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Mark Rydell Facts

BirthdayMarch 23, 1934 (88)
BirthplaceNew York, New York, USA

Selected Filmography

The Cowboys
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: John Wayne Westerns
The Rose
On Golden Pond
For The Boys
The River
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