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Edward Zwick

Edward Zwick is an award-winning director, producer and screenwriter, who has worked on a wide range of acclaimed film and television projects. As a motion picture producer, he won an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for his work on the Best Picture Oscar winner Shakespeare in Love, and earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination for Steven Soderbergh's ensemble drama Traffic.

Zwick has also been recognized for his work as a director. He earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director for only his second film, the 1989 Civil War drama Glory, for which Denzel Washington won his first Oscar, for Best Supporting Actor. Zwick was also Golden Globe-nominated for his directing work on Legends of the Fall, starring Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt, which Zwick also produced. He went on to direct Courage Under Fire, starring Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan, and directed, wrote and produced The Siege, which marked his third collaboration with Washington.

Zwick most recently directed, co-wrote and produced the historical epic The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe, for which he won the National Board of Review Award for Best Director. His earlier film directing credits include Leaving Normal and About Last Night.... He also produced I Am Sam, starring Sean Penn, which won the Producers Guild's Stanley Kramer Award for films that shed light on social issues.

Hailing from Winnetka, Illinois, Zwick trained as an apprentice at the Academy Festival in Lake Forest. He later attended Harvard University, where he studied literature while continuing to write and direct for the theatre. Upon graduation, he was awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship to study in Europe.

In 1975, Zwick was accepted as a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute (AFI). His AFI short film, Timothy and the Angel, won first place in the student film competition at the 1976 Chicago Film Festival, which led to him becoming a story editor on the acclaimed drama series Family. He then became a producer on the series, also writing and directing several episodes. In 1980, Zwick received his first Emmy nomination, for his producing work on Family.

Three years later, Zwick directed, produced and co-wrote the telefilm Special Bulletin, for which he won two Emmy Awards, for Best Drama Special and Best Screenplay, and earned another nomination for Best Director. In addition, Special Bulletin brought Zwick a Directors Guild of America Award, a Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award and a Humanitas Prize. The project also marked the beginning of his ongoing collaboration with Marshall Herskovitz, whom he had first met at the AFI, and with whom he formed The Bedford Falls Company.

The first project created under the Bedford Falls banner was the television series thirtysomething, which won an Emmy for Best Drama Series in 1988, and garnered three more consecutive Emmy nominations in the same category. Zwick also earned Emmy and WGA Award nominations for his writing on the series. His additional television credits include such widely praised series as My So-Called Life, Relativity, and Once and Again, for which Zwick won his second Humanitas Prize.

Zwick's other career honors include two Peabody Awards, and the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Award from the AFI.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2007.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Edward Zwick Facts

OccupationDirector, Producer, Screenwriter
BirthdayOctober 8, 1952 (71)
BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, USA

Selected Filmography

Blood Diamond
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Pawn Sacrifice
Legends Of The Fall
The Last Samurai
Love & Other Drugs
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