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Ron Shelton

Ron Shelton was born in Whittier, California, and raised in Santa Barbara. A graduate of Santa Barbara High School and Westmont College, he received an M.F.A. in art from the University of Arizona after several years of playing professional baseball in the Baltimore Orioles' minor league system.

Shelton's first film was 1983's political drama Under Fire. Set against the civil unrest of the Nicaraguan revolution and starring Gene Hackman, Nick Nolte and Joanna Cassidy, Under Fire was Shelton's first credit as a screenwriter. He also directed second unit on that film.

The 1988 Oscar nominated screenplay, Bull Durham, was Shelton's directorial debut. The film garnered critical acclaim for Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and for Shelton, including Best Original Screenplay from the Writers' Guild of America, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics.

Blaze was made in 1989 and starred Paul Newman as Louisiana Governor Earl Long and Lolita Davidovich as Blaze Starr, the stripper for whom he jeopardized his political career. Shelton then teamed up with Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes and Rosie Perez in the 1992 playground basketball comedy White Men Can't Jump, about two basketball hustlers who team up to run a scam on L.A.'s toughest courts.

Cobb (1994), starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Wuhl, was Shelton's uncompromising depiction of one of baseball's darkest heroes. Shelton and Costner re-teamed in 1996 with the romantic comedy Tin Cup starring Rene Russo, Don Johnson and Cheech Marin. It tells the story of a former golf pro seeking redemption and love while attempting to win the U.S. Open. Play It to the Bone was released in 1999 and starred Woody Harrelson, Antonio Banderas, Lolita Davidovich and Lucy Liu in a road movie about boxing.

Shelton directed Dark Blue in the summer of 2001. Written by David Ayer and based on original material by James Ellroy, this was the first script that Shelton has directed that he did not write. It stars Kurt Russell and was released by MGM/UA in February.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Ron Shelton Facts

OccupationDirector, Screenwriter, Producer
BirthdaySeptember 15, 1945 (78)
BirthplaceWhittier, California, USA

Selected Filmography

Tin Cup
White Men Can't Jump
Dark Blue
Play It To The Bone
Bull Durham Blu-ray
Jordan Rides the Bus
Hollywood Homicide
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