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Norman Jewison Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (16) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 21 July 1926Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Birth NameNorman Frederick Jewison

Mini Bio (1)

Jewison got his BA at Victoria College, University of Toronto, and after moving to London, where he wrote scripts and acted for the BBC, he returned to Toronto and directed TV shows for the CBC (1952-1958), then musicals and variety in New York, before embarking on a film career. In 1986 he established the Canadian Centre for Advanced Film Studies in Toronto.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Margaret Ann Dixon (11 July 1953 - 26 November 2004) (her death) (3 children)

Trivia (16)

Attended same east-end Toronto high school (Malvern Collegiate) as famed concert pianist Glenn Gould.
Father of associate producer and location manager Michael Jewison.
Father of camera-operator Kevin Jewison.
Father of actress Jennifer Jewison.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 479-483. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
Had his own voice dubbed into Jesus Christ Superstar (1973); he's the Old Man in "Peter's Denial."
Directed 12 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Alan Arkin, Rod Steiger, Topol, Leonard Frey, Al Pacino, Adolph Caesar, Anne Bancroft, Meg Tilly, Cher, Vincent Gardenia, Olympia Dukakis, and Denzel Washington. Steiger, Dukakis and Cher won Oscars for their performances in the films in which Jewison directed them.
Directed the original versions of both Rollerball (1975) and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Both films were later remade by John McTiernan.
Member of the Jury for AFI Motion Pictures Awards 2005
The father of three children, Jewison hitchhiked across the Deep South region of the US at age 18; he was struck by its apartheid-like, strictly enforced racial segregation. He considers The Hurricane (1999) the last in a trilogy of racial injustice movies he's directed, the first two being In the Heat of the Night (1967) and A Soldier's Story (1984). Jewison cast a then-largely unknown Denzel Washington in A Soldier's Story (1984), then coupled him with Rod Steiger in The Hurricane (1999).
He was awarded the O.C. (Officer of the Order of Canada) on December 14, 1981 and the C.C. (Companion of the Order of Canada) on November 1, 1991 for his services to the film industry.
Was the original director of Malcolm X (1992), however had to withdraw from the project due to outside pressure demanding that the subject be made by a black film-maker.
Even though he was offended by it at first, A Clockwork Orange (1971) inspired him to make Rollerball (1975) a few years later.
Inducted to Canada's Walk of Fame in 1998 (charter member).
In his DVD Commentary for "In The Heat Of The Night", Jewison recalled that shortly before he began production, Jewison took his family on a ski trip in Colorado. His broke his leg and went to the hospital. While there, he met New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy who also had an injured child in the hospital from his own ski trip. In the waiting room, the two men struck up a conversation. When he mentioned to Kennedy the movie he was working on, RFK became excited and said "This could be an important picture. Timing is everything." (RFK was famous for his championing of Civil Rights in the 1960's) Later, after the movie was released, one of the first awards it won was the New York Film Critics Award for Best Picture. When Jewison went to the ceremony to receive his award, he was presented with his award by none other than Robert F. Kennedy. When he got to the stage to accept the award, Kennedy was smiling and saying "See? I told you! Timing was everything!".
Toronto, Ontario, Canada [July 2007]

Personal Quotes (9)

People always tell me, "Gee, you direct so many movies" as if that's unusual. But I made my mind up when I was young that what's most important for a director is to keep working. Because how else are you going to learn how to do new things, which - to me - is the whole point. So I make a lot of different movies and I love them all . . . The movies that address civil rights and social justice are the ones that are dearest to me.
[on working with Rod Steiger on In the Heat of the Night (1967)] I've never seen a man become a role so much. Two weeks after we started the picture it was almost impossible to talk to [him] because he was in a Southern dialect night and day.
[on Judy Garland] Judy Garland was the most exciting sheer talent I ever worked with. She was so unpredictable, very child-like, very difficult to work with at times, but the rewards were immense.
[on Steve McQueen] I can honestly say he's the most difficult actor I've ever worked with.
[on Cher] Her comic timing is natural and almost infallible. I'll say so even though she nicknamed me "the curmudgeon." Cher thinks all directors are mad and crazy. She's right. of course.
[on directing movies] It's you against the world. It's like going to war. Everybody is trying to tell you something different, and they're always putting obstacles in your way. You have to fight for what you believe in, and you have to defend yourself constantly. It's a matter of confidence. It's when you get indecisive and you lack confidence that you get into trouble, because everybody else will take over.
Directing, in many ways, is manipulation because you're dealing with a lot of egos. You have to manipulate people into thinking it was their idea, to get them to do what you see as being the best, to edit them without their knowing they're being edited.
[on one reason he wanted to bring A Soldier's Story (1984) to the screen] I hitchhiked through the South in 1945 when I was eighteen, and passed the Missouri town where the last lynching had taken place. They told me I rode in the pick-up truck that had dragged the victim through the streets. That was said with a great deal of pride, which astounded me.
[2004] This is not a business you want to lose your confidence in.

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