IMDb > Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story (2003) (TV)
Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story
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Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story (2003) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story -- Homeless to Harvard, starring Thora Birch as Liz Murray, who grew up in poverty and found herself living on the streets at age 15. Watch this incredible true story of how this young girl's hope and determination get her through the ordeal-and eventually land her in the hallowed halls of Havard University.


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Up 57% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Ronni Kern (written by)
View company contact information for Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 April 2003 (USA) See more »
When there was nothing to believe in, she believed in herself.
Based on a true story. Liz Murray is a young girl who is taken care of by her loving, but drug-addicted parents. Liz becomes homeless at 15 and after a tragedy comes upon her, she begins her work to finish high school. | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Something great for the whole family-HIGHLY unusual! See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Thora Birch ... Liz Murray

Michael Riley ... Peter

Robert Bockstael ... David
Makyla Smith ... Chris

Kelly Lynch ... Jean Murray
Jennifer Pisana ... Young Liz

Aron Tager ... Pops

Ellen Page ... Young Lisa
Marla McLean ... Lisa
Marguerite McNeil ... Eva
Amber Godfrey ... Dawn
Seamus Morrison ... Bobby
John Fulton ... Old Irish Cop
Rejean Cournoyer ... Young Irish Cop
Mauralea Austin ... Miss Wanda
Kristine Slawter ... Tall Thin Girl

Mary-Colin Chisholm ... Teacher at Public School (as Mary Colin Chisholm)
Stan Carew ... New York Times Editor

Cecil Wright ... Mr. Maki
Deb Allen ... Counselor
Bailey Williams ... Girl #1
Desiree Adams ... Girl #2
Adrien Dixon ... Boy #1
Ashton Benette ... Boy #2
Juanita Peters ... Teacher at Middle School
Rita Malik ... Assistant Principal
Douglas Mayr ... Gravedigger
Linda Carvey ... Female Drunk

Brian Jamieson ... Male Drunk
Ray Doucette ... Reporter
Sarah Briand ... Girl with Soup

Lise Cormier ... Student #1
Jonathan Langlois-Sadubin ... Student #2
Mahogany Lucas ... Student #3
Grant Rogers ... Student #4
Heather Blom ... Student #5
Jim Fowler ... EMT #1
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Liz Murray ... Social Worker

Lisa Rose Snow ... Student (uncredited)

Directed by
Peter Levin 
Writing credits
Ronni Kern (written by)

Produced by
Barnet Bain .... executive producer
Stephen Deutsch .... executive producer (as Stephen Simon)
Ronni Kern .... co-producer
Michael Mahoney .... producer
Liz Murray .... co-executive producer
Alan Nevins .... co-executive producer
Tom Patricia .... executive producer
Original Music by
Louis Febre 
Cinematography by
Uta Briesewitz 
Film Editing by
Anita Brandt-Burgoyne  (as Anita Brandt Burgoyne)
Production Design by
Jennifer Stewart 
Art Direction by
Ewen Dickson (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Martha Curry 
Makeup Department
Betty Belmore .... key makeup artist
Joanne Stamp .... key hair stylist
Colleen Ryan .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Valerie Halman .... unit production manager
Brenda Torrance .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Avrel Fisher .... first assistant director
Bruce Zwicker .... first assistant director
Art Department
Jeff Beanlands .... construction coordinator
Jason Clarke .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Raymond MacDonald .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sasha Sergejewski .... property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Steph Carrier .... sound re-recording mixer (as Stephan Carrier)
Barry Gilmore .... dialogue editor
Janice Ierulli .... adr editor
Sean Kelly .... sound effects editor
Jane Porter .... sound recordist
Orest Sushko .... sound re-recording mixer
Gerry Jackman .... boom operator (uncredited)
Steve Kostick .... assistant dialogue editor (uncredited)
Eva Madden .... second boom operator (uncredited)
Christopher Miller .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Colleen Pace .... stunt performer
Camera and Electrical Department
Darryl Duzak .... key grip
Russell Gienapp .... camera operator
Kevin Michael LeBlanc .... first assistant camera (as Kevin Leblanc)
Kelcey Parker .... best boy grip
Mario Paulin .... gaffer
James Thibodeau .... best boy
Chris Baxter .... dolly grip (uncredited)
Keith Dimmer .... generator operator (uncredited)
Ruth Leggett .... electrician (uncredited)
Brooke Palmer .... still photographer (uncredited)
Jordan Schella .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Jon Comerford .... casting: Toronto
Susan Edelman .... casting: USA
Lisa Ferguson .... casting: Halifax
Larissa Giroux .... casting associate (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Victoria Jensen .... assistant editor: avid
Joanne Rourke .... colorist: tape-to-tape
Transportation Department
Kelly Peterson .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Jessie Burns .... script supervisor
Rob Chapman .... production coordinator
Kate Mahoney .... assistant production coordinator
Lisa Murray .... technical consultant
Gary Swim .... location manager
Orna Banarie .... executive assistant: Tom Patricia (uncredited)
Sherry Devanney .... craft assistant (uncredited)
Phil Hatcher .... location assistant (uncredited)
Jason Van Houten .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
104 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The reason that Liz Murray left Harvard was so that she could be transferred to another school, which would be less expensive than Harvard (for which she was only receiving $12,000 a year with her scholarship) and also closer to her father, who is very ill will AIDs.See more »
Liz Murray:I'm 17. I don't want to be 21 before I finish high school.
David:So you're trying to do four years of high school in what, three?
Liz Murray:Two.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Features "Jeopardy!" (1984)See more »
MiracleSee more »


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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Something great for the whole family-HIGHLY unusual!, 29 September 2006
Author: Stacy Stabile-Forristal ( from Myrtle Beach, SC, TheGodBlessed USA-Luv It-Or LEAVE it!

In my personal opinion, which is why we have the opportunity to leave these "comments"--this was a nicely done made-for-TV-movie. I usually do like anything Lifetime does, and although our testosterone-filled counterparts normally consider EVERY Lifetime project a "chic-flick"- I even think my hubby will enjoy this one(when I find out when it re-airs-I'm going to force him to watch it-LOL-he's not a "movie" person and considers going to the movies "paying $7.50 to take a nap in a nice cool dark place!") One thing I didn't care for was wondering at the end why she left Harvard-I have found out through this forum(hopefully it is true) that although she did in fact leave Harvard, she then chose another school, and graduated--but only to be closer to her ailing father. That was nice to find out. It brought tears to my eyes when she was narrating about her "lice infested hair" and that her teachers were always fussing at her to stop fidgeting- but that was hard to do--due to her not knowing anything about personal hygiene-which caused her to "just wear her panties until they fell apart"-yes that is quite "gross" to the general public, but SO sad to think that such a young child wasn't able to figure out how to wash her own panties at least in the sink to avoid having to sit in filthy underwear on a daily basis, causing her bottom to be so raw that it was painful just to sit in class. That really "hit home"-not that I personally went through anything like that-but it was at that point in the movie that it really sunk in that so many children actually live through these types of situations- only to be ignored by the system-and and when the system FINALLY gets a heads up-the children are treated like dirt- by the social service workers(very meanly and uncaring)and placed in places like she was where the older children regularly beat and abuse the other children! Now THAT part of the movie I personally COULD relate to- I worked in a foster/group facility- ("home" is wayyy too nice to describe this place) in a small "city" named Central, SC, called "Helping Hands of Clemson" and eventually quit due to the higher ups not doing a dang thing about staff treating children poorly(placing a 3 year old in a dark closet because he would not go to sleep and holding the door shut...and later laughing/bragging about the fact that "the little brat actually figured out where the light switch was so we have to figure out something else to torture him with so he will go to bed instead of crying for his Nanna and keeping the other kids up!"), other children beating on their peers, wrong medications being given(Example:Giving PeptoBismol for tummy aches to children under the age of 18-when it clearly states on the bottle the warnings about Reyes Syndrome!)-and also- given by UNcertified personnel--just a slew of wrongdoings--and YES-I did report the facility to the "proper authorities" (more than once)--HA-nothing was done except the directors had to make sure that every shift had a houseparent that had gone to classes to become CPR certified. All of this "reporting" made it nearly impossible for me to stay working there since I was labeled "Miss Know-It-All"! And being anonymous ...there is no such thing!Thats a joke too! They ALL knew it was me because I was the only one appalled by the things that were going on around me! Reporting these places-thinking you are doing the right thing--what a laugh!

Anyway- all in all- this is a good-eye opening family movie, which truly gives children, young adults, and in fact-ANYONE-- a good message .... being able to succeed!!!--even with very big obstacles in life....all it takes is a lot of dedication and yes- HARD work! It shows how to not play the "victim"--BREAK the cycle! I do wish I would have known that Liz herself had played a part of a social worker in the movie so I could see what she looks like- I can't wait to see if it comes on again and when, or I will have to figure out where to buy or rent it!

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