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Biography

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Overview (1)

Born in Winnetka, Illinois, USA

Mini Bio (2)

John Williams Byrum was born and raised in Winnetka, Illinois. While attending NYU Film School, he worked as an intern for Jim Henson and the Muppets, eventually working as a writer on the new Sesame Street (1969) show. Byrum moved to Los Angeles to pursue film work after writing several screenplays, including Inserts (1975). On the basis of that writing sample, he worked with producers Tony Bill, Don Devlin and Harry Gittes to write the script Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976) which was bought by Columbia Pictures for a record-breaking amount. Byrum then worked with Tony Richardson and Berry Gordy, writing the script for the Diana Ross vehicle, Mahogany (1975). Byrum directed his film Inserts (1975) with Richard Dreyfuss and Jessica Harper, then wrote and directed Heart Beat (1980) - based upon the lives of Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and Carolyn Cassady, starring Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek and John Heard and followed with The Razor's Edge (1984) - co-written with Bill Murray and starring Murray, Catherine Hicks, Theresa Russell, James Keach and Denholm Elliott. With the box office failure of The Razor's Edge (1984), Byrum directed the goof-ball comedy The Whoopee Boys (1986) starring Michael O'Keefe and Paul Rodriguez and various stand-up comedians of the time, along with Denholm Elliott and Carole Shelley. Byrum turned to television, creating, writing and producing the critically-praised series Middle Ages (1992) starring Peter Riegert and writing, directing and producing the TV film/pilot Murder in High Places (1991), loosely based on a fictional Hunter Thompson-type character. Other series created, written and produced by Byrum include Winnetka Road (1994) and South of Sunset (1993), a television show that starred rock legend Glenn Frey of The Eagles. Byrum's original screenplay Duets (2000) was due to begin production, starring Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow, when the couple's broken engagement derailed the project temporarily. "Duets" was eventually made with Gwyneth Paltrow, her father Bruce Paltrow directing, with Scott Speedman in the role originally pegged for Brad Pitt.

John Byrum has two children and resides in Connecticut with his wife and dogs.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: L. Nadine

John Byrum (March 14, 1947 - ) is an American film director and writer best known for The Razor's Edge, Heart Beat, Duets and Inserts. Byrum was born and raised in Winnetka, Illinois and attended New York University in the late 1960s. A prolific writer, Byrum's scripts quickly attracted Hollywood's attention and early mentors included Jim Henson, Mike Medavoy, and Tony Bill. Having written several produced films (among others Mahogany), Byrum directed his first feature film, "Inserts" starring Richard Dreyfuss and Jessica Harper. He then wrote and directed Heart Beat starring Nick Nolte and John Heard as Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac, and Sissy Spacek as Carolyn Cassady, based on her memoir of the same name. Soon Byrum became known for projects about Americans who are disaffected by society's expectations and the status quo, with a particular emphasis on American Post-WWII culture. Byrum wrote and directed The Razor's Edge starring Bill Murray as W. Somerset Maugham's Larry Darrell, a character in search of life's meaning after World War I. Although some critics appreciated the creative interpretation of Maugham's classic, audiences rejected Bill Murray's first effort as a dramatic leading man. Byrum found a new mentor, Brandon Tartikoff, who recruited Byrum to create, write and produce several television series that depicted the world of the aging Baby Boomers with the series Middle Ages and Murder In High Places, among others. Byrum's script Duets starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Giamotti focused on modern society's fascination with fame and stardom as a means of avoiding commitment and introspection, although the final released film had much of its bite taken out in order to pacify those at the studio who hoped to make it more mainstream in nature to capitalize on Paltrow's recent Academy Award win.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Karla Richardson

Spouse (2)

Karin Reznack (27 September 1997 - present) ( 2 children)
Linda Fiorentino (23 June 1992 - 1993) ( divorced)

Trivia (2)

Educated at New York University.
The May 4, 1988, issue of Variety, in the Film Production section, announced that the movie "The War at Home" began filming April 15, 1988, in New York under the direction of John Byrum. Byrum wrote the script, loosely based on the life of Edie Segdwick. The cast included Linda Fiorentino. No evidence the film was ever completed.

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