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Norman Jewison Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trivia (19)  | Personal Quotes (11)  | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Birth NameNorman Frederick Jewison
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Norman Jewison is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed filmmaker who has produced and directed some of the world's most memorable, entertaining and socially important films, exploring controversial and complicated subjects and giving them a universal accessibility. Some of his most well-known works include the pre-glasnost political satire The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, the original The Thomas Crown Affair, the groundbreaking civil rights-era drama In the Heat of the Night (winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture), the first rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, the futuristic cult hit Rollerball, hit musical comedy-drama Fiddler on the Roof, the romantic comedy Moonstruck, courtroom drama ...And Justice For All, military drama A Soldier's Story, the labour movement picture F.I.S.T., war dramas The Statement and In Country, and the masterfully told story of Reuben 'Hurricane' Carter The Hurricane, among many others.

Jewison has been personally nominated for four Oscars and received three Emmy Awards; his films have received 46 nominations and won 12 Academy Awards. In 1999, Jewison received the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award at the Academy Awards. In Canada, his life's work has been recognized with the Governor General's Performing Arts Award, and he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario, and a Companion to the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honour. In 2010, Jewison was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of America.

A modern trailblazer in the development of Canadian film, Jewison is committed to advancing the art of storytelling and filmmaking, both through his groundbreaking films, and through his creation of the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) in 1986, which opened its doors in Toronto in 1988. The CFC is a charitable cultural organization that drives the future of Canadian storytelling.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Canadian Film Centre Official Site Bio

Family (2)

Spouse Margaret Ann Dixon (11 July 1953 - 26 November 2004)  (her death)  (3 children)
Children Kevin Jewison
Michael Jewison
Jennifer Jewison

Trivia (19)

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 and 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 in 2005.
The father of three children, Jewison hitchhiked across the Deep South region of the United States 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 has 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 OC (Officer of the Order of Canada) on December 14, 1981 and the CC (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 filmmaker.
Even though he was offended by this at first, A Clockwork Orange (1971) inspired him to make Rollerball (1975) a few years later.
In his DVD commentary for In the Heat of the Night (1967), 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 1960s) 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!".
(April 11, 1998) When Canadian Jewison's Best Director Oscar nomination for Moonstruck (1987) coincided with directors Adrian Lyne (UK) for Fatal Attraction (1987), John Boorman (UK) for Hope and Glory (1987), Lasse Hallström (Sweden) for My Life as a Dog (1985) and winner Bernardo Bertolucci (Italy) for The Last Emperor (1987), this was the only instance in Oscar history where all five Best Director nominees were non-Americans.
Directed five Oscar Best Picture nominees: The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming (1966), In the Heat of the Night (1967), Fiddler on the Roof (1971), A Soldier's Story (1984) and Moonstruck (1987). In the Heat of the Night (1967) won.
His favorite films are Bicycle Thieves (1948), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Casablanca (1942), Citizen Kane (1941), City Lights (1931), (1963), The 400 Blows (1959), Gunga Din (1939), Rashomon (1950) and The Wizard of Oz (1939).
He has directed one film that has been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: In the Heat of the Night (1967).
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on November 14, 1988.
He was awarded a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto, Ontario in 1998 (charter member).

Personal Quotes (11)

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.
[on Margot Kidder] I guess she will always be known for Lois Lane; she will be known for the most popular film she was in. But I think she will be remembered also for her political stance that she took because she became a very strong leader ... for young people, and I was always kind of proud of her. She became politically active and I thought she was very interesting in her feistiness and rebellious nature in life. I just kind of admired her strength. She was a very devoted person to her art and to film.
[on Judy Garland] It's difficult to think of anyone more multitalented. Because she could move. She could dance. She could sing. She could act. She was larger than life. She was a star - a real star - and, I think, the most important, talented star I've worked with. I've worked with a lot of actors, and I've done a lot of films. But nobody comes close to her.

Salary (1)

The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming (1966) $125 .00 + 25% of the net gross

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