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Biography

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Overview (2)

Born
Nickname Bernie

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Coatesville, Philadelphia, Sofronksi discovered early on that entertainment was his passion. During his Junior and Senior year of high school, Sofronksi participated in school plays and found acting to be a true calling. At the age of 19, following his time as a DJ and radio station personality, he decided to hop a bus to New York City to fulfill his dreams of becoming an actor. After joining the acclaimed Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg, where his classmates included iconic Hollywood actresses Marilyn Monroe and Jane Fonda, Sofronski acted in numerous off-Broadway plays and summer stock. After three years of performing plays for the Armed Services, where he spent two years serving in Europe and one year stateside during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Sofronski moved back to New York.

Upon his return, Sofronski was named the Associate Producer for the CBS Network Soap Opera Search for Tomorrow. He produced a half hour daily network show with a roster of over forty actors, five directors and six writers. Within a year of being promoted to Executive Producer, the show was ranked number one. Additionally, he produced Another World, the first Soap Opera to transition to a one-hour format on NBC.

Attracting the attention of CBS management, Sofronski was asked to join as Director of Daytime Programming. Soon after, he was promoted to Director of Prime Time Series and was finally made Senior VP of Special Programming. Sofronski was responsible for buying and supervising many of the network's highest rated nationwide movies, mini-series, award shows, documentaries and prime time animation. He was the first to introduce several award shows to television including The Golden Globe® Awards and, with the help of the late producer Alexander Cohen, the Tony® Awards. In addition, he supervised production for television broadcasts, which included the Emmy® Awards, the Country Music Association® Awards and the Grammy® Awards.

A catalyst for entertainment industry progression, Sofronski addressed the lack of recognition for creative artists in the United States. Longing for something similar to the notoriety given to creative artists in England- who have the honor of being knighted by the Queen- Sofronski, along with George Stevens, Jr., created the US counterpart: The Kennedy Center Honors. Broadcasted from Washington D.C., the program features living creative artists who are recognized and honored for their lifetime contributions to American culture by the President of the United States and the Secretary of State. This program still runs every year on CBS.

Sofronski is behind some of the highest rated and recognized drama films for TV including the controversial true story, Playing for Time - a film about an all-female orchestra playing for Nazis in a concentration camp in order to stay alive. The film was nominated for six Emmys and won four including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Special for Vanessa Redgrave's performance, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Special for Jane Alexander's performance, and Outstanding Writing for a Special for Arthur Miller's screenplay. Playing for Time received one of the highest ratings in broadcast history and was featured on the cover of Time Magazine. Other drama credits include the award-winning film Bill, starring Mickey Rooney who earned an Emmy for his performance, The Wall based on the novel by acclaimed author John Hersey, Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones, starring Powers Boothe who earned an Emmy for his performance, Skokie, a film based on a true story about a Jewish neighborhood with Holocaust survivors rallying against a Neo-Nazis politician marching through their town - starring Danny Kaye in his first dramatic TV role, Into Thin Air: Death on Everest, based on the best selling novel by author Jon Krakauer and starring Peter Horton and Nathaniel Parker, Mandela and de Klerk- shot in the original prison on Devil's Island where Mandela was held captive for almost 28 years- starring Sidney Poitier, who received an Emmy® nomination for his leading role in the film and Michael Caine, who received an Emmy® and Golden Globe nomination for his supporting role in the film, Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke, starring Lauren Bacall, and The Bunker, starring Anthony Hopkins who earned an Emmy for his performance. Sofronski is also responsible for several award-winning TV documentaries including The Body Human series, which received an Emmy award five years in a row. He also produced several noteworthy mini-series and TV specials including the Emmy nominated mini-series Mussolini: The Untold Story, starring George C. Scott and Robert Downy, Jr., and the TV special The Earth Day Special, starring Academy® Award winner Meryl Streep and Academy® Award nominee Kevin Costner.

Sofronksi is a three-time Emmy nominated producer for his work on productions including Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story, the mini-series Queen, written by Alex Haley and starring Halle Berry in her first leading role, and Murder in Mississippi starring Tom Hulce who received an Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a TV Movie. He is also a two time recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award for his work on Playing for Time and Dummy.

Contributing to some of the most historic moments in television, Sofronski introduced the first classical ballet, The Nutcracker, featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov's debut to American television. Additionally, he supervised many variety specials such as The Lily Tomlin Show, Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Suzanne Somers, Bea Arthur, Lucille Ball, Diana Ross, the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis Presley's Last Concert and countless others.

Subsequently Sofronski became the Senior Vice President and Creative Head of Feature Films for CBS after his eight and half years with the network. During the time this division was present, Sofronski supervised films including Turtle Diary starring Glenda Jackson and Ben Kingsley, Target, directed by Arthur Penn and starring Matt Dillon and Gene Hackman, and Kiss of the Spider Woman, directed by Hector Babenco and starring William Hurt and Raul Julia. After leaving feature films he returned to his roots and produced his first Broadway play, The Boys of Winter. The play focused on the plight of young men in the Vietnam War and co-starred Matt Dillon and Wesley Snipes.

Shortly after the world of New York Theater Sofronksi returned to his first love - producing films. Working in association with producer David Wolper and Warner Bros., their television credits include Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald - a story about the wife of President Kennedy's assassinator, portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter, who received a Golden Globe nomination for her role. The movie was filmed in Dallas, Texas and Moscow. Their credits also include Roots: The Gift, The Plot to Kill Hitler and the mini-series Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story staring Jacqueline Bisset and Armand Asssante. During this time he also produced films including Bed of Lies and Whose Child is This? The War for Baby Jessica both starring Golden Globe ® winner Susan Dey.

Bernard Sofronski now splits his time between New York City and Los Angeles still actively working in film and television. His recent Executive Producer credits include Mom at Sixteen and Murder in Greenwich.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Hurwitz Creative

Spouse (2)

Susan Dey (20 February 1988 - present)
Myra Phyllis Tamarkin (? - 8 June 1984) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trivia (2)

Stepdaughter: Sara Dey-Hirshan.
Father of two children.

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

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