PROOF OF LIFE
TAYLOR HACKFORD (Director/Producer) began his entertainment career at KCET, the Los Angeles public television affiliate, where he pioneered the presentation of uninterrupted Rock 'n' Roll performance on American television. In addition to creating several award- winning documentaries for the station's cultural department, he also served as an investigative reporter in their news division where he received two Emmy awards for his journalism.
In 1979, Hackford won an Academy Award in the category of Best Live-Action Short Film for his first dramatic effort, "Teenage Father." He proceeded to make his feature directorial debut in 1980 with "The Idolmaker," starring Ray Sharkey and Peter Gallagher.
"An Officer And A Gentleman," starring Richard Gere and Debra Winger, was
Hackford's second film which became a commercial and critical hit in 1982. It received five
Academy Award nominations and brought home Oscars for Louis Gossett, Jr., as Best
Supporting Actor and Best Original Song ("Up Where We Belong"). In addition, Hackford was
nominated by the Directors Guild Of America for his outstanding achievement.
On all his subsequent films, Hackford has functioned as both director and producer. His credits include "Against All Odds," starring Jeff Bridges, Rachel Ward and James Woods;
"White Nights," starring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines. Helen Mirren and Isabella
Rossellini; "Everybody's All-American," starring Dennis Quaid, Jessica Lange and John
Goodman and the acclaimed documentary, "Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll," featuring
Chuck Berry and Keith Richards.
Hackford formed New Visions Pictures to produce 'modestly budgeted' quality movies with other directors. Some of his producing credits include the much lauded "The Long Walk Home," starring Sissy Spacek and Whoopi Goldberg; "Queens Logic," featuring an ensemble cast which included John Malkovich, Kevin Bacon, Joe Mantegna, Jamie Lee Curtis and Linda Fiorentino; "Mortal Thoughts," starring Demi Moore, Glenn Headley and Bruce Willis and "Defenseless," starring Barbara Hershey, Mary Beth Hurt and Sam Shepard.
Hackford, who has been fascinated by all things Latino since his stint as a Peace Corps
volunteer in South America ( 1968-1969). developed and produced "La Bamba," the Ritchie
Valens biography which launched Lou Diamond Phillips' career. Written and directed by Luis
Valdez, "La Bamba" became a sleeper success, breaking new ground for Hispanic artists in
He returned to directing after five years to helm the epic drama of East L.A., "Blood In, Blood Out" ("Bound By Honor"). This film earned him a trophy as Best Director at the 1993 Tokyo Film Festival. His next film, "Dolores Claiborne," released by Castle Rock Entertainment and Columbia Pictures, starred Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh. "Dolores Claiborne" was selected for screening at the 1995 Venice, Deauville and Tokyo Film Festivals.
After "Dolores Claiborne," Hackford restructured an unreleased documentary about the legendary Muhanimed Ali/George Foreman title fight in Africa, originally shot in 1974 by filmmaker, Leon Gast. Hackford conducted present-day interviews with Spike Lee, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton and others, then edited them with Gast's historical footage to reveal the hype, politics and personalities that made up this larger-than-life event. The completed film, "When We Were Kings," was a hit at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival and won the 1997 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Hackford's last film, "The Devil's Advocate," was critically acclaimed as 'original and provocative' and 'sinfully funny.' A contemporary morality tale set in the world of New York's powerful legal profession, the movie stars Al Pacino as an unpredictable, wily, street-wi
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