TONY BILL (DIRECTOR), after graduating from Notre Dame
with majors in English and Art, began his career in the film industry as
an actor. His acting years were distinguished by the quality of the
directors who chose him for their films: Sydney Pollock, Terrence Malick,
Steven Spielberg, Francis Coppola, Hal Ashby. Others, such as Sir Carol
Reed, and John Sturges, served as mentors. Despite being hailed by
critics as an exciting newcomer, Mr. Bill wanted to become a filmmaker,
not a movie star. He made the transition to producer with DEADHEAD
MILES (1971), which he followed with STEELYARD BLUES (1973). His
next feature, THE STING (1973), brought him an Academy Award for
Best Picture and won six additional Oscars. It became one of the highest
grossing films in history. His other production credits include numerous
box office and critical successes: TAXI DRIVER (1976), HEARTS OF THE
WEST (1975), BOULEVARD NIGHTS (1979) and GOING IN STYLE (1979).
His directorial debut was the very popular MY BODYGUARD (1980)
followed by SIX WEEKS (1982), FIVE CORNERS (1987), CRAZY PEOPLE
(1990), UNTAMED HEART (1993), and A HOME OF OUR OWN (1993).
Tony Bill is best known as the consummate independent
producer/director with a reputation for discovering new talent. His first
film, DEADHEAD MILES, produced for Paramount in 1971, was the first
script by then-unknown writer Terrence Malick. For STEELYARD
BLUES (1973), Tony Bill partnered with Julia and Michael Phillips in
backing another discovery, first-time screenwriter David S. Ward.
STEELYARD BLUES was an offbeat sleeper, starring Donald Sutherland
and Jane Fonda, and Bill/Phillips' next Ward script was THE STING.
TAXI DRIVER (1976) followed, written by another first-time screenwriter,
Paul Schrader. For his own directorial debut, MY BODYGUARD, he also
found a new writer, Alan Ormsby, and FIVE CORNERS, was the first
script of John Patrick Shanley. UNTAMED HEART was no exception to
this rule, as it was the first produced screenplay of its author, Tom
Sierchio. All were initially optioned outside the studio system with his
own money. He is married to Helen Bartlett, his producer/partner in
Barnstorm Films. They live in the oldest house in Venice, CA, next to the
Santa Monica Airport, with their daughters, Madeline and Daphne, and a
number of four-legged and feathered critters.
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