Combining nearly three decades of motion picture experience, first as an
executive, then as a
highly prolific producer and finally as one of American film's most versatile
and successful directors, ROB
COHEN (Director) maintains a unique place in the entertainment
His directing of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, The Fast and the Furious
prove that Cohen is often on the cutting edge of cultural (pop and otherwise)
developments and the three films have generated more than one billion dollars.
Cohen's films as both
producer and director have swept across a wide range of topics and backdrops,
revealing a filmmaker
constantly in search of broadening his cinematic horizons.
Cohen's critically acclaimed The Rat Pack, an HBO film starring Ray Liotta as
Frank Sinatra, Joe
Mantegna as Dean Martin and Don Cheadle as Sammy Davis Jr., chronicled an entire
era as it told the
story of Hollywood and Las Vegas' most famous swingers in their heyday. The Rat
Pack garnered 11
Emmy Award nominations (winning three), won Cheadle a Golden Globe Award and
earned Cohen a
nomination from the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial
Achievement in Movies for
Cohen's previous directorial efforts reveal his expansive storytelling
interests. His debut film, A
Small Circle of Friends, starred Brad Davis and Karen Allen in a romance set
against the political turmoil
of late 1960s Harvard University (Cohen's alma mater). Heralded both by critics
and audiences, Dragon:
The Bruce Lee Story -- which was both written and directed by Cohen -- humanized the
Kong-born action hero for new generations, and made stars of both Jason Scott
Lee and Lauren Holly.
For Dragonheart, visual effects made a quantum leap in Cohen's epic fable of
an unlikely alliance
in mythical times between a knight (Dennis Quaid) and a fierce but noble dragon
endowed with the
powers of speech (voiced by Sean Connery). Cohen was intricately involved with
both the design of the
massive creature and implementation of the state-of-the-art effects from
Industrial Light & Magic, the
first time that a major motion-picture character was fully rendered digitally.
The film won the Saturn
Award as Best Fantasy Film in 1996, and was nominated for an Academy Award for
Best Visual Effects.
Cohen was born in Cornwall-on-Hudson in New York. He attended Harvard
which he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in anthropology. He began his
career in film during
his sophomore year at Harvard, when he assisted director Daniel Petrie in making
Silent Night, Lonely
Night, an NBC made-for-television movie. After graduation, Cohen moved to Los
Angeles, where as a
reader for International Famous Agency (IFA), he discovered the classic movie,
He left IFA for 20th Century Fox Television and quickly acquired the title
director of television
movies, developing such projects as Mrs. Sundance and Stowaway to the Moon.
Desiring to expand into
feature films, Cohen joined Motown as its executive vice president of the
motion-picture division while
still in his early 20s.
At Motown, Cohen produced some key entries in 1970s cinema, several of them
the "blaxploitation" films of the era. The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars &
Motor Kings, starring Billy Dee
Williams, James Earl Jones and Richard Pryor, was a seriocomic look at the Negro
Leagues of the 1930s.
The television movie Scott Joplin, which also starred Williams, was the story of
the great early 20th
century ragtime pianist and composer whose music was popularized in the
soundtrack for The Sting.
Mahogany and The Wiz both starred Diana Ross, the former a romantic drama set
against the world of
high fashion, the latter a screen adaptation of the smash Broadway hit musical.
For The Wiz, Cohen
received the NAACP Image Award for Best Picture, and Mahogany received an
nomination for its now-standard theme song Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know
Where You're Going
At Motown, Cohen also produced Thank God It's Friday, which was the decade's
disco movie. The film featured superstar diva Donna Summer and such young
talents as Jeff Goldblum,
Debra Winger and Terri Nunn (later the lead singer of the group Berlin) at early
stages of their careers.
Cohen's television directorial credits include an Emmy-nominated episode of
Miami Vice, as well
as segments of thirtysomething, Hooperman, A Year in the Life and Private Eye.
He also created, wrote
and executive-produced the series Vanishing Son, notable for being one of the
very few to focus on
Asian characters...with Asian actors filling all of those roles. Vanishing Son
won two MANAA (Media
Action Network for Asian Americans) Awards for positive portrayal of Asians in
media, one for the
program itself and another for star Russell Wong.
Cohen is an avid surfer and collector of first-edition books and has homes in
and Bali, Indonesia.
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