One of Hollywood’s most prolific directors, Norman Jewison has guided the greats in such groundbreaking films 1967’s “In the Heat of the Night” and 1971’s “Fiddler on the Roof.” Although his films have taken home numerous Academy Awards, Jewison has never won the best director Oscar, though the native Canadian received the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award at the 71st annual Academy Awards in 1999.
Born in Toronto in 1926, Jewison served in the Navy in World War II from 1944-45 before getting his show business break as a production trainee at CBC in Toronto. That job led him to CBS in New York, where his career began to take off.
After working in television for several years, Jewison made the leap to directing for the big screen. He received praise for the 1965 “The Cincinnati Kid,” which starred Steve McQueen and is still considered one of the best gambling movies of all time. He quickly followed up that project with the 1966 Cold War epic, “The Russians are Coming the Russians are Coming,” which received four Academy Award nominations, including one for best picture.
He worked steadily throughout the ensuing decades, producing and directing highly regarded work. In the 1980s, Jewison struck gold again with the romantic comedy “Moonstruck” (1987), starring Cher and Nicolas Cage. The film garnered three Academy Awards, including one for Cher as best actress. It also gave Jewison his third best director nod.
More recently, Jewison directed Denzel Washington in 1999 biopic “The Hurricane,” the story of boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, who was falsely convicted of commiting a triple murder in 1960s New Jersey.
In addition to his career in Hollywood, Jewison founded the Canadian Film Centre, a cinema school in Toronto.
Jewison married wife Margaret Ann Dixon on July 11, 1953, and the couple remained together until her death in 2004. They have three children.
|1966||Best Picture||The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming||Nomination|
|1967||Best Director||In the Heat of the Night||Nomination|
|1971||Best Director||Fiddler on the Roof||Nomination|
|1971||Best Picture||Fiddler on the Roof||Nomination|
|1984||Best Picture||A Soldier's Story||Nomination*|
|1998||Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award||Win|