Howard Rosenman (Father of the Bride, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Zvi Howard Rosenman was born in Brownsville, Broooklyn, in New York State on February 1, 1945. Mr. Rosenman began his career working on Broadway for Katherine Hepburn and Sir Michael Benthall, who was directing Miss Hepburn in the Andre Previn musical of “COCO”, the story of Coco Chanel, in 1968. He also assisted Mr. Benthall when he directed “I’M SOLOMON” with Dick Shawn, Carmen Mathews and Salome Jens. “I’M SOLOMON” was based on the Israeli play “SHLOMO HA’MELECH VE’SHALMAI HA’ SANDLAR” which played in Jaffa in August of 1967. Mr. Rosenman saw the play in Israel that summer, after having volunteered in the Six Day War of 1967, as an extern. Ernest Gold, who composed the score for the movie “EXODUS,” wrote the score.

Mr. Rosenman’s first job in show business was as a “gopher” on a documentary that Mike Mindlin produced, called “JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM,” chronicling Leonard Bernstein conducting the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for the Israel Defense Force (TZAHAL) soldiers in Judea and Samaria in July of 1967. Maestro Bernstein met Mr. Rosenman, as a volunteer during the Six Day War, and offered him the job, after recognizing Mr. Rosenman as his waiter at Sybil Burton’s discotheque ARTHUR in New York, where Mr. Rosenman worked, serving the celebrity table in the Winter and Spring of 1967, to make extra money for his medical school studies. Mr. Rosenman was also Mr. Benthall’s assistant on “HER FIRST ROMAN” starring Richard Kiley and Leslie Uggams. In that year he also worked on the movie, “THE TREE,” as a driver and “gofer,” a small independent black and white film, directed by Robert Guenette, starring Eileen Heckart, George Rose, Ruth Ford and Jordan Christopher. He soon became a Producer of Television Commercials at Benton and Bowles where he won many Clios for such accounts as Cool Whip, Cool ‘n Creamy, Texaco’s Havoline Oil, Pampers, Vick’s Nyquil and Prell Shampoo. Mr. Rosenman went to Hollywood in 1973 where he produced a TV movie for ABC under the aegis of the legendary film unit created by Barry Diller and run by Michael Eisner and Deanne Barkley. Mr. Rosenman, along with Ron Bernstein, then founded RSO Films with Robert Stigwood, brought Ms. Barkley into the company, where they made many Movies of the Week for Television. Among them were the first movies of John Badham (“ISN’T IT SHOCKING?”), Randall Kleiser (“ALL TOGETHER NOW”) and Joel Schumacher (“VIRGINIA HILL”). In those movies he worked with Harvey Keitel, Gloria Swanson, Alan Alda, Louise Lasser, Kate Jackson, Edward Albert, Jr., Ruth Gordon, Robbie Benson, John Rubinstein, Raul Julia, Tina Louise, Lucie Arnaz and the first appearances on television of Helen Hunt and Dyan Cannon. He produced “DEATH SCREAM” a back-door pilot for Raul Julia, for ABC, based on the famous murder of Kitty Genovese on the streets of New York City. In 1976, he went to Warner Brothers and produced “SPARKLE,” written by Joel Schumacher and starring Philip Michael Thomas, Irene Cara, Dorian Harewood and Lonette McKee. This was the first appearance of each of these actors in a movie. He then formed a company with Renee Missel and together they developed, and were the Executive Producers on “THE MAIN EVENT,” starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal and directed by Howard Zieff. The album of the movie sound track became a huge hit, especially the song “THE MAIN EVENT” written by the Oscar-winning duo, Paul Jabara and Bruce Roberts. In 1978, through a deal at Universal Pictures, Ms. Missel and Mr. Rosenman produced “RESURRECTION” starring Sam Shepard, Ellen Burstyn, and Eva Le Gallienne, earning the respected actresses Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. The film was directed by Dan Petrie. Following that, he produced “LOST ANGELS,” based on a draft of Hilary Henkin’s “LUNATICS,” directed by Hugh Hudson, starring Donald Sutherland and Adam Horovitz, of Beastie Boys fame, for Orion Pictures and Vestron. Based on his own years in medical school, Mr. Rosenman produced “GROSS ANATOMY,” written by Ron Nyswaner, starring Matthew Modine, Christine Lahti and Daphne Zuniga, at the beginning of Michael Eisner’s and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s winning streak at the newly reconfigured Disney at Touchstone Pictures. Also at Disney, he developed several movies, which he took with him to Sandollar Productions, where he served as Co-President with Carol Baum. He Executive Produced the acclaimed documentary “COMMON THREADS: TALES FROM THE QUILT,” which won both an Academy Award for Best Documentary and a George Foster Peabody Award for Outstanding Journalism. “COMMON THREADS” was written and directed by Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein, who also directed the acclaimed Oscar-winning documentary “HARVEY MILK.” Mr. Rosenman, with Ms. Baum, also produced “TIDY ENDINGS” starring Harvey Fierstein (based on the last act of his Broadway play “SAFE SEX”) and Stockard Channing for HBO. “TIDY ENDINGS” garnered four ACE Awards, including one for Best Dramatic or Theatrical Special. At Sandollar, Mr. Rosenman, with Ms. Baum, also produced “SHINING THROUGH,” based on the best selling novel by Susan Isaacs, for Dawn Steel at Columbia Pictures, starring Melanie Griffith, Michael Douglas and Liam Neeson; written and directed by David Seltzer. In succession, he produced “STRAIGHT TALK,” starring Dolly Parton at Touchstone, and with Propaganda Films produced “A STRANGER AMONG US,” starring Melanie Griffith and directed by Sidney Lumet, for Touchstone. “TRUE IDENTITY,” starring Lenny Henry, was Mr. Rosenman’s next movie, again for Touchstone. He then went on to make “FATHER OF THE BRIDE,” starring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton and Martin Short for Touchstone Pictures followed by Joss Whedon’s “BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER,” starring Kristi Swanson and Luke Perry, for Twentieth Century Fox. “BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER” was not only a huge hit television series produced by Fox for the Warner Brothers Network, but a cultural phenomenon, as well.

In 1993, Bernie Brillstein and Brad Grey asked Howard Rosenman to run their fledgling motion picture company. At Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, he became President of Motion Pictures, and again served as the Executive Producer on Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s next documentary, Vito Russo’s “CELLULOID CLOSET,” based on his landmark book, which was immediately invited to debut in the U.S. at the prestigious New York Film Festival. Russo’s “CELLULOID CLOSET” played at the Venice Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, the Thessaloniki Film Festival, Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival and the Prague Film Festival. Because of the great reception accorded “CELLULOID CLOSET” at all of the above mentioned Film Festivals, SONY CLASSICS distributed the film theatrically in March of 1996. In an unprecedented departure for HBO, the movie played on HBO for one night, as a national sneak preview, on January 30, 1996, before its’ theatrical release. It then ran on Cinemax for a month after its’ theatrical and video releases. “CELLULOID CLOSET” garnered five EMMY nominations, one of them for the prestigious PRESIDENT’S AWARD, awarded for a Made-for-TV-Movie, television series (whole series or individual episode), miniseries, animation or informational program in prime time that best explores social or educational issues and encourages and promotes, directly or indirectly, changes that help society to become familiar with – and more effectively deal with – the situation. “CELLULOID CLOSET” also won a George Foster Peabody Award for Outstanding Journalism. While he was at BGE, in less than two years, Mr. Rosenman put more than twenty projects into development at the major studios. Mr. Rosenman and Brillstein-Grey Entertainment are now partnered, and will produce together, the projects they developed while Mr. Rosenman ran BGE Motion Pictures. Mr. Rosenman then made an over-all first-look deal with Columbia Pictures. At Columbia Pictures, BGE and Mr. Rosenman are working on several motion pictures. These include: “AMERICAN NEUROTIC” written by Jon Tolins, Seth Bass, Randy Mayem Singer, Michael White and Steve Chboskey (“RENT”).

“FAMILY MAN” produced by Mr. Rosenman was released Christmas 2000 (December 17, 2000). His partner was Beacon Pictures and the screenplay was written by David Diamond and David Weissman, with Tony Ludwig and Alan Riche co producing along with Mr. Rosenman. Brett Ratner (“MONEY TALKS”; “RUSH HOUR”) directed. Nicolas Cage, Tea Leoni, Jeremy Piven, Amber Valletta, Paul Sorvino, Don Cheadle, Josef Sommers and Mary Beth Hurt starred. Mr. Rosenman Executive Produced “MY FIRST MISTER” by Jill Franklyn. Suki Chew and Ann Kurtzman, Carol Baum and Jane Goldenring are producing. Bob Kurtzman co-Executive Produced with Gerald Green of Total Films. Total Films’ Patricia Green & Hannah Hempstead were involved in financing the production. Christine Lahti directed. Albert Brooks and Leelee Sobieski starred. Film Roman (“THE SIMPSONS”) was our partner. The picture started shooting on January 24, 2000. It was screened as the Premiere of the entire Sundance Film Festival 2001, to great acclaim. Paramount Classics distributed. It opened in the Fall of 2001. Mr. Rosenman also co-produced, with Mr. Friedman, Mr. Epstein, Mr. Michael Ehrenzweig and Ms. Pam Cole, “PARAGRAPH 175,” a documentary depicting homosexuals who were victimized and murdered by the infernal Nazi machine. Rupert Everett narrated. HBO funded the documentary and it aired in the Spring of 2001. We are releasing the documentary theatrically through Dan Talbot’s New Yorker Films. “PARAGRAPH 175” won the best directed documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. It played the Berlin Film Festival sand we screened the documentary in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and OUTFEST in Los Angeles, to great acclaim. Mr. Rosenman is Co-Founder of Project Angel Food in LA, which provides Meals-on-Wheels for terminally ill AIDS patients, and has served on the Board of Directors of the AIDS ReSearch Alliance, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, DIFFA, Youth Aids Services & the Advisory Board of GLAAD.

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Filmography

WRITER:

1976 – SPARKLE (STORY)

1989 – GROSS ANATOMY (STORY)

2012 – SPARKLE (STORY)

ACTOR:

2008 – MILK

2011 – COMING & GOING

2012 – SHOULD’VE BEEN ROMEO

2012 – SPARKLE

PRODUCER:

1973 – ISN’T IT SHOCKING? (TV MOVIE) (PRODUCER)

1974 – KILLER BEES (TV MOVIE) (PRODUCER)

1974 – VIRGINIA HILL (TV MOVIE) (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

1975 – ALL TOGETHER NOW (TV MOVIE) (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

1975 – DEATH SCREAM (TV MOVIE) (PRODUCER)

1976 – SPARKLE (PRODUCER)

1979 – THE MAIN EVENT (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

1980 – RESURRECTION (PRODUCER)

1988 – TIDY ENDINGS (TV MOVIE) (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

1989 – GROSS ANATOMY (PRODUCER)

1989 – THE ROAD HOME (PRODUCER)

1990 – COMMON THREADS: STORIES FROM THE QUILT (DOCUMENTARY) (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

1991 – FATHER OF THE BRIDE (PRODUCER)

1991 – TRUE IDENTITY (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

1992 – BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (PRODUCER)

1992 – CLOSE TO EDEN (PRODUCER)

1992 – SHINING THROUGH (PRODUCER)

1992 – STRAIGHT TALK (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

1995 – THE CELLULOID CLOSET (DOCUMENTARY) (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

2000 – PARAGRAPH 175 (DOCUMENTARY) (CO-PRODUCER)

2000 – THE FAMILY MAN (PRODUCER – AS ZVI HOWARD ROSENMAN)

2001  -AMERICAN NEUROTIC (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

2001 – MY FIRST MISTER (CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

2002 – BOND GIRLS ARE FOREVER (TV MOVIE DOCUMENTARY) (CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

2004 – NOEL (PRODUCER – AS ZVI HOWARD ROSENMAN)

2007 – BREAKFAST WITH SCOT (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) / (PRODUCER)

2007  -JOHN FROM CINCINNATI (TV SERIES) (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER – 9 EPISODES)

2007 – YOU KILL ME (PRODUCER – AS ZVI HOWARD ROSENMAN)

2009 – I HAVE IT (SHORT) (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER – AS ZVI HOWARD ROSENMAN)

2009 – JONAH (PRODUCER)

2010 – THE WILD ONES (DOCUMENTARY) (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

2012 – SPARKLE (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

2013 – BRAVE MISS WORLD (DOCUMENTARY) (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

2016 – LAZY EYE (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

2017 – CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (PRODUCER) (POST-PRODUCTION)