Edward Zwick

Edward M. Zwick (born October 8, 1952) is an American filmmaker and producer of film and television. He has worked primarily in the comedy-drama and epic historical film genres, including About Last Night, Glory, Legends of the Fall, and The Last Samurai. He is also the co-creator of the television series thirtysomething and Once and Again.

Edward Zwick
Zwick during a Q & A session following a screening of Defiance on 20 Nov 2008.
Edward M. Zwick

(1952-10-08) October 8, 1952
Alma materHarvard University, A.B. 1974
AFI Conservatory, MFA 1975
OccupationDirector, producer, screenwriter
Years active1983–present
Known forAbout Last Night, thirtysomething, Glory, Shakespeare in Love, The Last Samurai, Once and Again, Blood Diamond
Spouse(s)Lynn Liberty Godshall (since 1982)[1]

Zwick's prolific body of work has earned numerous accolades, including an Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Picture, and Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series, and Outstanding Dramatic Special. He has additionally been nominated for multiple Golden Globe Awards.

Early life and education

Zwick was born into a Jewish family in Chicago, Illinois,[2][3][4] the son of Ruth Ellen (née Reich) and Allen Zwick.[1] He attended New Trier High School, received an A.B. at Harvard in 1974, and attended the AFI Conservatory, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1975.


His films include Glory (1989), Legends of the Fall (1994), The Siege (1998), The Last Samurai (2003), Blood Diamond (2006), and Defiance (2008). Along with Marshall Herskovitz, Zwick runs a film production company called The Bedford Falls Company (inspired by the name of the town featured in Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life). This company has produced such notable films as Traffic and Shakespeare in Love and the TV shows thirtysomething, Relativity, Once and Again, and My So-Called Life.

He was one of the recipients of the Academy Award for Best Picture for Shakespeare in Love; he was also nominated in the same category for Traffic.

Despite sharing a surname and profession, Edward is unrelated to fellow director Joel Zwick.



Year Film Director Producer Writer Notes
1986 About Last Night... Yes No No Directorial Debut
1989 Glory Yes No No Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Director
1992 Leaving Normal Yes No No
1994 Legends of the Fall Yes Yes No Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Director
1996 Courage Under Fire Yes No No
1998 The Siege Yes Yes Yes
2003 The Last Samurai Yes Yes Yes National Board of Review Award for Best Director
Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Director
Nominated - Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture
2006 Blood Diamond Yes Yes No Nominated - St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
2008 Defiance Yes Yes Yes
2010 Love & Other Drugs Yes Yes Yes
2014 Pawn Sacrifice Yes Yes No
2016 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Yes No Yes
The Great Wall No No Story
2017 American Assassin No No Yes
2018 Trial by Fire Yes Yes No

Producer only

Year Film Director Notes
1998 Dangerous Beauty Marshall Herskovitz
Shakespeare in Love John Madden Academy Award for Best Picture
BAFTA Award for Best Film
Satellite Award for Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Nominated - Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture
2000 Traffic Steven Soderbergh Nominated - Academy Award for Best Picture
2001 I Am Sam Jessie Nelson
2002 Abandon Stephen Gaghan
Lone Star State of Mind David Semel Executive producer
2014 Boys of Abu Ghraib Luke Moran
About Alex Jesse Zwick
Cut Bank Matt Shakman
2016 The Birth of a Nation Nate Parker Executive producer
2017 Woman Walks Ahead Susanna White


Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
1979-80 Family Yes Yes No 1 episode (directed);
5 episodes (written)
1983 Special Bulletin Yes Yes Yes TV movie
1987-91 thirtysomething Yes Yes executive Co-creator;
3 episodes (directed);
8 episodes (written)
1990 Extreme Close-Up No Story executive TV movie
1999-2002 Once and Again Yes Yes executive Co-creator;
3 episodes (directed);
4 episodes (written)
Also actor; as Dr. Daniel Rosenfeld
2008 Quarterlife No Yes executive Web series;
also co-creator;
2 episodes (written)
2009 A Marriage No Yes executive TV movie
2016–18 Nashville No Yes executive 1 episode (written)

Executive producer only

Year Title Notes
1987 CBS Summer Playhouse Episode "Sawdust"
1989 Dream Street Co-creator
1994-95 My So-Called Life
1998 Relativity
2000 The Only Living Boy in New York Television movie
2002 Women vs. Men

Awards received by Zwick movies

Year Film Academy Awards BAFTA Awards Golden Globe Awards
Nominations Wins Nominations Wins Nominations Wins
1989 Glory 5 3 1 5 1
1994 Legends of the Fall 3 1 4
2003 The Last Samurai 4 3
2006 Blood Diamond 5 1
2008 Defiance 1 1
2010 Love & Other Drugs 2
Total 18 4 1 0 16 1


  1. Edward Zwick Biography (1952–). FilmReference.com. Retrieved 2010-11-03.
  2. Sachs, Micah. "An Interview with Filmmaker Edward Zwick". InterfaithFamily.com. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  3. Rosen, Steven (December 7, 2006). "Director Zwick excavates the bloody price of 'Diamonds'". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  4. Cox, David (January 13, 2009). "In Defiance of Jewish passivity". The Guardian. Retrieved June 4, 2018.

Further reading

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