Mark Rydell

Mark Rydell (born March 23, 1929)[1][2] is an American actor, film director and producer. He has directed many Academy Award-nominated films including The Fox (1967), The Reivers (1969), The Cowboys (1972), Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Rose (1979), The River (1984) and For the Boys (1991). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director for On Golden Pond (1981).

Mark Rydell
Rydell in 2008
Mortimer H. Rydell

(1929-03-23) March 23, 1929
New York City, New York, U.S.
OccupationActor, director, producer
Joanne Linville
(m. 1962; div. 1973)

Esther Rydell
(m. 1984; div. 2007)


Rydell's initial training was in music. As a youth, he wanted to be a conductor. He studied acting at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City. His first notable roles were as Walt Johnson on The Edge of Night and as Jeff Baker on As the World Turns, which he played from December 12, 1956 to 1962. When he would not sign a long-term contract to remain on ATWT, the producers had his character die in a car crash.[3] He won plaudits for his role of violent Jewish mob kingpin Marty Augustine in Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (1973). His most recent significant film role was in Woody Allen's Hollywood Ending (2002).

As a director, Rydell's credits include The Reivers (1969), The Cowboys (1972), Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Rose (1979), On Golden Pond (1981), for which he received an Oscar nomination as Best Director, The River (1984), For the Boys (1991), and Intersection (1994). He directed the TV movie Crime of the Century (1996), which starred Isabella Rossellini and Stephen Rea. In 2006, Rydell directed the movie Even Money.

Rydell was also the director of the TV bio-pic James Dean (2001), which earned actor James Franco a Golden Globe award. Rydell also acted in the movie, playing Jack L. Warner (head of Warner Bros).

In 2009, Rydell, working with actor Martin Landau and screenwriter/playwright Lyle Kessler, produced an education seminar, The Total Picture Seminar. It is a two-day event covering the disciplines of acting, directing, and writing for film. The three have worked together as a team for many decades at The Actors Studio teaching and coaching professional actors, writers, and directors. In 2010, Rydell joined the Advisory Board of Openfilm, an online video sharing site created to help aspiring independent filmmakers.

Personal life

Rydell was born Mortimer H. Rydell on March 23, 1928,[1][2] in New York City.

He married actress Joanne Linville in 1962. They had two children, Amy and Christopher, both actors. Rydell and Linville divorced in 1973. Rydell has another son Alexander, by his second marriage, to documentary producer Esther Rydell. They were divorced in 2007.


As director



As actor


  1. Emery, Robert J. (2002). The Directors: Take One, Volume 1 (illustrated ed.). New York: Skyhorse Publishing Inc. p. 305. ISBN 9781581152180.
  2. Gallagher, John Andrew (1989). Film Directors on Directing (illustrated ed.). New York: ABC-CLIO. p. 209. ISBN 9780275932725.
  3. TV Guide June 29 – July 5, 1996 pg. 20.
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