Norman Jewison biography
Date of Birth: July 21, 1926
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Norman Jewison earned his BA at Victoria College, University of Toronto, where he received
an honor award for writing and directing many of the college’s theatrical productions. After graduation, he moved to London,
England, where he gained valuable experience not only writing scripts, but acting in BBC programs. Upon his return to
Toronto in 1952, he began directing TV shows for the CBC. His outstanding work caught the eye of bigwigs in New York,
and in 1958, CBS signed him to a contract. He worked on The Judy Garland Show as producer and director from
1962 to 1963, before making his film directing debut with 40 Pounds of Trouble (1963), an unofficial remake of the
1934 Shirley Temple flick, Little Miss Marker.
Since then, he has taken little time off from making movies, with hits such as The Russians are Coming,
The Russians are Coming (1966); In the Heat of the Night (1967), which won the Academy Award® for Best
Picture; The Thomas Crown Affair (1968); Fiddler on the Roof (1971); Jesus Christ Superstar (1973);
and Rollerball (1975), firmly establishing him as one of Hollywood’s most accomplished and respected directors.
Jewison not only directs, but he also writes screenplays (Jesus Christ Superstar) and produces many of the films
he has directed, as well as those of other directors. In 1986, he established the Canadian Centre for Advanced Film
Studies in Toronto, to help upcoming filmmakers and actors get their start.
Not one to be satisfied to rest on his multitude of laurels, Jewison has continued to produce and direct highly acclaimed films,
including Agnes of God (1985); Moonstruck (1988), which earned him an Academy Award® nomination for
Best Director; Other People’s Money (1991); and more recently, The Hurricane (1999), which he considered
the third in his trilogy of movies that expose racial injustice (the other two were In the Heat of the Night and
A Soldier’s Story). The Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington, was the story of a boxer unjustly
imprisoned for a murder he didn't commit. Jewison credits his adventures as an 18-year-old hitchhiking across the
southern United States for making him aware of the racial segregation endured by the black population.
A winner of awards from film festivals and film societies around the world, Jewison has been nominated personally for four
Oscars® and his films have received 45 nominations and 12 Academy Awards®. In 1999, he received the prestigious Irving
Thalberg Award at the Academy Awards®. In 1988 he received an honorary Genie for founding the Canadian Centre for
Advanced Film Studies; in 1998 he received the Canadian Film Centre Lifetime Achievement Award; and he has a star on
Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Jewison married Margaret Ann Dixon on July 11, 1953, and they have three children, including a daughter, Jennifer.
Their two sons, Kevin and Michael, both work in various aspects of the film industry.
Norman Jewison Filmography