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Taylor
Hackford

Taylor Hackford began his entertainment career at KCET, the Los Angeles public television affiliate, where he produced, wrote or directed documentaries, investigative reports and music performance programs. In 1979, Taylor won an Academy Award in the category of Best Live-Action Short Film for his first dramatic effort, Teenage Father. He then proceeded to make his feature directorial debut in 1980 with The Idolmaker, starring Ray Sharkey and Peter Gallagher. An Officer and a Gentleman, starring Richard Gere and Debra Winger, was Taylor’s second film, which became a commercial and critical hit in 1982. It received five Academy Award nominations and brought home Oscars for Louis Gossett, Jr. as Best Supporting Actor, and Best Original Song (Up Where We Belong). Taylor subquently Produced and Directed Against All Odds, starring Jeff Bridges, Rachel Ward & James Woods, White Nights, starring Mikhail Baryshnikov & Gregory Hines, Everybody’s All-American, starring Dennis Quaid & Jessica Lange,; and the acclaimed documentary Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock n Roll, featuring Chuck Berry and Keith Richards. Taylor, who has been fascinated by all things Latino since his stint as a Peace Corp volunteer in South America (1968-69), developed and produced La Bamba, the Richie Valens biography, which is still the most successful Latin themed feature film in history. He also helmed the epic drama of East L.A., Blood In, Blood Out (Bound by Honor) which earned Taylor a Best Director Award at the 1993 Tokyo Film Festival. His next film, Dolores Claiborne, starring Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh was selected for screening at the 1995 Venice, Deauville and Tokyo Film Festivals. In 1996 Taylor discovered some unreleased documentary footage of the legendary Muhammed Ali/George Foreman title fight in Zaire, Africa shot by filmmaker Leon Gast. Taylor shot new interviews with Norman Mailer, George Plimpton and Spike Lee, and then restructured the original footage, virtually creating a new film, When We Were Kings, which won the 1997 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. In 1998 Hackford directed the critically acclaimed, world-wide hit The Devil’s Advocate (1999), a contemporary morality tale set in the world of New York’s powerful legal profession starring Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves. This film also introduced new comers, Charleze Theron and Connie Neilson. Then in 2001 he delivered the riveting Proof of Life, with Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe. Hackford struggled for nearly 15 years to make Ray, a dramatic film portrait of American musical icon, Ray Charles, starring Jamie Foxx. His passion paid off when this film received critical raves and was nominated for most major film awards in 2005, including 6 Academy Award Nominations - Mr. Foxx won for Best Actor. Taylor is currently in post production on Love Ranch, starring Academy Award Winners Joe Pesci & Helen Mirren (Mr. Hackford’s wife). Love Ranch focuses on a husband/wife team who own and run one of northern Nevada’s first legalized brothel ranches. Louis & Keely is Mr. Hackford’s first production for the stage.