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Producer Lawrence Turman

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Lawrence Turman, born and raised in Los Angeles, is a UCLA liberal arts graduate.  He spent two years in the Navy, then five in his father's textile business, before answering a blind ad in Variety to become an agent.  He left to produce, with partner Stuart Millar, The Young Doctors, Stolen Hours, I Could Go On Singing, and Gore Vidal's political satire, The Best Man.


Going it alone, in 1966 Mr. Turman found the already published novel The Graduate by Charles Webb, and signed Mike Nichols to direct--even though Mr. Nichols had never done a film and had staged only one Broadway show.  They spent a frustrating year before finally finding an independent company to finance the movie.
 

Mr. Turman also produced solo The Flim Flam Man, Pretty Poison, and The Great White Hope, and directed two films:  The Marriage of a Young Stock Broker and Second Thoughts.  For television, Mr. Turman executive produced the MOW's She Lives, Get Christy Love, The Morning After, and with David Foster as partner: Between Two Brothers, Gift of Life, News at Eleven, Jesse, and alone The Long Way Home.
 

The Turman-Foster Company produced the theatrical features The Drowning Pool, First Love, Heroes, Walk Proud, The Thing, Tribute, Caveman, Mass Appeal, The Mean Season, Running Scared, Short Circuit, Full Moon in Blue Water, Gleaming the Cube, The Getaway, and The River Wild starring Meryl Streep.  The plays Tribute, The Great White Hope, and Mass Appeal were all chosen by Mr. Turman for filming prior to their Broadway stage openings.

 

In 1996 he formed, with John Morrissey, The Turman-Morrissey Company which made the successful Booty Call for Columbia Pictures, American History X for which Edward Norton received an Academy Award nomination, the Fox Searchlight success Kingdom Come, plus a CBS TV movie, Miracle on the Mountain starring Patty Duke.

 

Mr. Turman has won the British Academy Award, the Golden Globe, was voted into the Producers Guild of America Hall of Fame, and is a board member of the Producers Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  He is a member of the Presidents Council of National Public Radio, and a Founder of MOCA.

 

In 1991, Lawrence Turman accepted appointment as the Director of the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinema Television, where he is now a tenured, full professor with an Endowed Chair.  In addition to his overall responsibility for this Graduate MFA Program, he is also in the classroom, teaching and working directly with the students, often on a tutorial basis. He has guest-lectured at FEMIS in Paris, the Triangle Conference in Rome, Equinoxe in Bordeaux, the Polytechnic in Singapore, a Ford Foundation-sponsored workshop in Vietnam, the Producers on Producing Conference in Stockholm, AFI, UCLA, and NYU.  He has been a juror at the Flanders Film Festival and the Ivy Festival at Brown University.  His book So You Want To Be a Producer will be published by the Three Rivers imprint of Random House in September 2005.

 

Mr. Turman is married to Lauree Berger, who appeared in A Chorus Line on Broadway and now has her Masters Degree in Social Work at USC and is a therapist.  He has three sons: John, a writer; Andrew, a cinematographer; Peter, in real estate; stepson Josh Cherin, a manufacturer; and stepdaughter Anya, a costume designer.

 

 

So You Want To Be A Producer
by Lawrence Turman

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