John Herzfeld Biography

John Herzfeld photo


Raised in New Jersey, Herzfeld studied at Memphis State University and the University of Miami. From school, he went on to work as an actor on small and big screen.

During his work as an actor, he also penned screenplays, and in 1979, his feature Voices was released.

After a few more acting gigs on a number of telefilms, and another filmed script, Herzfeld took the opportunity to direct his third script, Two of a Kind (1983). The film, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, opened to poor reviews and for the next ten years, Herzfeld focused his directing work to the small screen, and avoided directing his own scripts.

During those ten years he directed several distinguished and highly-rated television films including The Ryan White Story, The Preppie Murder, A Father's Revenge, Stoned (for which he won a directing Emmy), and an episode of Tales from the Crypt. In 1993, he decided to take another chance and directed his telefilm, Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story (which he also produced).

His second attempt proved to be a success and he quickly followed it up with another telefilm, Remember (his last acting gig).

In 1996 he came out with his first written and directed feature since his bomb in 1983. The movie 2 Days in the Valley was an ensemble black comedy starring Jeff Daniels, Teri Hatcher, Glenne Headly, Marsha Mason, Paul Mazursky, James Spader, Eric Stoltz, Keith Carradine and introducing Charlize Theron.

The film was singled out by critics for its ingenious structure, original style and deft mix of insight and action.

Herzfeld went on to win the Directors Guild of America Award and an Emmy nomination for his HBO film Don King: Only in America starring Ving Rhames.

The film was nominated for two Golden Globes, won the Broadcast Film Critics Award, the Writers Guild of America Award and the coveted Peabody Award, the broadcast industry's most prestigious honor.

Filmography (director):

Fifteen Minutes (2001)
2 Days in the Valley (1996)
Two of a Kind (1983)

Filmography (writer):

Fifteen Minutes (2001)
2 Days in the Valley (1996)
The 17th Bride (1985)
The Last Winter (1984)
Two of a Kind (1983)
Hard Feelings (1982)
Voices (1979)

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