Bruce Cohen
Cohen in 2015
Born (1961-09-23) September 23, 1961 (age 62)
Years active1985–present
Gabriel Catone
(m. 2008)

Bruce L. Cohen (born September 23, 1961) is a film, television, and theater producer. He is best known for his production of the Academy Award nominated films Milk, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Beauty, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Early Life and Education

Cohen was born to a Jewish family and raised in Falls Church, Virginia.[1] In 1983, he graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies.[2]


After school, Cohen moved to Los Angeles, where he accepted a clerical job as a Directors Guild of America trainee on Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple,[1] and went on to serve as associate producer and first assistant director on Spielberg's Hook. In 2000, Cohen won the Academy Award for Best Picture for producing American Beauty.[3] The film, directed by Sam Mendes, won a total of five Oscars, as well as the Golden Globe, British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA), and Producers Guild of America (PGA) awards.

He later earned additional Best Picture nominations for Milk and Silver Linings Playbook. Milk, directed by Gus Van Sant, was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won Oscars for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay, as well as the PGA's Stanley Kramer Award. Silver Linings Playbook, written and directed by David O. Russell, was nominated for eight Oscars. It was the first film in 31 years to be nominated in all four acting categories, with Jennifer Lawrence going on to win the Oscar for Best Actress.

Other films Cohen has produced include Big Fish, directed by Tim Burton, which was nominated for both Golden Globe and BAFTA Best Picture awards. In 2013, he served as lead producer of the stage musical version of Big Fish on Broadway, under the direction and choreography of five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman.

On television, Cohen was executive producer of the ABC series Pushing Daisies, which won a total of seven Emmys and was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Comedy. He was also executive producer of the CBS special Movies Rock. In 2011, he was nominated for an Emmy in 2011 for producing the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.

Cohen is on the Board of Governors of the Producer's Guild, having served two terms as vice president of motion pictures, and is on the Executive Committee of the Producers Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is president of the board of directors of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group behind the recently successful Supreme Court case to have California's Proposition 8 declared unconstitutional.

In 2019, Bruce Cohen joined the Advisory Board for the Harlem Film House, which presents the Hip Hop Film Festival, an annual event that focuses on filmmakers from the global culture of hip hop and also promotes financial sustainability for independent filmmakers from marginalized or economically disadvantaged communities.[4][5][6][7]

Personal life

He is married to Gabriel Catone and they have a daughter.[8]


Cohen was a producer on all films unless otherwise noted:


Year Film Credit
1991 Hook Associate producer
1993 Alive Co-producer
1994 The Flintstones
1995 To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar Executive producer
1997 Mouse Hunt
1999 American Beauty
2000 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas
2003 Down with Love
Big Fish
2004 The Forgotten
2007 The Nines
2008 Milk
2012 Silver Linings Playbook
2016 Bleed for This
2017 Rebel in the Rye
2023 Ex-Husbands
2023 Rustin
2024 Blink Twice
TBA Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?
Stardusk Executive producer
Second unit director or assistant director
Year Film Role
1985 The Color Purple DGA trainee
1987 Cherry 2000
Batteries Not Included Second assistant director
1988 The Couch Trip
Cocoon: The Return
The Boost
1989 Always
1990 Arachnophobia First assistant director
1991 Hook
2000 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas Second unit director
As an actor
Year Film Role Notes
1999 American Beauty Bartender
Script and continuity department
Year Film Role Notes
1994 The Flintstones Script revision
Year Film Role
2000 Mothman The producers wish to thank
2022 To Leslie Special thanks


Year Title Credit Notes
1996 Centennial Olympic Games: Torch Relay Opening Ceremonies Television special
Mistrial Television film
2005 Hate Executive producer Television film
2007 Traveler Executive producer
Side Order of Life Executive producer
Movies Rock Executive producer Television special
2007−09 Pushing Daisies Executive producer
2011 83rd Academy Awards Television special
2012 8 Executive producer Television film
2017 When We Rise Executive producer
Miscellaneous crew
Year Title Role
1990 As the World Turns Technical director


  1. ^ a b The Jewish Journal: "Bruce Cohen: A career full of ‘Silver Linings’" by Naomi Pfefferman February 19, 2013
  2. ^ "Bruce L. Cohen '83 B.A." Yale University. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  3. ^ "Bruce Cohen". IMDb. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  4. ^ Staff, S. B. N. (September 30, 2019). "THEO ROSSI & BRUCE COHEN JOIN THE ADVISORY BOARD AT HARLEM FILM HOUSE". Silicon Beach News. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  5. ^ House, Harlem Film (September 17, 2019). "THEO ROSSI & BRUCE COHEN JOIN THE ADVISORY BOARD AT HARLEM FILM HOUSE". Medium. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  6. ^ "Harlem Film House Our Team". Harlem Film House. December 27, 2020. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  7. ^ Amos, Jim. "Groundbreaking Hip Hop Film Festival Returns For Its 5th Season". Forbes. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  8. ^ "Hollywood stands behind same-sex marriage". The Associated Press. October 22, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2023.