Edward Zwick
Zwick in 2016
Edward M. Zwick

(1952-10-08) October 8, 1952 (age 71)
Alma materHarvard University, A.B. 1974
AFI Conservatory, MFA 1975
Occupation(s)Director, producer, screenwriter
Years active1983–present
Notable workAbout Last Night, Glory, Leaving Normal, Legends of the Fall, Courage Under Fire, The Siege, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond, Defiance, Love & Other Drugs
Lynn Liberty Godshall
(m. 1982)

Edward M. Zwick (born October 8, 1952) is an American filmmaker. He has worked primarily in the comedy drama and epic historical film genres, including About Last Night, Glory, Legends of the Fall, and The Last Samurai. He is also the co-creator of the television series thirtysomething and Once and Again.

During his career, he has worked with Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Daniel Craig, Jennifer Connelly, Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Liev Schreiber, Laura Dern and Morgan Freeman.

Early life and education

Zwick was born into a Jewish family in Chicago, Illinois,[2][3][4] the son of Ruth Ellen (née Reich) and Allen Zwick.[1] He attended New Trier High School, received an A.B. at Harvard in 1974, and attended the AFI Conservatory, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1975.

Despite sharing a surname and profession, Edward is unrelated to fellow director Joel Zwick. He has been married to actress Liberty Godshall since 1982, and they have two grown children.


His films include Glory (1989), Legends of the Fall (1994), The Siege (1998), The Last Samurai (2003), Blood Diamond (2006), and Defiance (2008). Along with Marshall Herskovitz, Zwick runs a film production company called The Bedford Falls Company (inspired by the name of the town featured in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life). This company has produced such notable films as Traffic and Shakespeare in Love and the TV shows thirtysomething, Relativity, Once and Again, and My So-Called Life.

Zwick's body of work has earned numerous accolades, including an Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Picture as a producer, and Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series, and Outstanding Dramatic Special. He was one of the recipients of the Academy Award for Best Picture for Shakespeare in Love; he was also nominated in the same category for Traffic. He has additionally been nominated for multiple Golden Globe Awards.

In 2024, Zwick will release his memoir, Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions: My Fortysomething Years in Hollywood.[5]



Year Title Director Producer Writer
1986 About Last Night... Yes No No
1989 Glory Yes No No
1992 Leaving Normal Yes No No
1994 Legends of the Fall Yes Yes No
1996 Courage Under Fire Yes No No
1998 The Siege Yes Yes Yes
2003 The Last Samurai Yes Yes Yes
2006 Blood Diamond Yes Yes No
2008 Defiance Yes Yes Yes
2010 Love & Other Drugs Yes Yes Yes
2014 Pawn Sacrifice Yes Yes No
2016 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Yes No Yes
The Great Wall No No Story
2017 American Assassin No No Yes
2018 Trial by Fire Yes Yes No

Producer only

Executive producer


Year Title Director Writer Executive
Creator Notes
1979–80 Family Yes Yes No No Also producer;
5 episodes (written);
Directed episode "Ballerina"
1985 The Insiders Yes No No No Pilot episode
1987–91 thirtysomething Yes Yes Yes Yes 3 episodes (directed);
8 episodes (written)
1999–2002 Once and Again Yes Yes Yes Yes 3 episodes (directed);
4 episodes (written)
Also actor (as Dr. Daniel Rosenfeld)
2008 Quarterlife No Yes Yes Yes Web series;
2 episodes (written)
2016–18 Nashville No Yes Yes No Wrote episode "The Wayfaring Stranger"
2020 Away Yes No Yes No Directed episode "Go"

Television films

Year Title Director Writer Producer
1983 Special Bulletin Yes Yes Yes
1990 Extreme Close-Up No Story executive
2009 A Marriage No Yes executive
2020 Thirtysomething(else) Yes Yes No

Executive producer only

Year Title Notes
1987 CBS Summer Playhouse Episode "Sawdust"
1989 Dream Street
1994-95 My So-Called Life
1998 Relativity
2000 The Only Living Boy in New York TV movie
2002 Women vs. Men

Awards and nominations

Year Title Award/Nomination
1989 Glory Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Director
1994 Legends of the Fall Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Director
1998 Shakespeare in Love Academy Award for Best Picture
BAFTA Award for Best Film
Satellite Award for Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Nominated - Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture
2000 Traffic Nominated - Academy Award for Best Picture
2003 The Last Samurai National Board of Review Award for Best Director
Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Director
Nominated - Producers Guild of America Award for Best Picture
2006 Blood Diamond Nominated - St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Award for Best Director
Awards received by Zwick films
Year Title Academy Awards BAFTA Awards Golden Globe Awards
Nominations Wins Nominations Wins Nominations Wins
1989 Glory 5 3 1 5 1
1994 Legends of the Fall 3 1 4
2003 The Last Samurai 4 3
2006 Blood Diamond 5 1
2008 Defiance 1 1
2010 Love & Other Drugs 2
Total 18 4 1 0 16 1


  1. ^ a b Edward Zwick Biography (1952–). FilmReference.com. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  2. ^ Sachs, Micah (February 17, 2009). "An Interview with Filmmaker Edward Zwick". InterfaithFamily.com. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  3. ^ Rosen, Steven (December 7, 2006). "Director Zwick excavates the bloody price of 'Diamonds'". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  4. ^ Cox, David (January 13, 2009). "In Defiance of Jewish passivity". The Guardian. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  5. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/ap-illusions-oscar-new-york-hollywood-b2356083.html

Further reading