Ron Shelton
Ronald Wayne Shelton

(1945-09-15) September 15, 1945 (age 78)
Occupation(s)Film director, screenwriter
SpouseLolita Davidovich (m. 1997)

Ronald Wayne Shelton (born September 15, 1945) is an American film director and screenwriter[1][2] and former minor league baseball infielder. Shelton is known for the many films he has made about sports. His 1988 film Bull Durham, based in part on his own baseball experiences, earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

A former minor league baseball infielder in Baltimore's farm system, Shelton played with the Bluefield Orioles, Stockton Ports, Florida Instructional League Orioles, Dallas–Fort Worth Spurs and Rochester Red Wings from 1967 through 1971.

Film career

After working on the scripts for a number of films, including co-writing the Nick Nolte and Gene Hackman political drama Under Fire, Shelton made his directorial debut with Bull Durham[3] in 1988. Set in the world of minor league baseball, the romantic comedy stars Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. Shelton's screenplay netted him multiple awards, including Best Original Script from the Writers Guild of America and Best Script from the US National Society of Film Critics. It was also nominated for an Academy Award. In 2022, Shelton's book The Church of Baseball: The Making of Bull Durham: Home Runs, Bad Calls, Crazy Fights, Big Swings, and a Hit was published by Vintage Books.[4]

In 1990, Ron Shelton received a three-year first look writing and producing deal with 20th Century Fox.[5]

Shelton worked with Costner again on the 1996 golf-themed romantic comedy Tin Cup.[6] Other films as writer and director included the boxing comedy Play It to the Bone, a critical and commercial flop, and acclaimed 1992 comedy White Men Can't Jump,[3] starring Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes as two basketball hustlers. Calling the latter film "very smart and very funny," and "not simply a basketball movie," critic Roger Ebert wrote that Shelton "knows how his characters talk and sound, and how they get into each other's minds with non-stop talking and boasting."

Shelton has also written and directed two biopics: Cobb, in which Tommy Lee Jones portrayed record-breaking baseballer Ty Cobb, and Blaze, which starred Paul Newman as colourful Louisiana Governor Earl Long.[2] He wrote or co-wrote other sports-themed films including The Best of Times, starring Robin Williams and Kurt Russell as former football teammates; the basketball drama Blue Chips, starring Nick Nolte, and a boxing comedy, The Great White Hype, starring Samuel L. Jackson.

He also directed two Los Angeles-based crime films, Dark Blue, a drama starring Kurt Russell,[3] and Hollywood Homicide, a comedy with Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett.

In 2022, Shelton received the Leonard Maltin Award at the Coronado Island Film Festival.[7]

Personal life

Shelton grew up in Montecito, California, the oldest of four brothers. He is an alumnus of Santa Barbara High School and of the University of Arizona and Westmont College.

Shelton is married to Canadian-born actress Lolita Davidovich, who has appeared in several of his films, including taking the title role of Blaze Starr in Blaze.[2] The couple have two children and reside in Los Angeles and Ojai, California. Shelton has two daughters with his first wife, filmmaker Lois Shelton.

On July 7, 2017, Shelton was inducted into the Rochester Red Wings Hall of Fame.[8]


Year Title Director Writer
1983 Under Fire 2nd unit Yes
1986 The Best of Times 2nd unit Yes
1988 Bull Durham Yes Yes
1989 Blaze Yes Yes
1992 White Men Can't Jump Yes Yes
1994 Blue Chips No Yes
Cobb Yes Yes
1996 The Great White Hype No Yes
Tin Cup Yes Yes
1999 Play It to the Bone Yes Yes
2002 Dark Blue Yes No
2003 Hollywood Homicide Yes Yes
Bad Boys II No Yes
2011 Hound Dogs Yes Yes
2017 Just Getting Started Yes Yes


Executive producer

Special thanks


  1. ^ Benson, Sheila (1989-12-13). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Blaze' Sizzles Even Over Low Flame". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  2. ^ a b c Maslin, Janet (1989-12-13). "Movie Review - Blaze - Review/Film; 'Blaze,' a Story of a Rogue and a Stripper". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  3. ^ a b c Taylor, Ella (2003-02-20). "Our Dark Blue Places - Page 1 - Film+TV - Los Angeles". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  4. ^ Ron Shelton (2022). The Church of Baseball: The Making of Bull Durham: Home Runs, Bad Calls, Crazy Fights, Big Swings, and a Hit. Vintage Books.
  5. ^ "Ron Shelton inks three-pic deal with Fox". Variety. 1990-07-04. p. 22.
  6. ^ Maslin, Janet (August 16, 1996). "Tin Cup (1996) When Golf Is Life And Life a Game". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Accomando, Beth (2022-11-10). "Coronado Island Film Festival celebrates its 7th year". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved 2022-11-25.
  8. ^ Roth, Leo (7 September 2017). "'Bull Durham' writer/director Ron Shelton now a Red Wings Hall of Famer, you could look it up". Democrat and Chronicle. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 4 November 2021.