Andrew Davis
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Cardiff, Wales, UK
Famous for:
Bridget Jones's Diary' (2001)
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The Fugitive Director


A filmmaker with a reputation for directing intelligent action thrillers, Andrew Davis garnered critical acclaim for directing the successful feature film version of the TV series "The Fugitive" (1993; starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones), which opened strongly in the box office and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including one for Best Picture, making it one of the few films associated with a television series to be so honored. The film also earned him nominations at the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures and at the Golden Globes for Best Director - Motion Picture.

Beginning his film career as a cameraman for such films as "Cool Breeze" (1972), "Hit Man" (1972) and "The Slams" (1973), Davis, who has filmed most of his movies in his hometown of Chicago, has added to his directing resume films like "Code of Silence" (1985; starring Chuck Norris), "Above the Law" (1988; starring Steven Seagal), "The Package" (1989; with Gene Hackman, Joanna Cassidy, and Tommy Lee Jones) and "Under Siege" (1992; alongside Seagal again). He also helmed "Chain Reaction" (1996; starring Keanu Reeves, Morgan Freeman, and Rachel Weisz), "A Perfect Murder" (1998; with Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen), "Collateral Damage" (2002; starring Arnold Schwarzenegger), "Holes" (2003; with Sigourney Weaver, Shia LaBeouf, and Jon Voight), and "The Guardian" (2006; starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher).

Chicago Roots

Childhood and Family:

"I've only had one nickname in my life. It was when I worked in the steel mills in Chicago. I was the college kid who was the inspector. Rather than working as a laborer, I got a job as an inspector. And there was Yorgo and Yago and I was Yo-Yo." Andrew Davis

Son of actor Nathan Davis (born on May 22, 1917) and Metta Davis, who met in a repertory theater company in Chicago, Andrew Davis was born in Chicago, Illinois, on November 21, 1946. Andrew Davis would later shoot most of his films in Chicago. His brothers are Richard Davis and Jo Ellen Friedman.

Young Davis attended Harand Camp of the Theater Arts in Elkhart Lake, WI, and Bowen High School. He went on to study journalism at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He received his BS degree in 1968.

"Yeah, I'd go to the movies [when I was young], watch 'The Thing' and then try to win a sweater or something in the Duncan Yo-Yo contests on Jeffery Boulevard in Chicago." Andrew Davis

Under Siege


Having worked as a journalist, TV cameraman and photographer prior to his college graduation, Andrew Davis moved to Los Angeles after graduation and found a job as a cinematographer on commercials and documentaries. In 1968, he worked as an assistant cameraman in writer/director Haskell Wexler's war/drama film "Medium Cool," which was filmed in Davis' hometown in Chicago.

Four years later, Davis made his first feature as director of photography for "Cool Breeze" (1972), Barry Pollack's flick starring Thalmus Rasulala. He then served as the cinematographer for a number of films, including Paul Bartel's directional feature film debut, the dark comedy/horror "Private Parts" (1972; starring Ayn Ruymen, Lucille Benson, and John Ventantonio), George Armitage's film adaptation of Ted Lewis' novel, "Hit Man" (1972; starring Pam Grier), Jonathan Kaplan's action/drama "The Slams" (1973; starring Jim Brown) and Menahem Golan's biopic about the Jewish-American mobster of the 1930s, "Lepke" (1975; with Tony Curtis in the title role).

In 1976, Davis led the class-action suit "Davis et al vs. IATSE et al," which challenged the union's restrictive roster system and forced the industry to allow young technicians to work. Meanwhile, he continued to work as a cinematographer for Lee Grant's 30-minute based-on-play short drama "The Stronger" (1976), Robert Vincent O'Neill's independent family movie "Paco" (1976; he also co-produced and wrote the screenplay), Michael Pataki's horror "Mansion of the Doomed" (1976; starring Richard Basehart, Gloria Grahame, Trish Stewart, and Lance Henriksen) and Charles Band's horror "Crash" (1977).

After directing a 5-minute short project titled "At Home with Shields and Yarnell" (1978; starring Robert Shields and Lorene Yarnell), Davis made his feature directing, screen-writing and producing debut with "Stony Island" (1978), a musical drama starring Richard Davis. He later said about the film, "My first film was a musical film, a coming of age story that is hard to find, but we'll get it on DVD soon."

Following his directional debut, Davis returned as a cinematographer for two 1979 films, a drag-racing TV movie starring Gregg Henry titled "Hot Rod" and Jonathan Kaplan's crime drama film starring Matt Dillon in his feature film debut, "Over the Edge." Because of its depiction of teenage rebellion, marijuana and alcohol use by junior high school students, "Over the Edge" was released on HBO two years later, but has achieved cult film status. The movie later inspired Nirvana's music video for their song "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

In 1983, Davis returned to the director's chair to direct his second film, "The Final Terror" (aka. "Campsite Massacre and The Forest Primevil"), a slasher film about a group of young campers whose fun-filled weekend plans are spoiled by a maniac. After serving as the cinematographer for Robert Vincent O'Neill's action/thriller starring Donna Wilkes, "Angel" (1984), and writing for Stan Lathan's musical drama "Beat Street" (1984; starring Rae Dawn Chong), he helmed "Code of Silence" (1985), a cult action film starring Chuck Norris as a renegade Chicago police officer who takes down a Chicago drug lord.

In 1988, Andrew directed Steven Seagal in the actor's film debut, "Above the Law," in which Davis also served as screenwriter, producer and cinematographer for one segment. The film also features Pam Grier and Sharon Stone. The following year, Davis directed Gene Hackman, Joanna Cassidy, and Tommy Lee Jones in the political thriller set during the Cold War, "The Package" (1989), which he also co-produced.

Davis directed Steven Seagal again in the actor's action vehicle, "Under Siege" (1992), which received critical success and was an instant box office hit. The next year, Davis signed a three year non-exclusive deal with Savoy Pictures that allowed him to green-light films under 25 million.

1993 also marked Davis’ breakthrough year when he helmed the successful feature film version of the TV series "The Fugitive," which follows a man (played by Harrison Ford) falsely accused of killing his wife. The action/thriller film, which also starred Tommy Lee Jones, opened strong in the United States and was nominated for seven Academy Awards with Tommy Lee Jones taking home the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

"'The Fugitive' (1993) is a movie I'm proud of. It came about because of 'Under Siege' and I was able to go back to Chicago and do my thing. I had a lot of support and the script was very loose and we were able to really create something on the scene there with that movie. So I'm proud of the fact that I had so much to do with it. At the same time, when that movie came out, somebody looked me in the eye and very seriously said, 'You oughta retire. You're never going to make another movie this good.' And I sort of laughed at him. We're trying." Andrew Davis.

Following his Oscar-nominated work, Davis stumbled with critics at the box-office with the romantic comedy "Steal Big Steal Little" (1995; featuring Andy Garcia as twins), which he also co-wrote, and the action/thriller "Chain Reaction" (1996; starring Keanu Reeves, Morgan Freeman, and Rachel Weisz), which he also produced.

In the late 1990s, Davis enjoyed box-office success with "A Perfect Murder" (1998; starring Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen), an updated remake of the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock thriller "Dial M for Murder." The screenplay of "A Perfect Murder" (1998) was written by Patrick Smith Kelly and based on the play by Frederick Knott.

About the film, Davis commented, "'A Perfect Murder' (1998) was a pretty good script, but it wasn't as good as this in terms of the dynamics and the storyline. It was more exploitive and this has much more heart."

In 2002, Davis directed Arnold Schwarzenegger in the action film "Collateral Damage," which follows Schwarzenegger as a Los Angeles firefighter who travels to Colombia to avenge his son and wife's deaths.

Davis then directed Sigourney Weaver, Patricia Arquette, Shia LaBeouf, and Jon Voight in "Holes" (2003), an adaptation of Louis Sachar's Newbery Medal-winning novel. The film was a moderate financial success.

After directing the pilot episode of the WB courtroom drama "Just Legal" in 2005, Davis went on to helm an action-drama film about the United States Coast Guard and their Aviation Survival Technician (AST) program, "The Guardian" (2006), starring Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, and Melissa Sagemiller.

When asked why he thinks no one thought of this movie before, Davis said, “People had been doing stories about people killing people. To me, it was important to do a story about people saving people. The military top gun, they're learning how to blow the blank out of people's villages and lives and planes.”

Davis has also acted several times. He could be seen in the dramatic made-for-television movie "Roanoak" (1986) and in an April 1989 episode called "His Suit Is Hirsute" in the popular NBC legal drama series "L.A. Law." Additionally, he appeared as Levanthian Steward in Gillian Armstrong's big screen version of Peter Carey's Booker Prize and Miles Franklin Award-winning novel, "Oscar and Lucinda" (1997; with Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett in the title roles).

Davis, who founded “Wild Onion Pictures,” also owns a production company, “Chicago Pacific Entertainment,” which is based out of Santa Barbara.


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