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Bruce Beresford
Born 16 August 1940 (1940-08-16) (age 69)
Paddington, Sydney, Australia
Occupation Film director
Years active 1972 - present

Bruce Beresford (born 16 August 1940) is an Australian film director, writer, and producer of such films as Breaker Morant, Tender Mercies and Driving Miss Daisy.



Born in Sydney to Leslie and Lona Beresford, he grew up in the (then) outer western suburb of Toongabbie. He attended The King's School, Sydney.

In a 2007 interview on Radio National in Australia (on Late Night Live), he said that he moved to England at the end of 1962 but could not get a job in the unionised film industry there, so he answered an advertisement for a film editing job in Nigeria, where he worked for two years. He now works both in Australia and the United States. He was previously wed to Rhoisin Patricia Harrison and married Virginia Duigan in 1985. Their daughter Trilby Beresford acts, while his daughter with his first wife, Cordelia Beresford is a cinematographer.

Bruce Beresford found wide critical success as a director for his 1980 film Breaker Morant. As a director, Beresford storyboards and meticulously plans each individual scene.[1]

Following the success of Breaker Morant, Beresford was offered dozens of Hollywood scripts including Tender Mercies, which had already been rejected by many American directors. Beresford very much enjoyed and agreed to direct it. Several people involved with the American film had reservations about an Australian directing a movie about a country western star; Beresford himself also found the decision strange, but did not voice his thoughts because he so wanted to direct the movie. Beresford and actor Robert Duvall, who played the lead character of Mac Sledge, did not get along well during the production and often clashed during filming, including one day in which Beresford walked off the set in frustration. Tender Mercies, which was released in 1983, earned Beresford his only Academy Award nomination for Best Director.[1]

Asked is he minded not being nominated for Best Director for Driving Miss Daisy, Beresford said: "No, not at all. I didn’t think it was that well directed. It was very well written. When the writing's that good, you’ve really just got to set the camera up and photograph it and working with Morgan and Jessica Tandy, I was aware that their acting probably could not be bettered. This was despite everyone telling me the script was dreadful, and the film wasn’t worth making."[2]

In August 2007 he published a memoir, Josh Hartnett Definitely Wants To Do This... True Stories From A Life In The Screen Trade.[3]

In addition to films, Bruce Beresford has also directed opera and theatre productions, including, in 2009, a Melbourne Theatre Company performance of Moonlight and Magnolias.[4]

Furthermore, Bruce Beresford was elected President of the International Jury of the 2008 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

Contemporaries / friends


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