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Zvi Howard Rosenman

David Goodstein

Zvi Howard Rosenman was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and grew up on Long Island.  He began his career working on Broadway for Katharine Hepburn and Sir Michael Benthall, who was directing Miss Hepburn in the André Previn musical Coco. He then worked on Bob Guenette’s independent movie The Tree, as a driver for Jordan Christopher, George Rose, Eileen Heckart, and Miss Ruth Ford.

He then became a producer of commercials for the ad agency Benton and Bowles, winning Clio Awards for his work on behalf of such products as Cool Whip, Cool ‘n Creamy and Texaco’s Havoline Oil.  He went to Hollywood in 1973, where he worked under the aegis of the legendary ABC telefilm unit created by Barry Diller and run by Michael Eisner and Deanne Barkley.

Mr. Rosenman founded Robert Stigwood’s RSO Films along with Ron Bernstein and Deanne Barkley, and the production company made highly-rated MOWs (Movies of the Week) for the broadcast networks.  Among them were first or early features directed by John Badham (Isn’t It Shocking?), Randal Kleiser (All Together Now), and Joel Schumacher (Virginia Hill). RSO also produced Curtis Harrington’s Killer Bees, starring Gloria Swanson, and Richard T. Heffron’s Death Scream, starring Raul Julia.

He has gone on to produce a number of feature films, including Daniel Petrie’s Resurrection, for which Ellen Burstyn and Eva Le Galliene received Academy Award nominations; Charles Shyer’s hit Father of the Bride update starring Steve Martin and Diane Keaton; Sam O’Steen’s Sparkle; Howard Zieff’s The Main Event, starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal; Gross Anatomy, for which Mr. Rosenman also co-wrote the story; Buffy the Vampire Slayer, written by Joss Whedon; Sidney Lumet’s A Stranger Among Us; Brett Ratner’s The Family Man; Chazz Palminteri’s Noel; John Dahl’s You Kill Me; and the soon-to-be-released Breakfast with Scot, directed by Laurie Lynd and starring Tom Cavanagh and Ben Shenkman.

His next projects as producer are writer/director Bill Guttentag’s Jonah, slated to star Tim Roth and Tony Shalhoub; Betsy and the Emperor, in which Al Pacino will play Napoleon; and a host of feature films and television series currently in development.

For television, Mr. Rosenman executive-produced the series John from Cincinatti; John Watkin’s documentary Bond Girls Are Forever; and the telefilm Tidy Endings, which was directed by Gavin Millar from Harvey Fierstein’s adaptation of his own play and which won a CableACE Award for Stockard Channing.

He executive-produced Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein’s Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and a George Foster Peabody Award for Outstanding Journalism, and The Celluloid Closet. The latter documentary feature received both Emmy and Independent Spirit Award nominations, and won the filmmakers a second George Foster Peabody Award for Outstanding Journalism. He reteamed with the writer/directors on Paragraph 175 which he co-produced and which won the Best Direction of a Documentary Feature award at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.

Mr. Rosenman is co-founder of Project Angel Food in L.A., which provides meals-on-wheels for AIDS/HIV patients. He has served on the board of directors of the AIDS Research Alliance, Bet Tzedek Legal, DIFFA, and Youth AIDS Services; and on the advisory board of GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). He lectures or has lectured at USC’s Stark Program, UCLA, the AFI, NYU, Dan Gordon’s Documentary School in Sedona, and Columbia University. For the past six years, he has taught a Master Class in Creative Film Producing at Tel Aviv University under the auspice of the Jewish Federation’s Los Angeles-Tel Aviv Cultural Partnership. He currently serves on the board of the Center for Jewish Culture & Creativity.