Gerald W. Abrams : biography
Gerald W. Abrams (born 1939) is an American television producer and the father of J. J. Abrams, best known for the large number of TV movies he has produced since the mid-1970s.(4 May 2006). , Vox Magazine (Columbia Missourian)
Abrams graduated from Penn State University and began his television career in 1965 with WCBS-TV as an account executive. He worked his way up through CBS Television national sales to head the West Coast Sales in 1971. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed General Sales Manager of KCBS-TV, the CBS-owned station in Los Angeles.
In 1973, Abrams joined The Jozak Company as Vice President of Creative Affairs, and segued into his producing career by producing a GE Theater television movie, The Secret Life of John Chapman. While with Jozak, a few of the projects Abrams executive-produced were James Dean, Portrait Of A Friend, Red Alert, the Emmy award-winning (nominated for five Emmys, winning two) The Defection of Simas Kudirka, starring Alan Arkin, and the ABC series Julie Farr, M.D.
Abrams formed his own company, Cypress Point Productions, in 1978. Through Cypress Point, he executive-produced Flesh & Blood, starring John Cassavetes and Denzel Washington, Letters From Frank, starring Art Carney and introducing Michael J. Fox, The Gift starring Glenn Ford and Julie Harris, Act Of Love, starring Ron Howard and Mickey Rourke, Berlin Tunnel 21, starring Richard Thomas and Horst Buchholz, Marian Rose White, starring Katherine Ross and Valerie Perrine, the CBS series Cutter To Houston, starring Alec Baldwin, Found Money, starring Dick Van Dyke and Sid Caesar, Scorned And Swindled, starring Tuesday Weld, "Florence Nightingale, and the Emmy Award winning A Woman Called Golda, starring Ingrid Bergman for Operation Primetime.Buck, Jerry (5 April 1985). , Rock Hill Herald (Associated Press)
In addition to his television credits, Abrams was also the executive producer of Hearts Of Fire, a theatrical film for Lorimar, starring Bob Dylan and Rupert Everett.
Abrams formed Phoenix Entertainment Group with Gerald Isenberg in July 1985. In February 1989, Phoenix was acquired by The Hearst Corporation and renamed Hearst Entertainment Productions where he served as the Co-Chairman for eight years.
Abrams was also the producer of the four-hour miniseries, Monte Carlo, shot entirely on location in France, and executive-producer of A Father's Revenge, for ABC, which was filmed in Berlin, starring Brian Dennehy and Joanna Cassidy. Also in '89, he executive-produced the two-hour movie for ABC and London Weekend Television, Jekyll & Hyde, starring Michael Caine and Cheryl Ladd, filmed on location in England, which was followed by Daughter Of Darkness, starring Anthony Perkins, which was filmed in Budapest, Hungary, for CBS. Abrams also executive produced Family of Spies the five-hour mini-series for CBS, shot in Vienna, Austria and starring Powers Boothe and Lesley Ann Warren for which she was nominated for an Emmy.
Abrams executive produced Black and Blue, based on Pulitzer Prize winning author Anna Quindlen’s best selling novel, as well as Nuremberg, a four-hour mini-series for Turner Network Television starring Alec Baldwin, Christopher Plummer and Brian Cox, which was nominated for both the Golden Globes and Emmy Awards, and Second Honeymoon, produced with Carol Abrams and starring Roma Downey and Tim Matheson for CBS. Following the critical success of those films, Abrams executive produced the Hallmark Channel’s A Christmas Visitor.
In 2003, Abrams executive produced 44 Minutes, the FX Network’s highest rated show in its nine-year history as well as the Emmy winning Out of the Ashes for Showtime, shot in Vilnius, Lithuania and starring Christine Lahti and directed by Joseph Sargent.
In March 2004, ABC aired The Mystery of Natalie Wood shot in Sydney, Australia, directed by Peter Bogddanovich, executive produced by Abrams and based on Suzanne Finstad’s biography of Natalie Wood. Additionally, Abrams made See Arnold Run about the historic California recall election for A&E. For ESPN in 2005, Abrams and Bud Greenspan produced Four Minutes written by Frank Deford and starring Christopher Plummer, chronicling Roger Bannister’s feat of being the first to run one mile in under four minutes.
Abrams also executive-produced "Daniel's Daughter" starring Laura Leighton in 2008 and "Fairfield Road" starring Jesse Metcalfe in 2010 for the Hallmark Channel, both were written by his daughter, Tracy Rosen. In 2011 he executive-produced "The Pastor's Wife" starring Rose McGowan for Lifetime Television and "The National Tree" starring Andrew McCarthy and "Duke" starring Steven Weber for the Hallmark Channel in 2009 and 2012 respectively. Currently Abrams is developing the miniseries "Houdini" for the History Channel starring Adrien Brody.
Gerald’s late wife, Carol Abrams, is a Peabody Award winning producer and co-author of Shared Memories. They have two children: Director-producer-screenwriter J. J. Abrams, and Tracy Rosen, a screenwriter who has written TV movies and for series television.
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