Bruce Beresford was born in Sydney and received his degree from Sydney University in1962. His colourful career includes a two year stint as a film editor in Nigeria (1964-66). After that he went to London and served as Head of Production for the British Film Institute Production Board (London) from 1966-71 – and as film advisor to Arts Council of Great Britain. He returned to Australia in 1972 to direct his first feature, “The Adventures of Barry McKenzie”.
Bruce Beresford has directed over 30 feature films.
Probably his best-known film is Driving Miss Daisy (written by Alfred Uhry), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1989. Other notable films, arguably, are Dons Party (1976), BREAKER MORANT (1980), Tender Mercies (1983), Black Robe (1991), Crimes of the Heart (1987), The Fringe Dwellers (1986), Double Jeopardy (1999), Evelyn (2002) and Mao’s Last Dancer (2009). His latest film is Cook, currently in post-production. Lead actors are Eddie Murphy, Britt Robertson and Natasha McElhone.
Bruce wrote the screenplays for Money Movers (1979, adapted from the novel by Devon Minchin), BREAKER MORANT (based loosely on the play by Kenneth Ross), The Fringe Dwellers—(adapted from the novel by Nene Gare) and Paradise Road (1997, an original script).
He was nominated for an Academy Award for the script of BREAKER MORANT and direction of Tender Mercies. He won the Australian “Best Director” award for both Dons Party and BREAKER MORANT,as well as “Best Adapted Screenplay” for The Fringe Dwellers. In Canada he won “Best Director” and “Best Film” for Black Robe.
He has directed operas in Italy, USA and Australia. For Opera Australia he directed Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire (2007) and Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men in 2011. In 2012, he directed the Australian premiere of Erich Korngold’s opera Die Tote Stadt (“The Dead City”). He also directed Rigoletto for LA opera, The Crucible for Washington Opera, Cold Sassy Tree for Houston Grand Opera, Sweeney Todd for Portland Opera, Girl of the Golden West for Spoleto.
He has written an entertaining and indiscreet book about his film experiences—Josh Hartnett Definitely Wants to do This (2012, Published by Harper Collins).