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Steve Tisch
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Steve Tisch

Dynamic movie and television producer Steve Tisch has led a successful life rich in spirit and philanthropy. His television and feature film projects have consistently focused on the lives of everyday people and the significant impact they have made upon society. Tisch is currently a Partner for Escape Artists, an independently financed film production company.

Most recently, Tisch served as executive producer of Gramercy Pictures' Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and the critically-acclaimed film American History X (New Line Cinema), starring Academy Award nominee Edward Norton.

One of Tisch's most noteworthy achievements is the production of 1994's Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Forrest Gump (Paramount Pictures). The film starred Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Robin Wright Penn and Gary Sinise and was directed by Robert Zemeckis. Along with receiving Best Picture, Forrest Gump received five other Academy Awards and also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Picture. It remains the fourth-largest grossing domestic box office film of all time.

Tisch began his career in entertainment while still a student at Tufts University. Tisch's summer jobs included a film booker in his family's movie theatre chain; working for director John Avildsen; and serving an apprenticeship under Otto Preminger. Upon his graduation, Tisch continued in the entertainment industry as Peter Guber's assistant at Columbia pictures. At the age of 22, he became a production executive at the studio. During his four-year tenure, Tisch supervised production on such films as The Lords of Flatbush, Tommy, The Last Detail and White Line Fever.

In 1976, Tisch left Columbia to produce his first motion picture, Outlaw Blues. Tisch met Jon Avnet during the shoot and soon the pair formed Tisch/Avnet Productions. Tisch/Avnet feature projects included the sleeper hit of 1983, Risky Business, starring a relatively unknown actor at the time, Tom Cruise. (Other theatrical films included Deal of the Century and Coast to Coast.)

In 1984, Tisch/Avnet produced The Burning Bed, the controversial and dramatic film starring Farrah Fawcett. The made-for-television movie holds the distinction of being the highest-rated television film ever aired on NBC. The Burning Bed received 11 Emmy nominations and numerous other awards. The film has also been credited with providing many women the courage to seek help from physical abuse.

Tisch/Avnet's other television film credits include: Silence of the Heart, about teenage suicide; Something So Right, centering on a relationship between a troubled child and a member of the Big Brother organization; Prime Suspect, about news and media abuse; Homeward Bound, the winner of a Christopher Award, which dealt with a family's acceptance of their young son's battle with cancer; No Other Love, about two marginally retarded young people who fall in love with each other; and Call to Glory, both the television movie and the series, which depicted an Air Force officer and his family during the turbulent years of the Cuban Missile Crisis and Kennedy assassination.

In 1986, Tisch formed his own production company, the Steve Tisch Company, which has gone on to produce: Postman, directed by and starring Kevin Costner; Wild America; The Long Kiss Goodnight; Dear God; Corrina, Corrina; and Looking for an Echo. Other feature films include: Soul Man, Hot to Trot, Big Business, Heart Condition, Bad Influence, and Heart of Dixie.

Tisch has also made an impressive mark on the small screen. He produced the made-for-cable movies Keep the Change (TNT), Afterburn (HBO), which garnered three Emmy Award nominations, and Judgement (HBO). His made-for-television movies include the highly rated The People Next Door, Evil in Clear River and Out on the Edge. Tisch also produced the CBS television series Freshman Dorm and Dirty Dancing (the TV series based on the hit film).

Tisch was elected to AIDS Project Los Angeles' Board of Directors in April, 1991 and re-elected in October 1992. During his tenure, Tisch served as both Board Chair and Chair of the Development Committee. His financial contributions have placed him among APLA's top donors and fund-raisers. Tisch was recently honored with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's Vanguard Award at their 1995 Media Awards. The Vanguard Award, one of the highest awards given by GLAAD, is presented to a member of the entertainment community whose personal contribution towards gay and lesbian equal rights has made a significant difference.

Tisch founded the Jamie & Steve Tisch Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that raises funds to benefit various charities. He has also generously contributed his time and financial resources to such organizations as: UCLA Medical Center (member of the Board of Trustees), The H.E.L.P. Group and The ERAS Center. He is also a member of the Board of Directors at the Tisch School for the Arts at New York University and The Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles.

Tisch is the son of Preston Robert Tisch, and resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Jamie. He has five children and two chocolate brown Labradors named Forrest and Elliot.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Steve Tisch Facts

Birth NameSteven Elliot Tisch
BirthplaceLakewood, New Jersey, USA

Selected Filmography

Not available.