Inspired early in his career by his sister's Hollywood success, Badham moved to Los Angeles and landed a job in the mailroom at Universal Studios. He began moving up through the ranks by learning about casting and cutting trailers, and eventually began directing episodic television, including such series as The Senator (for which he received an Emmy nomination), Night Gallery, Kung Fu, and The Streets of San Francisco. Badham earned a second Emmy nomination for The Law, starring Judd Hirsch.
In 1976, Badham directed his first feature film, The Bingo Long Travelling All-Stars and Motor Kings, which teamed James Earl Jones, Billy Dee Williams, and Richard Pryor. In 1978, Badham guided John Travolta to worldwide fame in Saturday Night Fever, which went on to become one of the top grossing films of all time. Following Saturday Night Fever, Badham received acclaim for his vivid adaptations of two Broadway plays: Whose Life Is It Anyway? starring Richard Dreyfuss, and the stylized Dracula, with Frank Langella and Laurence Olivier. Dracula swept the Grand Prizes at both the Paris International Science Fiction Festival and the US Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Awards.
Badham again rose to the forefront of the film world in the summer of 1983 after directing two of the season's biggest hits, Blue Thunder and War Games, which were also nominated for a total of four Academy Awards. He then directed Kevin Costner in the cycling action-drama American Flyers, followed by the comedy Short Circuit, featuring Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenberg.
In 1989, Badham directed Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn in the action/comedy Bird On A Wire. His film Point of No Return propelled Bridget Fonda to stardom, and Another Stakeout reunited Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez as the pair of undercover cops from the original Stakeout, which he also directed. Badham also directed Drop Zone, starrring Wesley Snipes; Nick of Time, starring Johnny Depp; Incognito, starring Jason Patric; Floating Away, starring Paul Hogan and Roseanna Arquette (which received a Prism Award for its portrayal of alcohol abuse); The Jack Bull for HBO, starring John Cusack and John Goodman; and The Last Debate for Showtime, starring James Garner and Peter Gallagher.
Badham was born in England, the son of actress Mary Hewitt and a U.S. Army general, who moved the family to the U.S. when he was transferred to Alabama. Badham received an undergraduate degree from Yale University in philosophy, and later received a Masters Degree from the Yale School of Drama.
John Badham Facts
|Birthday||August 25, 1939 (80)|
|Birthplace||Luton, England, United Kingdom|
|Saturday Night Fever|
|Not Even Close, Encounters|
|Bird on a Wire|
|The Devil is in the Details...and in the Upstairs Bedroom|
|Point of No Return|
|The Tao of Gus|