James Toback

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
A former journalist, sports writer and literature professor James Toback began his film career with the semi-autobiographical screenplay for Karel Reisz's "The Gambler" (1974) and made a powerful directorial debut with ... Read more »
Born: 11/23/1944 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (14)

Mississippi Grind 2015 (Movie)

Tony Roundtree (Actor)

A Fuller Life 2014 (Movie)

(Himself)

Pierre Rissient: Man of Cinema 2008 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Outsider 2006 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Death of a Dynasty 2005 (Movie)

Lyor Cohen (Actor)

Jim Brown: All American 2002 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Inside Reel: Digital Filmmaking 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Black and White 2000 (Movie)

Arnie Tishman (Actor)

Casanova Falling 1998 (Movie)

(cameo appearance) (Actor)

Bugsy 1991 (Movie)

Gus Greenbaum (Actor)

Alice 1990 (Movie)

Professor (Actor)

The Big Bang 1990 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Exposed 1983 (Movie)

Leo Voscovitch (Actor)
Writer (13)

The Gambler 2014 (Movie)

(from film: "The Gambler") (Source Material)

Seduced and Abandoned 2013 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

When Will I Be Loved? 2004 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Harvard Man 2002 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Black and White 2000 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Two Girls and A Guy 1998 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bugsy 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Big Bang 1990 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Pick-Up Artist 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Exposed 1983 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Love and Money 1982 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Fingers 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Gambler 1973 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Director (11)

Seduced and Abandoned 2013 (Movie)

(Director)

Tyson 2009 (Movie)

(Director)

When Will I Be Loved? 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

Harvard Man 2002 (Movie)

(Director)

Black and White 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

Two Girls and A Guy 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

The Big Bang 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

The Pick-Up Artist 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Exposed 1983 (Movie)

(Director)

Love and Money 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Fingers 1978 (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (5)

The Gambler 2014 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Seduced and Abandoned 2013 (Movie)

(Producer)

Tyson 2009 (Movie)

(Producer)

Exposed 1983 (Movie)

(Producer)

Love and Money 1982 (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

A former journalist, sports writer and literature professor James Toback began his film career with the semi-autobiographical screenplay for Karel Reisz's "The Gambler" (1974) and made a powerful directorial debut with "Fingers" (1978), a crude but fascinating melodrama (which he also wrote) about an aspiring pianist (played by Harvey Keitel) who reluctantly "collects" debts owed to his domineering father (Michael V. Gazzo). Actor-athlete Jim Brown, whom Toback profiled in a 1971 book, also contributed his strong screen presence in a rare subdued role as the man whom Keitel's love interest (Tisa Farrow) cannot leave despite occasional revulsion. The director-screenwriter's next three films, "Love and Money" (1980), the erotic thriller "Exposed" (1983), in which he made his acting debut as Nastassja Kinski's professor-lover, and "The Pick-up Artist" (1987) did not live up to the promise of what film critic (and personal friend) David Thomson called "... the best first film by an American director since 'Badlands'."

Relationships

Consuelo Sarah Churchill Vanderbilt Rusell

Wife
married on April 26, 1968 divorced granddaughter of the tenth Duke of Marlborough

Selma Toback

Mother

Irwin Toback

Father

EDUCATION

Columbia University

New York , New York 1967

Harvard University

Cambridge , Massachusetts 1966
(AB)

Milestones

2001

Realized a dream project, directing "Harvard Man"

1999

Helmed "Black and White", an improvisational comedy featuring Downey and Brooke Shields

1998

Reteamed with Robert Downey Jr for "Two Girls and a Guy", his first directing project since "The Big Bang"

1997

Made cameo appearance in "Cassanova Falling" (filmed 1997), produced by Michael Mailer (Norman's son)

1994

Script for "Vicky", about early American feminist Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927), made MOVIELINE's list of 10 Best Unproduced Screenplays

1991

Received Oscar nomination for his "Bugsy" screenplay

1990

Played the part of a professor in Woody Allen's "Alice"

1990

Directed fascinating documentary "The Big Bang", posing philosphical questions to a variety of people ranging from basketbal player Darryl Dawkins to producer Don Simpson

1987

First collaboration with Robert Downey Jr, directing him in "The Pick-up Artist"

1983

First film appearance, portraying a professor in "Exposed"; also produced, wrote and directed

1982

First film as producer, "Love and Money"; also wrote and directed; legendary director King Vidor appeared as Ray Sharkey's senile grandfather

1978

Directorial debut, "Fingers"; also scripted

1974

First screenplay, "The Gambler"

1967

Began friendship with Norman Mailer, based on an essay he published on the author in COMMENTARY, which Mailer found alert and well argued

Contributed articles and criticism to HARPER'S, ESQUIRE, and COMMENTARY magazines; was sports columnist for LIFESTYLE magazine and film critic for DISSENT

Taught literature at CCNY

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