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David S. Ward
Ward in 2014
David Schad Ward

(1945-10-25) October 25, 1945 (age 78)
Other namesDavid Ward
Alma mater
  • Screenwriter
  • film director
Years active1973–present
Christine Atwood
(m. 1971; div. 1979)
Children2, including Sylvana

David Schad Ward (born October 25, 1945) is an American screenwriter and film director.[1] He was nominated for two Academy Awards for his screenplays for the films The Sting (1973) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993), winning for the former. He was also nominated for a British Academy Film Award, a Golden Globe Award, and two Writers Guild of America Awards.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    6 361
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    149 890
    2 006 105
    2 811 708
  • The Sting Wins Original Screenplay: 1974 Oscars
  • Hidden Obsession (1993) Heather Thomas | Jan-Michael Vincent - Thriller HD
  • H and G - Sleepless in Seattle (3/8) Movie CLIP (1993) HD
  • Major League (8/10) Movie CLIP - The Cleveland Wave (1989) HD
  • Major League (10/10) Movie CLIP - The Indians Win It (1989) HD


Life and early career

Ward was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Miriam (née Schad) and Robert McCollum Ward.[1] Ward has degrees from Pomona College (BA), as well as both USC and the UCLA Film School (MFA).

He was employed at an educational film production company when he sold his screenplay for The Sting (1973), which led to an Oscar win for Best Original Screenplay. After this initial success, his follow-up projects were less critically and commercially well received, including Ward's first directorial effort, Cannery Row (1982), and a sequel The Sting II (1983).[2] Ward's efforts to sell a script based on the frontier days of California were undone by an industry-wide "ban" on Westerns after the spectacular failure of Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate (1980). He then wrote the comedy Saving Grace (1986) under a pseudonym.

Comeback and Major League

Sting star Robert Redford contracted Ward in 1986 to work on the Redford-directed The Milagro Beanfield War. The response to this project enabled Ward to convince Morgan Creek Productions and Mirage Productions to bankroll Major League (1989), a baseball comedy that he'd been pitching to producers without success since 1982. Major League was a labor of love for Ward, who had lived in the Cleveland suburb of South Euclid as a child and who had rooted for the Indians' teams of the 1950s, including the 1954 American League Champions. "I figured the only way they were ever going to win anything in my lifetime was to do a movie and they'd win", says Ward. Within 10 years of the film's release, the Indians would appear in the World Series twice, then again in 2016. In a lawsuit by a judgment creditor, Ward was forced to turn over his prized possession, a baseball bat signed by the cast of Major League. The Court refused to allow the judgment creditor to seize and sell his Oscar, because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had a right of first refusal. Juarez v. Ward (2023) 88 Cal. App. 5th 730.

Major League and Ward's subsequent efforts as a writer and director, King Ralph (1991) and Major League II (1994), were about underdogs who triumphed over the gadflies and nay-sayers of the world. He later scored a box-office coup with his screenplay (in collaboration with Nora Ephron) for 1993's Sleepless in Seattle. He went back to the well, directing the sequel Major League II, and then moved on to the Naval comedy Down Periscope (1996) starring Kelsey Grammer. He also did uncredited rewrites on The Mask of Zorro (1998)[3][4][5]

Teaching and present career

Ward currently is a professor at Chapman University, in southern California, where he teaches screenwriting and directing, and acts as a Filmmaker in Residence for the campus.

It wouldn't be until 2006 when Ward was credited on another film, Flyboys, a World War I drama starring James Franco directed by Tony Bill (who was a producer on The Sting). In 2010 it was announced that there would be a Major League 4, starring many of the same cast as the previous films. The script for the film was reportedly finished, as of late 2012, and moving towards pre-production. No further news has surfaced since, meaning the project is likely stuck in development hell. Beyond his teaching, Ward would produce the Canadian-American thriller film Bloodwork, and co-wrote another period drama, I'll Find You (previously known as Music, War and Love).


Feature films

Year Title Director Writer Producer
1973 Steelyard Blues No Yes No
The Sting No Yes No
1982 Cannery Row Yes Yes No
1983 The Sting II No Yes No
1986 Saving Grace No Yes No
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War No Yes No
1989 Major League Yes Yes No
1991 King Ralph Yes Yes No
1993 Sleepless in Seattle No Yes No
The Program Yes Yes No
1994 Major League II Yes No Yes
1996 Down Periscope Yes No No
2006 Flyboys No Yes No
2012 Bloodwork No No Yes
2019 I'll Find You No Yes No

Short films

Year Title Writer Advisor Creative
2006 Coke Accord No Yes No
2007 Lucifer Yes No No
2008 Latter-Day Fake No Yes No
2009 Fiasco No No Yes


  1. ^ a b "David S. Ward Biography". Film Reference. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  2. ^ Greco, Mike (February 21, 1982). "DAVID WARD: BACK FROM THE BRINK: DAVID WARD". Los Angeles Times. p. k32.
  3. ^ Giles Hardie (June 20, 2012). "David S. Ward interview – The Sting". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  4. ^ "Touche For 'Mask Of Zorro'". tribunedigital-thecourant. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  5. ^ "Juarez v. Ward".

External links

This page was last edited on 23 April 2024, at 22:22
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