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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

David S. Ward
David S Ward.jpg
Ward in 2014
Born (1945-10-25) October 25, 1945 (age 74)
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, film teacher
Rosanna DeSoto (m. 1980)
ChildrenSylvana Ward Durrett

David Schad Ward[1] (born October 25, 1945) is an American film director and screenwriter. His screenplay for The Sting (1973) won him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

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 maiden directorial effort, Cannery Row (1982), and a sequel The Sting II (1983).[2]

Furthermore, 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 (1985) 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.

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]

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.

Another ten years would pass before Ward was credited on another film, Flyboys, a 2006 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. As of late 2012, the script for the film is reportedly finished, but the film is still in pre-production.


Feature films

Year Title Director Writer Producer
1973 Steelyard Blues Yes
The Sting Yes
1982 Cannery Row Yes Yes
1983 The Sting II Yes
1986 Saving Grace Yes
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Yes
1989 Major League Yes Yes
1991 King Ralph Yes Yes
1993 Sleepless in Seattle Yes
The Program Yes Yes
1994 Major League II Yes Yes
1996 Down Periscope Yes
2006 Flyboys Yes
2012 Bloodwork Yes
2019 Music, War and Love Yes

Short films

Year Title Writer Advisor Creative
2006 Coke Accord Yes
2007 Lucifer Yes
2008 Latter-Day Fake Yes
2009 Fiasco Yes


  1. ^ a b "David S. Ward Biography (1947?-)".
  2. ^ DAVID WARD: BACK FROM THE BRINK: DAVID WARD DAVID WARD DAVID WARD Greco, Mike. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 Feb 1982: k32.
  3. ^ Giles Hardie. "David S. Ward interview - The Sting". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  4. ^ "Touche For `Mask Of Zorro'". tribunedigital-thecourant.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 May 2020, at 15:23
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