EDWARD NORTON has starred in the films Primal Fear; Everyone Says I Love You, The People vs. Larry Flynt, American History X, Rounders, Fight Club, Keeping The Faith, The Score, Death To Smoochy, Frida, Red Dragon, 25th Hour, The Italian Job, Kingdom of Heaven, Down in the Valley, The Illusionist, The Painted Veil, The Incredible Hulk, and Pride and Glory. .
He has been nominated for two Academy Awards ( Primal Fear and American History X) and won a Golden Globe along with numerous other awards for his performances. The film Frida, for which he wrote an uncredited screenplay, was nominated for six Academy Awards and won two. In 2003 he won the Obie Award for his performance Off-Broadway in Burn This by Lanford Wilson.
He produced and directed the film Keeping The Faith, produced Down in the Valley (Cannes Film Festival selection) and The Painted Veil, and is currently producing five other films including adaptations of Mark Helprin’s A Soldier of the Great War, Dan O’Brien’s Buffalo for the Broken Heart and Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn for which he is writing the screenplay. Not only did Norton star in The Incredible Hulk, he also did a rewrite (uncredited) on the screenplay. Norton executive produced the documentary By the People: The Election of Barack Obama premiered on HBO November 2009. His most recent film Leaves of Grass, where he played a dual role (he also is a producer on the film) premiered at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival.. Norton most recently completed filming the indie psychological drama Stone with Robert DeNiro.
Norton also founded and runs Class 5 Films in partnership with his brother Jim Norton, writer Stuart Blumberg and producer Bill Migliore. They recently announced a partnership with Brad Pitt’s Plan B and National Geographic to produce an epic 10-part series for HBO based on Stephen Ambrose’s acclaimed book Undaunted Courage about the Lewis and Clark expedition. Norton and Pitt will executive produce the series.
Class 5’s documentary productions include: The Great Rivers Expedition, a film for the Outdoor Life Network about an historic whitewater adventure that took place in China in 2003; and Dirty Work, a film by David Sampliner that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on the Sundance Channel. Class 5 also collaborated with the Sea Studios Foundation on their highly acclaimed, multi-million dollar series about earth system sciences for National Geographic, Strange Days on Planet Earth, which Norton hosts and narrates, and which aired on PBS. More on Class 5 Films
On November 1, 2009, Edward Norton ran all 26.2 miles of the New York City Marathon in 03:48. Norton ran with 3 Maasai warriors and a team of 30 people in order to raise money for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. Leading up to the marathon, Norton posted his training updates (as well as contests and prizes) on Twitter. He is still on Twitter. To date, they have raised nearly one million dollars.
Norton is also a committed social and environmental activist as well as being a major financial supporter of the Nature Conservancy’s Yunnan Great Rivers conservation project, the Grand Canyon Trust, EarthJustice, the Wilderness Society, the Southern Center for Human Rights, American Museum of Natural History, Credit Where Credit is Due, the American Visionary Arts Museum and the Johns Hopkins Neuro-oncology Research Lab.
He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Enterprise Foundation, which works to move families up and out of poverty and transform low-income communities through the development of decent affordable housing and social service networks. In addition, he recently conceived and negotiated a groundbreaking arrangement with a solar energy company to provide solar power technology to low-income homeowners in Los Angeles. Through the Solar Neighbors program, each time a celebrity or public figure buys a home solar system, the solar energy company will donate a full system to a low-income family, eliminating most or all of their electricity costs for as long as they own their home. The energy company has already committed to donate 25 systems and has plans to significantly expand the program.
Another of Norton’s recent projects is the Peacemakers Fund at Yale University. As a response to the events of September 11th and the increasing conflict in the Middle East, Norton contributed to establish a fund that will provide travel study grants that give college undergraduates opportunities to study in the Middle East.
Norton has been on the Board of New York’s Signature Theater Company since 1994 and is also on the Board of Friends of the High Line, an advocacy group working to convert an abandoned freight rail line into a unique and spectacular park.
Italian Job note: EN’s involvement with Italian Job note was not out of choice but rather a contractual obligation he has to Paramount. For more information on the situation, please read the L.A. Times article The Power Option.
Just Thought I’d mention
In Fall 2002, when EN was performing in Burn This in NYC, he had one day off a week (Monday). He spent several of his days off (four in a two month period) in support of his other films: Red Dragon world premiere (Sept 30- proceeds going to The Enterprise Foundation), the Red Dragon Baltimore benefit screening (Oct 7- proceeds going to The Johns Hopkins Dept. of Neurosurgery Brain Tumor Research) and then the Frida premiere (Mon Oct 14), for which he would have had travel from New York City to Los Angeles and back in about 48 hours to make both the Sunday afternoon and Tuesday night performances of the play. He also participated in an additional Burn This benefit performance with the proceeds going to the Signature Theatre Company on Sunday night Nov 3rd and then hosted another benefit, a screening of Frida in Baltimore on the next night Monday, Nov 4 with the proceeds going to American Visionary Art Museum. Plus, he was also doing interviews for Red Dragon and Frida, as well as getting ready for Italian Job, which he started filming in L.A. around Monday, Nov 11 after his last Burn This performance on Sat night, Nov 9th. I wanted to point this out because I’ve been mentioning all the premieres in the news section and the tendency is to just look at it as the glamorous life of a film actor and it’s not obvious of all the work that is actually taking place during this time.
*This bio is a combination of ones from the Down in the Valley official website, The Illusionist Production notes and PBS’s Strange Days on Planet Earth website. I’ve also updated it to match his current activities and release dates.