Kevin Dowling (director)
|Occupation||Film, television director and producer|
Kevin Dowling is an American film, television director and producer.
Early life and New York theater
Kevin Dowling was raised in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, the son of Dr. John J. Dowling, who in the late 1980s was chief of orthopedic surgery at the Lankenau Hospital in Overbrook, Pennsylvania, and a professor of orthopedic surgery at Thomas Jefferson University; and Lynn Dowling. He attended Oberlin College, in Ohio, and New York University, in New York City. On May 9, 1987, Dowling married Marley Klaus, at the time an associate producer of the CBS News television program 60 Minutes.
Dowling's first major New York theater work was as a producer, with his mother and four others, of Larry Shue's who Broadway play The Nerd, directed by Charles Nelson Reilly, which ran 15 previews and 441 performances at the Helen Hayes Theatre from March 10, 1987, to April 10, 1988. Dowling then served as general manager of the Forbidden Broadway 1988/1989 edition of the annual Off-Broadway satirical revue, which ran 534 performances, from September 15, 1988 to December 24, 1989, at Theater East in New York City.
Following these initial works, Dowling directed, and through his and Mark Johnson's Dowling Entertainment Corporation produced, David Stevens' Off-Broadway play The Sum of Us, which won the 1991 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play and took a 1991 Obie Award for star Tony Goldwyn. It ran 335 performances from October 16, 1990, to August 4, 1991, at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Dowling then served as general manager of the Off-Broadway musical Pageant, (April 23, 1991 – June 7, 1992), which garnered Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for Best Off-Broadway Musical and Best Off-Broadway Book, Music and Lyrics; and through Dowling Entertainment produced the Broadway musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (November 4, 1990 – May 19, 1991), and the Off-Broadway play Hauptman (May 19 – June 14, 1992).
Film and TV
Dowling made his film directorial debut co-directing the 1995 movie adaptation The Sum of Us, based on the Australia-set Off-Broadway play Dowling had directed. Despite his experience with the material, Dowling found it difficult to be assigned as director for the movie, which starred Jack Thompson and Russell Crowe. "In Hollywood they think directing a movie is nuclear physics and it can never be mastered by a mere stage director," he said at the time. "They wanted someone else to direct, and they wanted to shoot it [in the United States]. They didn't think it would make any money if it was set in Australia," a locale he "fought to keep". Hoping to raise both American and Australian capital to make the film, Dowling went to Sydney; when his prospective American backer died, Australian sources pressed to have a native direct. To complete the financial arrangements, Dowling accepted a co-directing credit with Australian cinematographer Geoff Burton, and agreed to use an Australian cast.
He went on to direct, and serve as executive producer of, the 1996 film Mojave Moon, starring Danny Aiello, Anne Archer and Angelina Jolie. He then directed the 1998 cable-TV movie Last Rites, starring Randy Quaid and Embeth Davidtz, which premiered on Starz / Encore.
After the 1999 TV-movie Silk Hope came the first of a long string of episodic-TV directing credits, the first-season episode "Near Death Experience" of the drama series Judging Amy. He would direct seven more episodes through season five, as well as episodes of series including Gilmore Girls, The District, Dead Like Me, Ed, Joan of Arcadia, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, CSI:NY, and The Mentalist, as well as the pilot and all eight episodes of the 2008–2009 romantic comedy-drama series Valentine, and all episodes except the pilot of the 2007 drama series K-Ville.
- Ryan, Desmond. "In Sum, He Was Just Right: Kevin Dowling Wasn't Hollywood's Choice To Direct 'The Sum Of Us.' But His Perseverance In The Face Of Prejudice Paid Off." The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 10, 1995. Quote: "Hollywood complained that the theater veteran ... didn't have the credentials to make a movie. In Australia, Dowling failed to measure up for a different reason: He wasn't Australian. ... [T]he Aussies wanted one of their own to direct, not a guy who grew up in [the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania suburb] Gladwyne." Note: The widely used website FilmReference.com erroneously states Dowling is Australian.
- "Marley Klaus to Wed Kevin Dowling May 9", The New York Times, March 29, 1987
- The Nerd at the Internet Broadway Database
- Forbidden Broadway 1988/1989 at Lortel Archives: The Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Dowling Entertainment Corporation at the Internet Broadway Database
- The Sum of Us at Lortel Archives: The Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Pageant at Lortel Archives: The Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at the Internet Broadway Database
- Hauptman at Lortel Archives: The Internet Off-Broadway Database
- KevinDowling.com (official site)
- RICHARD OUTTEN Richard Outten: Screenwiter: Biography, RichardOutten.com (official site)
- Sullivan, Brian Ford. "The Futon's First Look: 'Necessary Roughness' (USA)", TheFutonCritic.com, June 24, 2011