Bob Giraldi

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Bob Giraldi
Advertising Hall of Fame.jpg
Giraldi at his induction to the Advertising Hall of Fame in May, 2013.
Born Robert Nicholas Giraldi
(1939-01-17) January 17, 1939 (age 79)
Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.
Residence New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Pratt Institute
Occupation Film director, Television director
Years active 1962 - present
Notable work Dinner Rush, Beat It
Spouse(s) Patti Greaney
Children 4

Bob Giraldi (born January 17, 1939) is an American film and television director known for directing the film Dinner Rush[1] and the music video for Michael Jackson's song "Beat It".[2] His work has garnered many accolades, including several London International Awards, Cannes Advertising Awards, NY International Awards, Addy Awards, Chicago Film Festival Awards. and hundreds of Clio Awards. He has been named one of the 101 Stars Behind 100 Years of Advertising.

Early life[edit]

Giraldi was born in Paterson, New Jersey, to a working-class Italian-American family. He attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, graduating in 1960 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Upon graduation, in 1960, he worked as a graphic designer at General Motors in Detroit, then spent the next nine years as an art director and creative supervisor at the advertising agency Young & Rubicam.

In 1965, he began teaching advertising at The School of Visual Arts in New York and became the chair of the advertising department. In 1968, Silas Rhodes appointed him the assistant director of the school. During the Vietnam War, Giraldi had to step down. However, he remained on the school's board of directors, and in 1981, directed and produced a film "Burnt Umber", featuring a then-unknown actor Denzel Washington for SVA's recruitment program.

In 1970, Giraldi became creative director of the advertising agency DellaFemina & Partners, and three years later formed his production company Giraldi Productions, which has produced and directed close to 3,000 commercials, music videos and short films.



Giraldi's advertising campaigns include the Pepsi-Cola campaign with Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, memorable for an incident in which Jackson's hair caught on fire in an accident involving pyrotechnics on the set,[3] and commercials for the Miller Brewing Company commercials that featured such celebrities as Rodney Dangerfield, Bob Uecker, Billy Martin, John Madden, Bubba Smith, Tommy Heinsohn, Mickey Spillane, Dick Butkus and Joe Piscopo. He was also responsible for commercials for the Broadway shows A Chorus Line, Evita, Dreamgirls, Sophisticated Ladies, Sunset Boulevard, The Phantom of the Opera and The Full Monty.

Music videos[edit]

Giraldi's first music video as director was 1983's "Pieces of Ice" by Diana Ross. He directed several Ross videos during the rest of the decade. In 1983, Giraldi also directed Barry Manilow in his music video for his cover of the Jim Steinman song "Read 'Em and Weep", previously released by Meat Loaf. Giraldi wrote and directed the music video for "Beat It" starring Michael Jackson. The video won an American Music Award, the Billboard Music Award, a 1984 People's Choice Award, and is included in Rolling Stone's top ten examples of video art at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Other famous videos followed. "Say, Say, Say" with Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney won the 1984 Le Festival du Clip St. Tropez. "Love Is a Battlefield" with Pat Benatar won a 1984 MTV Video Music Award, and "Hello" with Lionel Richie won a 1985 American Music Award. Other notable music videos from the 1980s include "Running with the Night" by Lionel Richie and "Possession Obsession" by Daryl Hall & John Oates. He directed the video for Jean Michel Jarre's Rendez-vous Houston concert. He also directed the video for the Will Smith song "Just the Two of Us".


Giraldi made his feature film directing debut with the film Hiding Out (1987), starring Jon Cryer. His next feature film Dinner Rush (2000) appeared on a number of 2001's top 10 lists, including and Richard Roeper, and it was selected for the New Directors/New Films Festival presented by The Film Society of Lincoln Center at MoMA.[4][5] In 1991, Giraldi was inducted into the Art Director's Hall of Fame, one of the few film directors to be honored.[6] His short film The Routine premiered at Sundance Film Festival and won Best Drama at the 6th Annual Los Angeles International Short Film Festival. Giraldi's short film Honey Trap starring Debbie Harry won a Gold Remi Award at the 39th Annual WorldFest Houston and screened at Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, San Diego Film Festival, Raindance in the UK, and Hamptons International Film Festival. Second Guessing Grandma won numerous awards, including the Fresno Reel Pride 2008 Audience Award the 27 Reeling: Chicago Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Jury Award, the 14th Annual Palm Springs International Festival of Films Official Selection, and Best LGBT Short Film at the 33rd Cleveland International Film Festival.

In recent years, Giraldi has directed three short films which have been successful at various festivals across the country: A Poet Long Ago (2014), based on a short story by Pete Hamill and starring Steve Schirripa; A Conversational Place (2015), starring Marilyn Sokol and written by Jason Cici; and New Year's Eve @ Sunny's (2016).


In the early 1990's, Giraldi opened the New York restaurant Jo-Jo with Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Giraldi then helped start the Jean Georges 4-star namesake restaurant as well as Vong and its London and Hong Kong outposts. Gerald was also involved in Patria, which received the New York Times 3 Stars, but has closed.[7] In 2002 he and restaurateur Luigi Comandatore, creator of Bread Nolita opened BREADTribecat.[8] Another establishment Diablo Royal has become a popular taqueria in the West Village. In March 2009, Giraldi opened Tonda, a pizzeria.[9]

In 1995, Giraldi and Patti Greaney created the website, featuring celebrity chefs and cookbook authors. In addition to StarChefs, Giraldi created, a food-centric website featuring the latest news and information about Japan's emerging chefs and food community.


  1. ^ Elvis Mitchell (March 31, 2001). "A Menu of Plot and Intrigue Where Food Is Just a Show". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Shott, Chris (2009-03-10). Eat it! Giraldi Tries Pizza (HTML). The New York Observer. The New York Observer, LLC. Retrieved on 2009-03-10
  3. ^ ""Michael Jackson at a Glance," The Baltimore Sun, June 14, 2005. Retrieved June 2, 2009". 2005-06-14. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
  4. ^ Tvplex.go[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Marcus, Greil, "Real Life Rock Top 10". Retrieved June 2, 2009". 2001-11-12. Archived from the original on 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
  6. ^ "Retrieved June 2, 2009". Retrieved 2010-10-06.
  7. ^ ""New York Magazine: Restaurants." Retrieved June 2, 2009". Retrieved 2010-10-06.
  8. ^ ""The New York Times: Dining and Wine." Retrieved June 2, 2009". 2004-01-14. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
  9. ^ Maurer, D. [1] at New York Magazine

External links[edit]