Edward Burns

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Edward Burns
Edward Burns cropped.jpg
Burns at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival
Edward Fitzgerald Burns

(1968-01-29) January 29, 1968 (age 55)
EducationHewlett High School
Alma mater
  • Actor
  • filmmaker
Years active1995–present
Notable work
(m. 2003)
Websitewww.edwardburns.net Edit this at Wikidata

Edward Fitzgerald Burns (born January 29, 1968) is an American actor and filmmaker. He first came to attention, performing all four duties, in The Brothers McMullen (1995), his ultra low-budget independent film that went on to be a worldwide hit. Other film appearances include Saving Private Ryan (1998), The Holiday (2006), Man on a Ledge (2012), Friends with Kids (2012), and Alex Cross (2012). Burns directed movies such as She's the One (1996), Sidewalks of New York (2001), and The Fitzgerald Family Christmas (2012). On television, he starred as Bugsy Siegel in the TNT crime drama series Mob City and as Terry Muldoon in TNT's Public Morals.

Early life[edit]

Burns was born in Woodside, Queens, New York, the son of Molly (née McKenna), a federal agency manager, and Edward J. Burns, a public relations spokesman and police officer.[1] He was raised a Roman Catholic.[2][3] Burns is the second of three children (with siblings Mary and Brian) and is of Irish, and one-quarter Swedish descent.[4] He was raised in Valley Stream, New York, on Long Island.[5] He briefly attended Chaminade High School before transferring to Hewlett High School. After high school, Burns attended, from 1987 to 1992, SUNY Oneonta, University at Albany, and Hunter College.


Burns got his start in the film industry right after college as a production assistant on the Oliver Stone film, The Doors. While working as a gofer at Entertainment Tonight, he financed, produced, directed and starred in his first film The Brothers McMullen in his spare time, which was largely shot in his hometown of Valley Stream. Once he completed the film, he was able to get a copy to Robert Redford after an ET junket interview for Quiz Show at the Rhiga Royal Hotel in Manhattan. In 1996, Burns wrote, directed and starred in the ensemble drama She's the One with Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and Amanda Peet, as well as Sidewalks of New York in 2001.

Burns is also known for his acting work on movies such as Saving Private Ryan (1998), Life or Something Like It (2002), and Confidence (2003). Looking for Kitty (2004), which Burns wrote, directed and starred in, was shot with a hand-held $3,000 digital Panasonic AG-DVX100 camera with a Mini35 adapter. The film's entire budget was $200,000[6][7] and was filmed in New York City with a tiny crew and without standard permits. Burns discussed this unusual film-making process in the director's commentary on the DVD and wrote in the Director's Letter "If you are an aspiring filmmaker, in this day of inflating budgets and runaway production, the truth is you can make a movie for no money in New York ... and have a blast".[citation needed]

His film Purple Violets premiered exclusively on iTunes on November 20, 2007. Burns began a string of guest appearances on the HBO original series Entourage midway through season 3, as well as appearing as Grace Adler's boyfriend in Will & Grace. In Entourage, Burns plays himself and is (within the context of the series) writing a new TV series in which Johnny Drama is able to land a part. In 2007, Burns announced plans to partner with Virgin Comics to create a series entitled Dock Walloper.[8] Burns plans to use the comic series as a springboard to a film of the same story.

In March 2009, The Lynch Pin, a series of shorts starring, written and directed by Burns were released via the internet.[9] The ten episodes are only available to view online as of August 2009 and future plans for the project are unknown.

With the modest success of Purple Violets, Burns was considering taking a studio directing assignment to make money. After reading a few scripts and taking a few meetings, he chose to remain a writer/director. He then wrote Nice Guy Johnny and shot it quickly, on the RED One camera, for a reported $25,000 with a small crew.[10] Nice Guy Johnny premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010.[11]

To coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011, Burns wrote a movie, Newlyweds, that he also directed and starred in. Following a model similar to Nice Guy Johnny, Newlyweds was shot on the Canon 5D, with an even smaller crew, for $9000, in 12 days.[12] The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011 as the closing night film.[13] He claimed on Twitter that the $9,000 budget broke out to "5k for actors, 2k insurance, 2k food and drink. 9k in the can."[14] In 2013 Burns starred as real-life gangster Bugsy Siegel in Frank Darabont's miniseries Mob City.

In 2012, Burns set up a screenwriting contest with the web startup Scripped for a crowdsourced screenplay which he intended to help get produced.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Burns is married to model Christy Turlington and they have two children, a daughter born in 2003 and a son born in 2006. He and Turlington are Catholic. He is an advisor to ICX Media, an ad-tech audience analytics data firm.[16]



Year Title Role Director Producer Screenwriter Notes
1995 The Brothers McMullen Barry/Finbar McMullen Yes Yes Yes
1996 She's the One Mickey Fitzpatrick Yes Yes Yes
1998 Saving Private Ryan Private Richard Reiben
1998 No Looking Back Charlie Yes Yes Yes
2001 15 Minutes Fire Marshal Jordan Warsaw
2001 Shark Attack 2 Surfer Guy 2 Cameo
2001 Sidewalks of New York Tommy Reilly Yes Yes Yes
2002 Lethargy Store Clerk Short film
2002 Ash Wednesday Francis Sullivan Yes Yes Yes
2002 Life or Something Like It Pete Scanlon
2003 Confidence Jake Vig
2004 The Breakup Artist Himself
2004 Looking for Kitty Jack Stanton Yes Yes Yes
2005 A Sound of Thunder Travis Ryer
2005 The River King Abel Grey
2006 The Groomsmen Paulie Yes Yes Yes
2006 The Holiday Ethan Ebbers
2007 Purple Violets Michael Murphy Yes Yes Yes Direct-to-iTunes
2008 One Missed Call Detective Jack Andrews
2008 27 Dresses George
2009 Echelon Conspiracy John Reed
2010 Nice Guy Johnny Uncle Terry Yes Yes Yes
2011 Newlyweds Buzzy Yes Yes Yes
2012 Man on a Ledge Jack Dougherty
2012 Friends with Kids Kurt
2012 Alex Cross Tommy Kane
2012 The Fitzgerald Family Christmas Gerry Yes Yes Yes
2018 Summer Days, Summer Nights Jack Flynn Yes Yes Yes
2019 Beneath the Blue Suburban Skies Jim Yes Yes Yes


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Will & Grace Nick 3 episodes
2006–2009 Entourage Himself 4 episodes
2011 Vietnam in HD Joe Galloway (voice) 3 episodes
2013 Mob City Bugsy Siegel 5 episodes
2014 Louie Himself Episode: "So Did the Fat Lady"
2015 Public Morals Terry Muldoon Main role
2021 Bridge and Tunnel Artie Main role; also writer, director, producer and creator

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Film Result
1995 Independent Spirit Best First Feature Shared with Dick Fisher The Brothers McMullen Won
Sundance Film Festival Best Dramatic Film Won
1999 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Cast
Shared with Matt Damon, Jeremy Davies, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi and Tom Sizemore
Saving Private Ryan Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Best Ensemble Cast Performance
Shared with Damon, Davies, Diesel, Goldberg, Hanks, Pepper, Ribisi and Sizemore
2008 Teen Choice Choice Movie Actor: Horror/Thriller One Missed Call Nominated
2010 Boston Film Festival Best Director Nice Guy Johnny Won


  1. ^ "Edward Burns Biography (1968–)". Film Reference. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  2. ^ "Edward Burns". New York University. October 30, 2007. Archived from the original on June 5, 2010. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
  3. ^ Mills, Nancy (November 12, 2001). "Ed Burns' 'New York,' before & after film's mood fits despite the Sept. 11 divide". Daily News. New York City. Retrieved May 17, 2020. He's Irish-Catholic, used to work at "Entertainment Tonight," has a father who's a cop and has that bridge-and-tunnel reverse pride of people whose lives span the East River.
  4. ^ Cohn, Beverly (2012). "An Exclusive Interview With Edward Burns - Up Close & Personal". Splash Magazines - Los Angeles. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2018. I'm thankful that I'm one-quarter Swedish, as well.
  5. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (January 30, 1995). "A Sort of Cinderella Prevails at Sundance". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 26, 2008. Retrieved October 10, 2007. Mr. Burns's parents encouraged him to write years ago; his mother, a film buff, watches Woody Allen's 'Annie Hall' and 'Manhattan' twice a month.
  6. ^ Calamari, Alexandra. "Looking For Kitty DVD Review". CinemaBlend. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2012. The movie's budget was just over two hundred thousand dollars and it shows, with fuzzy pictures, unimpressive sound quality, and that horrible banjo strumming that always seems to be on the soundtrack of indie films.
  7. ^ MacDonald, Daniel (December 12, 2006). "Review - Looking For Kitty". DVDVerdict. Archived from the original on December 15, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2012. He made the movie for a staggering $200,000, purchasing a Panasonic digital camera for three grand and casting friends who could help him out for a couple of weeks.
  8. ^ Franklin, Garth (July 27, 2007). "Ed Burns Is Into Dock-ing". Dark Horizons. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2012. Ed Burns is setting a deal with Virgin Comics for a comic book series that serves as a calling card for a live action feature reports reports Variety. Burns has created "Dock Walloper," a stylized gangster tale set in the 1920s, where Prohibition has created a struggle to control the criminal underworld.
  9. ^ "The Lynch Pin". Goldenharp.net. Archived from the original on February 26, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  10. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (April 23, 2010). "Nice Guy Eddie: 15 Years of Film Festivals With Edward Burns". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 7, 2011.
  11. ^ "Nice Guy Johnny". 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010.
  12. ^ Macaulay, Scott (March 18, 2011). "Breaking Down Ed Burns' $9,000 Shooting Budget". Filmmaker. Archived from the original on June 22, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2020. 9k in the can. We only shot 12 days. That's how to make an independent film.
  13. ^ "Newlyweds". 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. Archived from the original on April 5, 2011.
  14. ^ Burns, Edward (March 17, 2011). "Newlyweds shooting budget. 5k for actors, 2k insurance, 2k food and drink. 9k in the can. That's how to make an #indiefilm". Twitter. Archived from the original on March 27, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  15. ^ "Edward Burns Contest". Scripped. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  16. ^ "Board and Advisors". ICX Media. Archived from the original on October 27, 2021. Retrieved October 27, 2021.

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