John Edwards (producer)

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John Edwards
John Edwards producer.jpg
John Edwards in 2009.
Born Robert John Edwards[1]
(1953-03-04) 4 March 1953 (age 64)
Manly, Sydney, Australia
Alma mater University of Sydney
Jacksonville State University
Occupation Television producer

(Robert) John Edwards AM (born 4 March 1953) is a prolific Australian television drama producer.

His series credits include Party Tricks, Puberty Blues, Offspring', 'Rush (Network Ten), Love My Way, Tangle, Dangerous (Foxtel), The Secret Life of Us (Network Ten, Channel 4 UK), Police Rescue (ABC, BBC), The Surgeon (Network Ten), Fireflies (ABC), Big Sky (Network Ten) and Stringer (ABC).

His mini-series include The Beautiful Lie (ABC), Gallipoli, Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story, Howzat! Kerry Packer's War (Nine Network), Paper Giants: Birth of Cleo (ABC), Marking Time (ABC), On The Beach (Seven Network, Showtime USA), Do or Die (Network Seven, BSkyB) and Cyclone Tracy (Nine Network).

His telemovies include Beaconsfield (Nine Network), six Cody telemovies (Network Seven), pilots for Police Rescue, The Secret Life of Us, Hard Knox (New Line), Fireflies and the children's telemovie I Own The Racecourse (Network Seven).

In all, John Edwards' productions have won 29 Logie Awards, 30 Australian Film Institute Awards, nine AACTA Awards, four People's Choice Awards (Australia), eight ASTRA Awards and more than a dozen Australian craft awards. Furthermore, On The Beach is the only Australian production to have received two Golden Globe Award nominations.


Early life[edit]

John Edwards was born in Sydney Australia and has lived most of his life in the beachside suburb of Manly. He attended high school at Balgowlah Boys Campus, which turned out numerous other film and television identities including Academy Award winning cinematographer John Seale, actors Rick Carter and Callan Mulvey, director Ian Barry, writer Tim Pye and comedian Phillip Scott. His spent his final two high school years at The Shore School, before attending Sydney University and Jacksonville State University, Alabama.

He was a History teacher in Sydney’s West for three years before making the switch into the film and television industry as a researcher then writer at Film Australia in 1981. He wrote a number of productions including Out of Time, Out of Place, The Bounty Experiment and co-writing the two-part telemovie, The Weekly’s War.


After starting his career researching and writing at Film Australia, Edwards began producing, partnered with Tim Read, with the feature film The Empty Beach, starring Bryan Brown, followed by the telemovie I Own the Racecourse (1985) and the mini-series Cyclone Tracy (1986).

He followed this with the TV series Stringer in 1988 and then, partnering with Sandra Levy at Southern Star, the successful action crime drama Police Rescue from 1991-1996 which won Most Popular Drama at the Logies in 1994 and 1996, a swag of acting Logies, 5 AFI and a number of international awards. He went on to make Big Sky (1997–1999) with Levy but then the two separated. John went on to produce Russell Mulcahy’s mini-series On The Beach (2000), starring Armand Assante, Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown, and which won two AFI Awards and two Golden Globe nominations.

Then came the breakthrough series The Secret Life of Us (2001–2005), a 20-somethings drama series produced with Amanda Higgs which won six Logies, and the ABC mini-series Marking Time which won a record seven AFI Awards.

Edwards is perhaps best known for his award-winning drama series Love My Way (2004–2007), developed and produced specifically for pay television with actor Claudia Karvan and written with Jacqueline Perske, which won eight AFI Awards, six Logie Awards, and six ASTRA Awards. Love My Way was a tipping point for Australian TV not only in its bold portrayal of the complexities of contemporary adult life but its pioneering application of the HBO model of creating quality drama specifically for television. It won both the AFI Awards for Best Television Series three years running and the Silver Logie Award for Most Outstanding Drama Series three years running.

2008 saw the first season of the Channel 10 series Rush (produced with Mimi Butler), which eventually went to four seasons, and won the 2010 AFI Award for Best Television Drama Series. 2009 saw the launch of new pay television series Tangle (produced with Imogen Banks) (Showcase) which went to three seasons and the shooting of Spirited (W), the latter again collaborating with Claudia Karvan and Jacqueline Perske.

John has also produced a number of miniseries and telemovies including the Golden Globe nominated miniseries On the Beach (Showtime USA/Seven Network); Marking Time (ABC), winner of a record 7 AFI awards, the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, AWGIE Award and others; Do or Die (Seven Network, BskyB); Children of the Dragon (ABC and BBC1); Tracy (Nine Network); six telemovies in the Cody series (Seven Network) and telemovie pilots for Police Rescue, The Secret Life of Us, Hard Knox (the only Australian-initiated pilot to be picked up by a US major studio, New Line), Fireflies and Offspring (also produced with Imogen Banks) (series 1-4). More recently he produced Beaconsfield for the Nine Network and Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo for the ABC, becoming their highest rating drama for many years.

In 2012, John produced the new AFI Award winning series Puberty Blues (also produced with Imogen Banks) for Network Ten, and the AFI and Logie Award winning mini-series Howzat! Kerry Packer's War (produced with Mimi Butler) for the Nine Network. Puberty Blues was the winner of the 2nd AACTA Award for Best Television Drama Series, whilst Howzat! Kerry Packer's War was the recipient of the 2nd AACTA Award for Best Telefeature or Miniseries, the Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Miniseries or Telemovie, and Silver Logie for Most Popular Miniseries or Telemovie.

In 2013, John produced the fourth and fifth series of Offspring, as well as the second series of Puberty Blues (both with Imogen Banks), for Network Ten. He also produced the television mini-series, Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story for the Nine Network with Jodi Matterson, which won several acting AACTA and Logie awards.

In 2014, John produced Gallipoli (with Imogen Banks and Robert Connolly), for the Nine Network, as well as the Asher Keddie and Rodger Corser series, Party Tricks (with Imogen Banks), for Network Ten.

In 2015, John produced The Beautiful Lie (with Imogen Banks), for the ABC. And in 2016, John joined forces with Village Roadshow to form ROADSHOW ROUGH DIAMOND, along with his son, former ITV Studios and Endemol executive, Dan Edwards.

John was granted an honorary master’s degree from the Australian Film Television and Radio School in December 2011, gave the 2015 Hector Crawford Address at the Annual SPAA Conference, and was appointed a member of the Order of Australia in January 2017.

"In Good Company"[edit]

A number of important and influential actors, directors and writers are linked with John Edwards. The following list is limited to AFI Awards, Logie and/or AWGIE Awards winners.

Actors: Claudia Karvan Ben Mendelsohn Joel Edgerton Deborah Mailman Samuel Johnson Gary Sweet Catherine McClements Kat Stewart Asher Keddie Dan Wyllie Rodger Corser

Directors: Cherie Nowlan Jessica Hobbs Stuart McDonald Matthew Saville Kate Dennis Emma Freeman Glendyn Ivin Daina Reid Geoff Bennett

Writers: Jacqueline Perske Judi McCrossin Christopher Lee Tony McNamara Alice Bell Samantha Winston David Caesar Jonathan Gavin Michael Lucas Debra Oswald

Partial filmography (as Producer)[edit]

  • Gallipoli (2014-2015)
  • Party Tricks (2014)
  • Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story (2013)
  • Puberty Blues (2012–present)
  • Howzat!: Kerry Packer's War (2012)
  • Beaconsfield (2011)
  • Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo (2011)
  • Offspring (2010–present)
  • Spirited (2010–2011)
  • Tangle (2009–2012)
  • Rush (2008–2011)
  • Out of the Blue (2008)
  • Love My Way (2004–2007)
  • Dangerous (2007)
  • The Alice (2005–2006)
  • The Surgeon (2005)
  • Fireflies (2004)
  • Marking Time (2003)
  • The Secret Life of Us (2001–2005)
  • Do Or Die (2001)
  • On the Beach (2000)
  • Big Sky (1997–1999)
  • Cody (6 telemovies, 1994-6)
  • Police Rescue (1991–1996)
  • Children of the Dragon (1991)
  • Wendy Cracked a Walnut (1990)
  • Stringer (1988)
  • Cyclone Tracy (1986)
  • I Own the Racecourse (1986)
  • The Empty Beach (1985)

Honours and awards[edit]

In 2017 Edwards was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the broadcast media industry as a television producer, and as a role model and mentor.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia (A-L)" (PDF). 2017 Australia Day Honours List. Office of the Governor-General of Australia. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 

External links[edit]