Jonathan Kaplan

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This article is about the film producer and director. For the rugby referee, see Jonathan Kaplan (rugby union). For the writer, see Jonathan Kaplan (writer).
Jonathan Kaplan
Born (1947-11-25) November 25, 1947 (age 68)
Paris, France
Occupation Film producer, director
Years active 1972–present

Jonathan Kaplan (born November 25, 1947) is an American film producer and director. His film The Accused (1988) earned actress Jodie Foster her first Oscar for Best Actress and was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival.[1][2] Kaplan received five Emmy nominations for his roles directing and producing ER.

Life and career[edit]

Kaplan was born in Paris, France. He is the son of film composer Sol Kaplan and actress Frances Heflin, and the nephew of actor Van Heflin. He is the brother of actresses Nora Heflin and Mady Kaplan.[3]

Kaplan started his career as a child actor in the Broadway production of The Dark at the Top of the Stairs directed by Elia Kazan. He also starred as Jason in the Broadway production of Falsettos, and became one of the youngest people to be nominated for a Tony Award. He earned a BA at the University of Chicago before studying film at New York University, where he made an award-winning short film, Stanley (1965).[3]

Kaplan was working at the Filmore East in New York, doing some editing on the side, when he received an offer from Roger Corman to direct Night Call Nurses (1972); Kaplan had been recommended by Martin Scorsese, who had taught the director at NYU.[4]

Kaplan made the movie and returned to New York. It was hit and Corman offered him another film, The Student Teachers (1973), which he also co-wrote and co-edited.[5]

He made The Slams (1973) for Corman's brother Gene, then Truck Turner (1974), which was another big hit, and saw Kaplan get an offer to direct White Line Fever (1975) for Columbia, a major Hollywood studio. That movie was an even larger success but then Kaplan made what he describes as "the biggest failure of my career", Mr. Billion (1977), an attempt to launch Terence Hill to American audiences.[6] He then went on to make the critically acclaimed Over the Edge (1979), which failed to reach large audiences.

During the early 1980s Kaplan directed some movies for television and many music videos, including several John Cougar Mellencamp and Rod Stewart's "Infatuation" in 1984.[7] He also directed the drag racing biopic Heart Like a Wheel (1983) and the science fiction-thriller Project X (1987).

His feature film career revived in 1988, when The Accused (1988) earned Jodie Foster her first Oscar, for Best Actress. High profile feature film directing jobs followed, including Immediate Family (1989) and Unlawful Entry (1992). His direction of Michelle Pfeiffer in Love Field (1992) garnered her a Best Actress Academy Award nomination in 1993. His final theatrical feature film was Brokedown Palace (1999). Since the 1990s Kaplan has primarily worked as a television director.[citation needed]

Selected filmography[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Berlinale: 1989 Programme". Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  2. ^ Movie TEKA
  3. ^ a b Jonathan Kaplan biography,; accessed November 5, 2015.
  4. ^ Chris Nashawaty, Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen and Candy Stripe Nurses - Roger Corman: King of the B Movie, Abrams, 2013, p 124
  5. ^ Jonathan Kaplan on Night Call Nurses,; accessed November 5, 2015.
  6. ^ Jonathan Kaplan on Mr. Billion at Trailers From Hell
  7. ^ Profile,; accessed November 5, 2015.

External links[edit]