Ron Underwood, Advisor
Ron Underwood made his directorial debut in the world of entertainment in children's television. Underwood received an Emmy nomination and a Peabody Award for his two part ABC Weekend Special, based on the novel by Beverly Cleary, "The Mouse and the Motorcycle." He made the transition to feature films in 1990 with the science fiction comedy, TREMORS. The film, which starred Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Michael Gross and Reba McEntire, became a sleeper hit and a cult classic. Underwood followed that success with the blockbuster comedy, CITY SLICKERS, starring Billy Crystal and Jack Palance. One of the year's top grossing films, CITY SLICKERS earned Palance an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Underwood also directed the bittersweet fantasy-comedy, HEART AND SOULS, which starred Robert Downey, Jr., Charles Grodin, Kyra Sedgwick, David Paymer and Alfre Woodard. Following its theatrical release in home video, the film became very popular. He then directed Michael Keaton and Geena Davis in the political romantic comedy, SPEECHLESS. Next came the Disney film, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, starring Charlize Theron and Bill Paxton. It received an Academy Award nomination for Visual Effects. Underwood then made THE ADVENTURES OF PLUTO NASH with Eddie Murphy. His most recent feature was Usher's starring debut, IN THE MIX.

Underwood has also directed for the small screen. His Showtime film, STEALING SINATRA was the true-life story of the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra, Jr. starring David Arquette and William H. Macy. Macy was nominated for an Emmy for his role as one of the inept kidnappers. Underwood's Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation on CBS, BACK WHEN WE WERE GROWNUPS, was based on the Anne Tyler novel of the same name. It starred Blythe Danner, Faye Dunaway, Jack Palance, Peter Fonda and Anjul Nigam. Danner also landed an Emmy nomination for her starring role. Recently he made two Christmas movies for television, SANTA BABY for ABC Family and THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS for NBC. Additionally, Underwood has directed episodes of the popular comedy, MONK, as well as the critical success, BOSTON LEGAL.

Underwood is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Cinema and an alumnus of the American Film Institute Fellowship program.