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Robert Greenwald

Robert Greenwald: Xanadu director became liberal activist filmmakerRobert Greenwald on the Xanadu set. Olivia Newton-John, Michael Beck, and veteran Gene Kelly (On the Town, Singin’ in the Rain) star in the unenthusiastically received 1980 musical fantasy.

Robert Greenwald: Director of ‘Xanadu’ & sociopolitically conscious documentaries

Filmmaker Robert Greenwald was born on Aug. 28, 1945, in New York City.

Greenwald is probably better known for his liberal activism, as manifested in his nonfiction films: Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism (2004), Uncovered: The War on Iraq (2004), Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005), Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers (2006), Rethink Afghanistan (2009), Koch Brothers Exposed (2012), War on Whistleblowers (2013), and Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars (2013).

Despite his association with the documentary form, Robert Greenwald has also produced and/or directed dozens of made-for-TV movies and miniseries. He has been shortlisted for three Primetime Emmy Awards: as a producer for the TV movie 21 Hours at Munich (1976), starring William Holden, and the miniseries A Woman of Independent Means (1995), starring Sally Field; as a director for The Burning Bed (1984), starring Farrah Fawcett and which also earned him a Directors Guild of America Award nomination.

Greenwald’s handful of big-screen narrative efforts include Breaking Up (1997), starring Russell Crowe and Salma Hayek; Steal This Movie! (2000), featuring Vincent D’Onofrio as 1960s radical Abbie Hoffman; and, most notably – and anachronistically – of all, the widely panned old-fashioned musical Xanadu (1980), starring Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, and Michael Beck, and which earned the filmmaker the very first Worst Director Razzie Award.

Image of Robert Greenwald on the Xanadu set: Universal Pictures.

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