Barry Morrow's interest in the art of storytelling began while studying children's theatre at the University of Hawaii. Later, upon graduating from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, he met and befriended Bill Sackter, a man who had spent forty-four years in a state institution for the mentally retarded.
Barry's account of this unusual friendship resulted in the highly-acclaimed television movie, Bill, starring Mickey Rooney and Dennis Quaid. For this, his first effort, Barry received an Emmy Award for his story.
Barry's other distinguished television works include The Karen Carpenter Story, the top-rated movie of its year, and the Emmy-nominated Christmas On Division Street, starring Hume Cronyn, which Barry both wrote and produced.
Additional producing credits include: Switched At Birth, which earned an Emmy nomination for Best Mini-Series and was the #1-rated show of its season; the foreign-produced motion picture, Gospa; starring Martin Sheen and Michael York; and the CBS television movie, The Disappearance of Vonnie.
From 1990-99, Barry headed Morrow-Heus Prods. with partner Richard Heus. Together they produced the theatrical motion picture Race the Sun for TriStar from Barry's original screenplay. They also executive-produced the critically-acclaimed documentary series, The Fifties, based on the David Halberstam book, and Behind the Mask, starring Donald Sutherland and Matthew Fox, for CBS.
In 1992, Barry's live stage performance of Bill For Short was released on CD and cassette by Gang of Seven, a recording label featuring the best of America's spoken word artists.
Barry is perhaps best known for his first motion picture screenplay, which would go on to become the highest--grossing Oscar-winning film of its time. Rain Man, the story of the relationship between an autistic adult and his brother (played by Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise) earned Barry an Academy Award for his original story and screenplay, and Rain Man was voted Best Picture.
A member of the ARC, the National Association of Social Workers, Project Turnabout, and the Autism Society of America, Barry Morrow is a lifelong advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities.
Born: June 12, 1948, Austin, Minnesota
Married: 1969, Beverly McKenzie
Children: Clayton (b. 1974) and ZoeAnna (b. 1976)
St. Olaf College (BA), Northfield, MN, 1966-68,70.
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, 1969.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1971.
University of LaVerne, Hon. Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), LaVerne, CA
FILM & TELEVISION CREDITS (PRODUCED)
"Rain Man, 1988." Oscar Award for "Best Original Screenplay."
"Bill,"1981. Emmy Award for "Outstanding Writing," (Story).
"Behind the Mask," Exec-Producer, 1999. (Winner, Media Access Awards.)
"The Fifties," Exec-Producer, 1997. (TV documentary series.)
ace the Sun,” Writer/Producer, 1996.
"Gospa," 1994. Exec-Producer.
isappearance of Vonnie,” 1994. Exec-Producer.
"Bill For Short," 1992. (Spoken word CD for Gang of Seven.)
"Christmas On Division Street," 1991. Writer/Exec-Producer.
"Switched At Birth," 1991; Exec-Producer. (Emmy nomination "Best TV Mini-Series or Special.")
"The Karen Carpenter Story” (#1 rated MOW of 1989.) Original teleplay.
"Silent Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story," 1988. Original teleplay.
"Conspiracy of Love," 1987. Original teleplay.
"Bill: On His Own," 1983. ("Silver Award Winner," Inter. Film/TV Festival.)
Writers Guild of America, 1980-present.
Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, 1981- present.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 1988 - present.
AWARDS AND HONORS
Oscar (Best Original Screenplay, "Rain Man"), Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 1989.
Emmy Award (Story, "Bill"), Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, 1982.
Best Original Screenplay Nominee, "Rain Man," Writers Guild of America, 1989.
Golden Globe Nominee, "Rain Man," Hollywood Foreign Press, 1989.
The David of Donatello Award nominee; Italy, 1989.
The British Academy "BAFTA Awards" nominee; Great Britain, 1990.
The "Prince Ranier Red Cross Golden Spirit" Award; Monaco, 2000.
"Pope John XXIII Award," Viterboe College, 1992.
"Lifetime Achievement Award," National Association of Social Workers, 1991.
"Pool of Bethesda Award," Bethesda Lutheran Home, Watertown, WI, 1984.
"President's Award," Assoc. for Retarded Citizens, Alameda County, CA, 1984.
"National Media Award," Natl. Assoc. for Retarded Citizens, 1982 and 1984.
"Outstanding Contribution to Intergenerational Understanding," Mid-American Congress on Aging, 1983.
Media Access Awards (Governor's Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons) for "Bill" ('81); "Bill: On His Own" ('83); and "Behind the Mask" ('99).
Honorary Chairman, Children of Lebanon Fund, 1982.
Governor's Citation (Iowa), Cambodian Refugees Relief Effort, 1980.
"President's Award," American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, 1978.
State of California, State Senate Resolution, 1989.
Autism Society of America, L.A. Chapter, 1989.
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Department of Education, 1989.
Very Special Arts International, Washington, D.C., 1989.
Calif. State Polytechnic Univ. (Pomona), Center for Special Populations, 1989.
"Community Awareness Award," Palo Alto, California, 1988.
Indiana State University, School of Social Work, 1989.
Claremont Chamber of Commerce, 1989.
Association for Retarded Citizens, San Diego, 1989.
Tempe Center for the Handicapped, 1985, 1988, 1989.
California Dept. of Developmental Services, Health and Welfare Agency, 1984.
State of Arizona, State Senate Resolution, 1983.
National Association of Developmental Disabilities Councils, 1982.
VOLUNTEERISM & CHARITIES
Natl. Assoc. for Retarded Citizens, Committee Member, 1984-86,88-90.
Project Turnabout (College Prep. for At-Risk Youth), 1984-1999.
Autism Society of America, Member, 1989-present.
UCLA Screenwriting Mentorship Program - 1996-99
Morrow Screenwriting Fellowship - 1996-2001
Minnesota Film Board Screenwriting Mentor - 2001-2003
2003 Mercy of the Sea (writer)
1996 Race the Sun (written by)
1991 Christmas on Division Street (TV movie) (written by)
1989 The Karen Carpenter Story (TV movie) (written by)
1988 Quiet Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story (TV movie) (written by)
1988 Rain Man (screenplay / story)
1987 A Conspiracy of Love (TV movie)
1983 Bill: On His Own (TV movie)
1981 Bill (TV movie) (story)