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About Edward Norton

Edward NortonEdward Norton has starred in the films Primal Fear, Everyone Says I Love You, The People vs Larry Flynt, American History X, Rounders, Fight Club, Keeping the Faith, The Score, Death to Smoochy, Frida, Red Dragon, The 25th Hour, The Italian Job, Down in the Valley, The Illusionist, The Painted Veil and, in 2008, Pride & Glory and The Incredible Hulk.

He has been nominated for two Academy Awards, for Primal Fear and American History X, and won a Golden Globe along with numerous other awards for his performances.  The film Frida, for which he wrote the screenplay, was nominated for six Academy Awards and won two.  He won the Obie Award in 2003 for his performance Off-Broadway in Burn This, by Lanford Wilson.

He produced and directed Keeping the Faith, produced Down in the Valley (Cannes Film Festival selection) and The Painted Veil, and is currently producing The Incredible Hulk, Leaves of Grass, and adaptations of Dan O’Brien’s Buffalo for the Broken Heart and Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn for which he is currently writing the screenplay. 

He recently completed five months of filming The Incredible Hulk: Part 1 for which he also wrote the screenplay. 

Norton also founded and runs Class 5 Films in partnership with writer Stuart Blumberg and producer Bill Migliore.  Class 5’s first two features, Down in the Valley and The Painted Veil, were released in 2006.  The company’s documentary division produces nature, science and documentary films independently, including a feature length film about Barack Obama and the American political system currently in production.

Class 5’s documentary productions include: The Great Rivers Expedition, a film made by Jim Norton for the Outdoor Life Network about an historic whitewater adventure that took place in China in 2003; and Dirty Work, a film by David Sampliner that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on the Sundance Channel last spring.  Class 5 also collaborated with the Sea Studios Foundation on their highly acclaimed, multi-million dollar series about earth system sciences for National Geographic, Strange Days on Planet Earth, which Norton hosts and narrates, and which aired on PBS last year.

Class 5 also recently announced a partnership with Brad Pitt’s Plan B and National Geographic to produce an epic 10 part series for HBO based on Stephen Ambrose’s acclaimed book “Undaunted Courage” about the Lewis and Clark expedition.  Norton and Brad Pitt will executive produce the series.

Norton is also a committed social and environmental activist. 

The Enterprise Foundation

Norton serves on the Board of Trustees of the Enterprise Foundation, which works to move families up and out of poverty and transform low-income communities through the development of decent affordable housing and social service networks.  Enterprise works in over 250 American cities and is one of the largest non-profit developers of affordable housing in America with well over 100,000 new affordable homes created in the last two decades.  Edward Co-Chaired Enterprise’s successful $125 million capital campaign which he led with a personal contribution of $1.1 million.  Enterprise was created by his grandfather, James Rouse, the celebrated developer and philanthropist.

Along with fellow Board member Jonathan Rose, Norton was instrumental in moving Enterprise to confront the challenge of greening affordable housing.  Enterprise’s Green Communities Initiative, a $500 million commitment to promoting sustainable and efficient development practice, puts the foundation in a leadership role nationwide on this issue.

Solar Neighbors Program

Norton also conceived and negotiated a groundbreaking arrangement with BP Solar to provide solar power technology to low-income homeowners in Los Angeles.  Through the Solar Neighbors program, each time a celebrity or public figure buys a home solar system, BP will donate a full system to a low-income family, eliminating most or all of their electricity costs for as long as they own their home.  Over 25 actors, musicians, politicians and broadcasters have purchased systems for their homes and BP has donated over 25 systems to low-income families.  The selection of the families and administration of the fund are handled by the Enterprise Foundation’s Los Angeles office.

Working with the organization Global Green, Norton has used the data from the Solar Neighbor program to successfully lobby California state legislators for meaningful inclusion of affordable housing in the state’s groundbreaking solar initiatives.

Middle East Peacemakers Fund

Another of Norton’s projects is the Peacemakers Fund at Yale University.  As a response to the events of September 11th and the increasing conflict in the Middle East, Norton contributed $100,000 to establish a fund that will provide travel study grants that give college undergraduates opportunities to study in the Middle East.  In the interests of increasing our understanding of the people and cultures of that region, the fund will provide a minimum of five grants a year for the next five years and as many as the endowment can support thereafter.  Fundraising for the fund’s endowment is ongoing.  Information can be received through Robyn Nickerson at 213 434 1121.

Signature Theater Company

Norton has been on the Board of New York’s Signature Theater Company since 1994 when he made his Off-Broadway debut there.  Signature is the only theater in the country that devotes an entire season each year to the work of one living American playwright.  Edward Albee, Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Horton Foote, John Guare, Lanford Wilson are just a few of the playwrights who have spent a season in residence with Signature.  In its fifteen years Signature has been repeatedly recognized as one of the most important and outstanding new theaters in America, winning every award available to an Off-Broadway theater.

In June of 2004, Signature was selected by Gov. Pataki as the theater in residence at the new World Trade Center Arts Complex.

In 2006 Signature’s productions virtually swept the Lucille Lortel Awards for outstanding achievement in Off-Broadway theater.

Friends of the High Line

Norton is also one of the founding Board members of Friends of the High Line, an advocacy group working to convert an abandoned freight rail line into a unique and spectacular park.  Running over two miles through Manhattan’s industrial West Side, the High Line will be one of the largest additions of public space in the history of New York City.  Norton has hosted FoHL’s gala fundraisers for the last three years and been a major financial supporter of the effort.  In less than five years, FoHL has prevented the destruction of this major piece of historic infrastructure and secured the city, state, federal and private support necessary to redevelop the line as a park.  Groundbreaking on the project took place in April 2006.

In addition to these efforts, Norton is a major financial supporter of: the Nature Conservancy’s Yunnan Great Rivers conservation project, the Masai Conservation Trust, the Grand Canyon Trust, EarthJustice, the Wilderness Society, the Southern Center for Human Rights, American Museum of Natural History, Credit Where Credit is Due, the American Visionary Arts Museum and the Johns Hopkins Neuro-oncology Research Lab.

The benefit premieres of his films at the historic Senator Theater in Baltimore have raised over $750,000 for a variety of Baltimore organizations and causes.


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