Biography

Born in the Netherlands, educated at Collegiate School, New York, music major at the High School of Music & Art, New York, Theatre Arts major at Columbia University U.S. Army veteran Tenth Mountain Division army of occupation Germany during the Korean War, married Barbara, the most beautiful woman at CBS, has two super sons.

He has been a teen actor on live TV, voice-over narrator, stage and film producer-director, award-winning cinematographer, screenwriter, sound and music editor, co-author and best-selling novelist and head of film production at the Strauss Motion Picture Group, New York’s premier boutique film organization.

His film work has taken him to locations in Hong Kong, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, England, Finland, Denmark, Portugal, Colombia, Mexico, Iceland, Switzerland, Greece, Canada, aboard a nuclear carrier in the Pacific and to cities throughout the U.S.

Languages: English, Dutch, French and German.

TV, Publishing and Filmography

Michael J. Laurence is a multiple Emmy–winning writer-producer-director, former story-analyst with NBC Programming, staff writer at CBS, sole writer of 62 documentaries anchored by Harry Reasoner. His general broadcast assignments included scripting two seasons of the Tony Awards writing special material for Bobby Morse, Helen Hayes, Robert Preston, Ray Bolger, Albert Dekker and others.

He wrote and produced the nationally released Anti-Vietnam War Teach-In Debate for PBS.

He was the writer-producer at ABC of “FOR ALL THE WORLD’S CHILDREN,” and international best-selling co-author with Airline Captain Thomas G. Foxworth of the novel, “PASSENGERS – A Novel of Corporate Greed” published by Doubleday, Granada, Collins, Bart – contracted for theatrical feature development by Warner Bros., Harold Schneider, producer. Reviewed by PUBLISHERS WEEKLY as a “tour de force aviation novel, surely one of the most gripping ever written...readers here will want to fasten seat belts and keep them fastened...to a shattering climax,” by LIBRARY JOURNAL as “high adventure at its best...with a host of well-developed characters. Recommended,” by PLAYBOY as “knuckle-whitening”, byGeorge Shestak in the OMAHA WORLD HERALD: “You can’t go wrong with this engrossing, frighteningly realistic novel of airlines, aircraft manufacturing and the Washington officials who are supposed to be regulating them. PASSENGERS reflects the dramatic and technical expertise of its writers (and) offers some of the best flying passages I have read in a long time. The novel’s opening sequence is a near classic of aviation writing,” NEWSDAY as “unnervingly authentic” and byErnest K. Gann, author of “FATE IS THE HUNTER” as “a rough, tough, gorilla of a book.” 

Laurence appeared on 56 radio and TV interview programs including Oprah and the BBC World Service to promote the book.

His most recent work (2011), is a major art book, “THE GIRL WHO DRAWS LIKE RAPHAEL” on the life and art of Clara Klinghoffer, England’s best known woman artist of the 1920s and 30s whose works, now at The Tate collection and the British Museum, were compared to those of Raphael, Rembrandt, Hals and da Vinci. Review in part by Ori Soltes, Georgetown University: "This is one of those volumes that doesn't leave your mind for a long time - and when it does it keeps coming back. It combines the exquisite visual components that are the drawing and painting of Clara Klinghoffer - with a graceful text...This splendid work raises - at first by implication and at the end explicitly - the overly-long struggle within the art world, for both artists and critics, to become comfortable with a dynamic tension in great art between its universalism and the particularism every artist brings to his or her work..."

He has also completed (2011) the screenplays of “PASSENGERS” and “THAT CHAMPIONSHIP PLACE” on the pre/ post ring face-offs between Smokin’ Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali.

Laurence’s World War II documentaries written and directed by him and produced by Hunter Low include “THE BATTLE AT ST. VITH” with General Baron Hasso Von Manteuffel, his opposite number, Lt. General Bruce Clark and General Anthony “Nuts” McAuliffe and German Generals Siegfried Westphal and Gunther Blumentritt, “THE BRIDGE AT REMAGEN ,” “THE SIEGFRIED LINE,” and“AIR POWER” with Eli Wallach on the Eighth Air Force’s B-17 daylight raids on the Ploesti Oil Refineries and the ball-bearing works at Schweinfurt, “THE CLIMB” – the story of the Tenth Mountain Division’s assaults on Monte Belvedere and Riva Ridge in Italy – with the men of the Division and their Commanding General, George P. Hayes and German General Hans Georg Hildebrandt. 

His independent films, which he wrote, produced and directed through his company, Cinema 70, Inc., include “QUARTET” - Four short stories set in overseas locations on the vagaries of aging, “SILENT COUNTDOWN” with Ben Gazzara (NBC), “JAIL – YOUNG. BUSTED AND TRAPPED,” (NBC), “DAREDEVILS AND DREAMERS.” (PBS) – sixty minutes on the surviving barnstormers brought back for one last flight (one instructing aerobatics in a Navy fighter trainer at eighty five),“ DISTANT SHORES,” (PBS) with James Whitmore, Laurence’s original drama, “A HOUSE IN THE WOODS” (ABC) starring Maria Schell, Stuart Whitman and Scott Baio, “THE PUBLIC WILL” with Hal Holbrook, "THE EAGLE HAS LANDED,” and the best-selling release, “FLIGHT DECK”. 

His special film projects produced for the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum can be seen at that facility.

His work is represented in the Broadcast Museum.

He is a popular university guest lecturer on News Journalism and Advanced Motion Picture Production. 

His film festival recognitions and awards include six Emmy nominations, three EMMYs, six Cine Golden Eagles, The Inforfilm International Grand Prix, two Gold at The International Film & TV Festival, The City of New York’s Special Award for Distinguished and Exceptional Production, two Chris Awards and the American Film and Video Festival Blue Ribbon.

His past and present professional memberships include The Authors Guild, The Writers Guild of America, East, (AFTRA) American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, The National Academy of TV Arts and Sciences, The Early Flyers, The Aviation/Space Writers Association, The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

He has been represented by the William Morris Agency, ICM and Fraser and Dunlop (now PFD) in London.

 

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Barbara and Michael Laurence

Maria Schell in
"A House In The Woods,"
written, produced and directed
by Michael Laurence

Stuart Whitman in
"A House In The Woods,"
written, produced and directed
by Michael Laurence

Stuart Whitman and Scott Baio
in "A House in the Woods"

Upcoming sixth edition

Shooting Ben Gazarra
for "Silent Countdown"

"The Battle at St. Vith"

"Quartet"

"Jail - Young, Busted and Trapped"

"Dreams of Distant Shores"

 

© 2011 Michael J. Laurence. All Rights Reserved.