skip navigation
Brad Silberling

Brad Silberling

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

Born to Race: Fast Track ... Directed by Alex Ranarivelo. Starring Brett Davern, Bill Sage, Beau Mirchoff. more info $10.95was $14.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Bradley Mitchell Silberling, Bradley Silberling Died:
Born: September 8, 1963 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Washington, Washington D.C., USA Profession: director, writer, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

As the son of a noted producer and network executive, Brad Silberling had a leg up on the competition by knowing the ins and outs of the entertainment industry before he embarked on his directing career. After getting his start as a production assistant on the CBS Schoolbreak Special "Little Miss Perfect" (1986), he began directing television shows like "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-1994), "Doogie Howser, M.D" (ABC, 1989-1993) and "Civil Wars" (ABC, 1991-93). He made a successful feature debut with "Casper" (1995), before returning to television for a four-year stint on "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005), where he met his wife, actress Amy Brenneman. Drawing from the personal tragedy of the murder of former-girlfriend and actress Rebecca Schaeffer by a deranged fan, he directed the moving independent drama, "Moonlight Mile" (2002), which demonstrated his ability to tackle emotionally complex material. Though he stumbled with big budget studio movies like "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" (2004) and "Land of the Lost" (2009), Silberling nonetheless remained one of the more interesting filmmakers to watch.Born on Sept. 8, 1963 in Washington, D.C., Silberling was raised by his father, Robert, a...

As the son of a noted producer and network executive, Brad Silberling had a leg up on the competition by knowing the ins and outs of the entertainment industry before he embarked on his directing career. After getting his start as a production assistant on the CBS Schoolbreak Special "Little Miss Perfect" (1986), he began directing television shows like "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-1994), "Doogie Howser, M.D" (ABC, 1989-1993) and "Civil Wars" (ABC, 1991-93). He made a successful feature debut with "Casper" (1995), before returning to television for a four-year stint on "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005), where he met his wife, actress Amy Brenneman. Drawing from the personal tragedy of the murder of former-girlfriend and actress Rebecca Schaeffer by a deranged fan, he directed the moving independent drama, "Moonlight Mile" (2002), which demonstrated his ability to tackle emotionally complex material. Though he stumbled with big budget studio movies like "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" (2004) and "Land of the Lost" (2009), Silberling nonetheless remained one of the more interesting filmmakers to watch.

Born on Sept. 8, 1963 in Washington, D.C., Silberling was raised by his father, Robert, a producer and former vice president of CBS Entertainment, and his mother, Joyce, a travel consultant and owner of the corporate travel incentive program, Meetings and Incentives International. Growing up the son of a successful producer and production executive, Silberling naturally gravitated toward the entertainment industry, which started when he made short silent movies with a Super-8 camera as a child. After earning his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, he attended the master's program in directing at the University of California, Los Angeles, emerging with his diploma in 1987. While still attending UCLA, Silberling began working on a children's television show as a production assistant - his first professional entrée into show business. His senior thesis, a 25-minute short called "Repairs," earned him some notice at Universal Studios, but little came of the connection. He did, however, establish his own foothold inside an industry he had only been a part of through his father.

Around this time, Silberling met beautiful aspiring actress, Rebecca Schaeffer, whom he began dating after being set up on a blind date. Both were just beginning their careers, though Schaeffer was catapulted to celebrity when she landed a starring role on the short-lived sitcom, "My Sister Sam" (CBS, 1986-88). But their union ended tragically when an obsessed fan, Robert John Bardo, found Schaeffer's address through a private investigator, arrived at her home with a gun and shot her in the chest in the summer of 1989. She was pronounced dead 30 minutes later. Despite the tragedy and its notoriety as the first major fan-committed celebrity murder since Beatle John Lennon in 1980, a grieving Silberling shouldered on, making strides in his career by directing episodes of several popular television shows, including "Doogie Howser, M.D." (ABC, 1989-1993) and "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-1994). In 1992, Silberling directed episodes of the short-lived Fox sitcom "Great Scott," on which he also served as supervising producer. He later helmed episodes of the period drama "Brooklyn Bridge" (CBS, 1991-93) for creator Gary David Goldberg, which caught the attention of Steven Spielberg who hired him to direct "Casper" (1995). Silberling's first feature - a run-of-the-mill family film that was visually stunning - grossed more than $100 million in domestic box office, proving that he could turn a profit for the bosses upstairs.

Silberling returned to television, becoming a regular director on the critically acclaimed cop drama, "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005). It was on the show that he met Amy Brenneman, whom he married in 1995 after a six-year period of working through his loss and anger over Schaeffer's murder. He followed up with his next feature, "City of Angels" (1998), which was loosely inspired by Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire" (1987). The story focused on the romance that develops between an angel (Nicolas Cage) and the woman (Meg Ryan) sent to watch over him. After co-founding the Cornerstone Theatre Co. in Los Angeles with Brenneman, Silberling directed episodes of "Felicity" (ABC, 1998-2002) and his wife's hit show, "Judging Amy" (CBS, 1999-2005). Following a decade of dealing with the complex emotions involved in losing Schaeffer, Silberling directed "Moonlight Mile" (2002) from a script he wrote about dealing with her death. The deeply personal drama told the story of a young man (Jake Gyllenhaal) who develops a relationship with the parents (Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon) of his deceased fiancée (Careena Melia) - a relationship he, himself, had forged post-murder. Despite initial wariness by the studios to make a film based on a real death, Silberling nonetheless managed to get his movie made, though solid critical reviews were not enough to boost attendance to warrant more than a limited release.

Back to making studio pictures, Silberling directed "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" (2004), based on the series of popular children's books and starring Jim Carrey as the evil Count Olaf, who tries in vain to steal a large fortune from three orphaned children. Silberling returned to more down-to-earth fare with "10 Items or Less" (2006), a small, but winning drama about an aging Hollywood icon (Morgan Freeman) who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a sharp-tongued grocery store clerk (Paz Vega). He next directed Will Ferrell in "Land of the Lost" (2009), a parody of the long-remembered television show from the 1970s by Sid and Marty Krofft. Despite the high-profile of star Ferrell, the comedy proved to be a bomb at the box office, earning less than $20 million its opening weekend.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
3.
5.
6.
7.
  Casper (1995)

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1986:
Worked as production assistant on CBS Schoolbreak Special "Little Miss Perfect"
1987:
Wrote, directed and edited independent film, "Repairs"; lead to deal with Universal Studios
1987:
Directed episodes of such TV series as "L.A. Law," "Doogie Howser, MD" and "NYPD Blue"
1992:
Was supervising producer and director of the FOX sitcom, "Great Scott"
1995:
Feature directorial debut, "Casper"
1998:
Directed a loose remake of Wim Wender's "Wings of Desire," re-titled, "City of Angels"
1998:
Formed Reveal Entertainment and signed a production agreement with DreamWorks
1999:
Directed the pilot episode of "Judging Amy" (CBS), starring wife Amy Brenneman
2002:
Used his memories of his former girlfriend's (Rebecca Schaeffer) tragic and untimely death as the basis for his first screenplay, "Moonlight Mile"; also directed
2004:
Directed Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep in "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," based on the children's books by Daniel Handler
2006:
Directed Morgan Freeman and Paz Vega in the low-budget feature, "10 Items or Less"
2009:
Helmed the big-budget feature adaptation of the 1970s series, "Land of the Lost"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of California, Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara , California - 1984
University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California - 1987

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Rebecca Schaeffer. Actor. Was Siberling's girlfriend at the time of her 1989 murder by an obsessed fan.
wife:
Amy Brenneman. Actor. Met on set of "NYPD Blue"; married September 30, 1995.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Robert M Silberling. Producer. Former vice-president of CBS Entertainment.
mother:
Joyce A Silberling. Travel consultant. Owns Meetings and Incentives International, a corporate travel-incentive program developer.
daughter:
Charlotte Silberling. Born on March 20, 2001 in L.A.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute