b. March 10, 1952, Melbourne,
& theatre director, writer, songwriter, producer and published
poet, Howson was born in Melbourne, Australia. He entered show-business
at the age of 7 as a tap dancer, singer and child actor, and had
starred in 21 major theatrical productions by his 21st birthday.
Ever restless, he became interested in writing his own songs and
went on to enjoy great success in this field by having his compositions
recorded by such acts as Little River Band, Richie Havens, Dan
Hill, Marc Jordan, Eric Idle, Kate Ceberano, Venetta Fields, Guy
Pearce, amongst others. He discovered and published the band Pseudo
Echo who enjoyed much chart success internationally and scored
a top 3 hit in the U.S. Howson recorded his own singles and enjoyed
success in his homeland. He also headed a thriving music publishing
and recording company.
went on to write many hit theater shows and gained a great deal
of respect in Australia for his productions for children.
In 1987 he wrote and produced the movie Boulevard of Broken
Dreams (1988) which was nominated for 7 AFI Awards including
Best Film. It eventually won two. From there, Howson wrote and
produced Heaven Tonight (1989), What the Moon Saw
(1990), Hunting (1991) (which he also directed), Beyond
My Reach (1990), Flynn (1996) (also directed) and others.
During that time he discovered Guy Pearce as a movie actor and
starred him in his first 3 films. In 1989 he was presented with
the Producer of the Year Award from Film Victoria. His films have
been sold to such companies as Miramax, Disney, Warner, Village
Roadshow, Paramount, J&M Entertainment, Filmstar, ABC, Hoyts,
a very prolonged and messy break-up with his business partner,
Howson moved to Los Angeles in 1997 and stayed for 9 years working
in the entertaintment industry. During that time he was commissioned
to write several screenplays for various producers and remained
active. In 2000 Arthur Hiller optioned the rights to Howson's
screenplay The Lonely Heart. That same year he was commissioned
by Joe Ezterhas to write original songs for the movie Burn
Hollywood Burn. During that time, Howson was asked by acclaimed
English actor Steven Berkoff to direct the TV version of his hit
off-Broadway play Shakespeare's Villains.
July 2001 Frank Howson married actress Terri Garber in Miami,
Florida. During the time he spent with Garber he gave up his showbiz
career but since the split has written new songs recorded by Little
River Band on their 2004 album Test of Time. Along with
his business associate John Grimaldi, Howson conceived and devised
the original idea for "G'Day L.A", the annual weeklong event in
Los Angeles that celebrates everything Australian. Howson &
Grimaldi presented the idea to the Australian Consul, the Honourable
John Olsen, and the rest is history. It remains the most successful
Australian promotion ever.
returning to Australia, Howson was invited to be President of
the Jury for the Melbourne Underground Film Festival in 2005 and
is currently writing his memoirs on his life in the movie business.
His award winning song "Andre" was premiered at the Royal Albert
Hall by Judith Durham during her latest U.K. tour. He recently
received the Short Poppy Award in his hometown of Melbourne and
his screenplay Winter in America was performed in a rehearsed
reading at the ACMI theatre, Federation Square.
with Bert Newton
September 2005 he directed the Melbourne premiere of Caryl Churchill's
acclaimed play, A Number to rave reviews. It was revived
due to public interest at Chapel Off Chapel in July 2006 for a
return season, this time starring Alex Scott and Ross Ditcham.
Keith Potger's new album Sunday contains 6 songs co-written
with Howson, and his new film as director/writer Remembering
Nigel won the 2006 Best Short Film Award at the Melbourne
Underground Film Festival. It is now being extended into a feature.
also appears as an actor in the new Richard Wolstencroft film
The Beautiful and Damned (a modern version of the F. Scott
Fitzgerald novel). He is presently working on a one woman show
for Rhonda Burchmore, writing a musical, and collaborating on
a new album of songs. Frank Howson was invited to direct The
Replacement Son for this year's Short & Sweet season at
the Melbourne Arts Centre. It opened on December 12 2007.
March 2008 Frank Howson was inducted into the Cinema Pioneers, and also Sexy International Film Festival's Hall of Fame. And in 2009 he has directed a music clip for Eric Burdon in Hollywood.
directorial work started with the widescreen, lush erotic thriller
Hunting which received international release and critical
recognition. It is a dark and forbidding view of the world of
modern capitalism and the breaking down of personal values. Since
then he directed the bio-pic Flynn (based on the early
life and Errol Flynn) and this film also received international
release and much media attention, especially ay Cannes when it
premiered in 1993. Since then his films The Final Stage
and his new one Remembering Nigel have taken on a more
personal and sometimes funny view of the world.
with Rebecca Rigg,
on My Mind (1990, 73 mins, 35mm)
(1991, 96 mins, 35mm)
or Shine (1992, 90 mins, 35mm)
Stage (1995, 89 mins, 16mm)
Life (1996, 75 mins, 16mm)
(1996, 95 mins, 35mm)
Nigel (2006, 58 mins, DV)
being extended into a feature (85 mins)
with Claudia Karvan,
The Avacado Plantation.
Colours of my Life.
ed. The Actor's Handbook.
to Melbourne independent filmmakers index page
Frank Howson, May 2008