Douglas Urbanski, Biography
Douglas Urbanski is an Award Winning American film producer, theater impresario, raconteur, and occasional film actor and talk show host.
As a film producer and executive producer, uniquely, two of his films have received the British Academy Award for Best British Film of the Year. He first received the prize in 1998 for NIL BY MOUTH; and in 2012 TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY also received the Best British Film of the Year Award.
NIL BY MOUTH received 4 BAFTA nominations in 1998, and in addition to the Best British Film, also won the Best Screenplay Award. For 1997's Cannes Film Festival, Nil By Mouth was selected to inaugurate the Main Competition and received the 1997 Cannes Film Festival Award for actress Kathy Burke. In 1998 the film received six nominations for the British Independent Film Awards, and won three awards there, in addition to winning the best director prize at 1997's Edenborough Festival.
In 2010/11 he Executive Produced the film version of John leCarre's TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, which stars Gary Oldman as master spy George Smiley, and also features Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, and Kathy Burke and is directed by Tomas Alfredson. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy received an outstanding eleven 2012 British Academy Award Nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director; the film has also received three Oscar Nominations for the 2012 Academy Awards. The film won the 2012 British Academy Award for Outstanding British Film of The Year, making it the second Urbanski associated film to win the prize.
For 25 years the name Douglas Urbanski has represented first class and quality in the arts. For a decade, the 1980's, he and his associated companies dominated the New York, London and Los Angeles theatre scene with productions receiving over two-dozen Tony Award nominations, several Evening Standard Awards, Olivier Awards, the Los Angeles Ovation Award and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. His films have received British Independent Film Awards, Cannes Festival prizes, The Broadcast Critics Award, Academy Award nominations, and British Academy Awards. He is the recipient of the British Academy Award for Outstanding British film and helped create and oversee the most successful advertising campaign in the history of automobile advertising. He is the Chairman of a group of companies: DMG, an artists management operation; THE SE8 GROUP, an independent motion picture production company; DMG MEDIA CONSULTANTS, a firm specializing in media strategies on a confidential basis for celebrities, corporations, and those in political life; he has privately consulted and coached politicians and executives in improving their skills of "messaging," public speaking, using a no fail method learned from years of producing films and Broadway productions. He exclusively represents the most successful independent film franchise in the history of motion pictures, Crocodile Dundee in all areas, including merchandising, and assisted in packaging the other two most successful film franchises in history: Harry Potter, and the rebooted Batman series, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight.
Films produced by Douglas Urbanski include: THE CONTENDER, starring Gary Oldman, Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, Christian Slater, and Sam Elliot (two Academy Award Nominations, winner Special Excellence Award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association); NIL BY MOUTH, written and directed by Gary Oldman (official selection in the main competition Cannes Film Festival, winner Best Actress Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, five British Academy Award Nominations, winner Out standing British Film at the British Academy Awards, winner Best Screenplay at the British Academy Awards, Six Nominations of British Independent Film Awards, winner of three British Independent Film Awards, winner of the Edinburgh Festival Channel Four Directors Prize; Douglas Urbanski received the British Academy Award for Best Picture); NOBODYS BABY, starring Gary Oldman, Skeet Ulrich; TIPTOES which stars Gary Oldman, Kate Bekinsale, Patricia Arquette, and Mathew McConaughey; Mr. Urbanski also Executive produced the Polygram film PLUNKETT & McCLANE, starring Robert Carlyle.
He has presented plays on Broadway and in London by Tennessee Williams, Harold Pinter, Noel Coward, William Shakespeare, Herman Wouk, Anthony Shaffer, Anton Checkov, Michael Frayn, Peter Ustinov, Eugene O'Neill, William Congreve, George Bernard Shaw, and the teams of Kaufman & Hart and Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein; with players such as Peter O'Toole, Glenn Close, Sam Waterston, Richard Chamberlain, Blythe Danner, Geraldine Page, Sir Peter Ustinov, Charleton Heston, Jack Lemmon, George Rose, Vanessa Redgrave, Sir Rex Harrison, Lynn Redgrave, Claudette Colbert, Dustin Hoffman, Dame Maggie Smith, Jeremy Brett, Glenda Jackson, Dame Joan Plowright, Judith Ivey, Timothy Dalton, Donald O'Connor, Fred Gwynne, Jack Weston, Sir Alec Guinness, Edward Herman, Sir Ian McKellan, Sir Derek Jacobi, Lauren Bacall, Liza Minelli, and Luciano Pavarotti.
Douglas Urbanski and his associated companies and partnerships (Douglas Management, Ltd., DMG, Triumph Productions) have presented first class stage productions in New York (on Broadway and Off), London, Washington D. C., Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Detroit, Denver, Houston, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Denver, Baltimore, Seattle, and Sydney, Australia. A listing of productions includes: TONY N TINAS WEDDING; BLITHE SPIRIT by Noel Coward, starring Geraldine Page, Richard Chamberlain, Blythe Danner, Judith Ivey; WILD HONEY by Michael Frayn, starring Sir Ian McKellan, Kim Cattrall, Kate Burton (Winner, Evening Standard Award, Best Play, 4 Olivier Awards); THE CAINE MUTINY COURT MARSHAL by Herman Wouk, starring Charleton Heston, Ben Cross; SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH by Tennessee Williams, starring Lauren Bacall, director Harold Pinter (London), Michael Blakemore (Los Angeles, Australia); BENFACTORS by Michael Frayn, starring Glenn Close, Sam Waterston, Simon Jones, Mary Beth Hurt, directed by Michael Blakemore (Winner Best Play, New York Drama Critics Circle Award); THE WAY OF THE WORLD by William Congreive, starring Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Joan Plowright, directed by William Gaskill (Winner of the Evening Standard Award for Maggie Smith as best Actress); ARENT WE ALL? By Frederick Lonsdale, starring Sir Rex Harrison, Claudette Colbert, Lynn Redgrave, Jeremy Brett, George Rose (Special New York Drama Desk Award); THE ASPERN PAPERS, by Michael Redgrave, starring Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Reeve, Dame Wendy Hiller, directed by Sir Michael Redgrave; LONG DAYS JOUNEY INTO NIGHT by Eugene ONeill starring Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey, Peter Gallagher, directed by Jonathan Miller; VETERENS DAY by Donald Freid, starring Jack Lemmon, Michael Gambon, directed by Harold Pinter; THE APPLE CART by George Bernard Shaw, starring Peter OToole, Susanah York; A WALK IN THE WOODS by Lee Blessing starring Alec Guinness, Edward Herman, directed by Richard Eyre; RICHARD II by William Shakespeare, starring Sir Derek Jacobi and RICHARD III also starring Sir Derek Jacobi, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE by William Shakespeare starring Dustin Hoffman, directed by Sir Peter Hall; ORPHEUS DECSENDING by Tennessee Williams, starring Vanessa Redgrave, directed by Sir Peter Hall; STRANGE INTERLUDE by Eugene ONeill, starring Glenda Jackson, Edward Petherbridge, Brian Cox, James Hazeldine; A WOMAN OF INDEPENDENT MEANS by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, starring Barbara Rush; BEETHOVENS TENTH by Peter Ustinov, starring Sir Peter Ustinov, Fritz Weaver, George Rose; WHODUNNIT by Anthony Shaffer, starring Jack Weston, George Hearn, Hermoine Baddely, Barbara Baxley, John Glover, Fred Gwynne, directed by Michael Kahn; SHOW BOAT, by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, starring Donald OConnor, Dale Kristen, Caren Culliver, Lonnette McKee, Houston Grand Opera, directed by Michael Kahn; HOW I GOT THAT STORY by Amlin Grey, starring Bob Gunton, Don Scardino; SAY GOODNIGHT, GRACIE by Ralph Pape, directed by Austin Pendeleton. While still a student at NYU in 1978 he presented a young group of actors in Chicago in their first commercial endeavor. They called themselves the Steppenwolf Actors, and the play was SAY GOODNIGHT, GRACIE. The cast included the unknown actors Glenne Headly, Gary Sinise, Terry Kinney, John Malkovich, Joan Allen. The production won several Joseph Jefferson Awards.
Douglas Urbanski's theatre career began as a student in the Drama Department at New York University during the late 1970s. During this time the most remarkable faculty for theatre ever assembled were his teachers; they included Stella Adler, Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, and Nikos Psacharopoulos. Immediately after graduating from NYU, he became an assistant to the General Manager of the off-broadway production of GETTING OUT by Marsha Norman at the famed Theatre DeLys. Very soon thereafter he became a partner in the most active Theatre management and consulting firm of the day, Buckley & Urbanski. Together they general managed a fleet of Broadway productions and also specialized in General Management Services, Arts Consultation, and Producing Industrial productions for Radio City Music Hall; also during this time they functioned as the Co-Managing Directors of Boston's METROPOLITAN CENTER/WANG CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS. A lasting contribution to the Boston cultural scene, Douglas Urbanski and Bob Buckley convinced Dr. Wang to make a major contribution to the Metropolitan Center that resulted in a major restoration/updating, and also a name change to the famed theatre. Buckley & Urbanski oversaw presentations in concert at the Wang Center that included Liza Minnelli, and Luciano Pavarotti.
In 1991 he became the Founder and owner of DMG, a talent management/consulting firm representing world-class actors, writers, directors. In 1996 he founded, with Gary Oldman, the indie film production company, SE8 Group, which produced all of the films listed in this bio. As the owner of DMG Media Consultants, he advises a wide variety of clients regarding media relations and marketing; he helped devise the most successful automobile advertising campaign in history (for which a Mobius Award graces his desk); his media relations consultations have included corporations, those in high profile public life (including those in the political arena) and even a country.