Ken Burns

Ken Burns

Known for: Directing
Biography: 1953-07-29 (70 years old)

Biography

Ken Burns (born 1953) is a highly celebrated American documentarian who gradually amassed a considerable reputation and a devoted audience with a series of reassuringly traditional meditations on Americana. Burns' works are treasure troves of archival materials; he skillfully utilizes period music and footage, photographs, periodicals and ordinary people's correspondence, the latter often movingly read by seasoned professional actors in a deliberate attempt to get away from a "Great Man" approach to history. Like most non-fiction filmmakers, Burns wears many hats on his projects, often serving as writer, cinematographer, editor and music director in addition to producing and directing. He achieved his apotheosis with The Civil War (1990), a phenomenally popular 11-hour documentary that won two Emmys and broke all previous ratings records for public TV. The series' companion coffee table book--priced at a hefty $50--sold more than 700,000 copies. The audio version, narrated by Burns, was also a major best-seller. In the final accounting, "The Civil War" became the first documentary to gross over $100 million. Not surprisingly, it has become perennial fund-raising programming for public TV stations around the country. Burns arrived upon the scene with the Oscar-nominated Brooklyn Bridge (1981), a nostalgic chronicle of the construction of the fabled edifice. The film was more widely seen when rebroadcast on PBS the following year. Though Burns has made other nonfiction films for theatrical release, notably an acclaimed and ambiguous portrait of Depression-era Louisiana governor Huey Long (1985), PBS would prove to be his true home. He cast a probing eye on such American subjects as The Statue of Liberty (1985), The Congress (1988) (PBS), painter Thomas Hart Benton (1988) (PBS) and early radio with Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio (1991) (PBS). Burns returned to long-form documentary with his most ambitious project to date, an 18-hour history of Baseball (1994), which aired on PBS in the fall of 1994. He approached the national pastime as a template for understanding changes in modern American society. Ironically, this was the only baseball on the air at the time, as the players and owners were embroiled in a bitter strike.

Filmography

all 91

TV Shows 52

Movies 39

self 29

Director 28

Producer 25

Creator 1

Writer 1

Creator / Director / Producer
The U.S. and the Holocaust

The U.S. and the Holocaust (2022)

TV
Writer / Director / Executive Producer
Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali (2021)

TV
Director / Producer
Hemingway

Hemingway (2021)

TV
Executive Producer
Country Music

Country Music (2019)

TV
Executive Producer / Producer / Producer / Executive Producer
The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War (2017)

TV
6
Producer / Director
The Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl (2012)

TV
6
Creator / Executive Producer / Producer / Director / Producer / Executive Producer
Prohibition

Prohibition (2011)

TV
6
Executive Producer / Director
The War

The War (2008)

TV
Producer / Director
Jazz

Jazz (2001)

TV
6
Director / Producer
Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright (1998)

TV
Director / Creator
Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (1997)

TV
Executive Producer
The West

The West (1996)

TV
2
Executive Producer / Cinematography / Music Director / Producer / Director / Producer / Executive Producer / Writer
Baseball

Baseball (1994)

TV
Director of Photography / Executive Producer / Director / Writer
The Civil War

The Civil War (1990)

TV
5.33
Ken Burns (voice)
The Simpsons

The Simpsons (1989)

TV
6.75

Ratings

Average 6.67
Based on 2.92 Million movie and tv ratings over time
1952
1999
2011
2002
2024
Ken BurnsKen Burns

Information

Known For
Directing

Gender
Male

Birthday
1953-07-29 (70 years old)

Birth Name
Kenneth Lauren Burns

Birth Place
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Children
Sarah Burns

Father
Robert Kyle Burns

Mother
Lynn Smith Burns

Citizenships
United States of America

Residences
Brooklyn · Ann Arbor · Walpole, United States of America

Awards
Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award, Jefferson Lecture, Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album, Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album, Grammy Award for Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Lincoln Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, Emmy Award, Charles Frankel Prize, National Humanities Medal, Christopher Award

This article uses material from Wikipedia.

Last updated:

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3 Movies
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Amy Madigan worked together with Ken Burns in:
3 Movies
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Tom Hanks worked together with Ken Burns in:
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Bob Costas
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Bob Costas worked together with Ken Burns in:
2 Movies
5 TV Shows
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Carolyn McCormick worked together with Ken Burns in:
2 Movies
5 TV Shows
David McCullough
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David McCullough worked together with Ken Burns in:
5 Movies
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Allen Moore worked together with Ken Burns in:
4 Movies
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David Cieri worked together with Ken Burns in:
3 Movies
4 TV Shows
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1 Movie
5 TV Shows
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