Rick Rosenthal

Rick Rosenthal Biography

Richard L. "Rick" Rosenthal, Jr. (born June 15, 1949) is an American film and television director, known for directing episodes of many popular TV series (including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Smallville), as well as the films Halloween II and Halloween: Resurrection. He is also a producer, actor, and writer.


Rosenthal was born in New York City, New York, the son of Hinda (née Gould) and entrepreneur Richard L. Rosenthal, Sr. He is a graduate of The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall), Harvard College 1971 cum laude and the American Film Institute.

Rosenthal helped launch Sean Penn's career when he cast the then-unknown actor in the title role of the 1983 film Bad Boys. Rosenthal worked on the Emmy-winning ABC series Life Goes On as well as such series as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Providence, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Smallville. He is a winner of the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award.

In recent years, Rosenthal has turned to the independent film world, continuing to direct ("Nearing Grace"), but also producing as well, giving opportunities to first time directors. The first production under the Whitewater Films banner was the Sundance Film Festival hit Mean Creek, winner of two Independent Spirit Awards as well as a Humanitas Prize. The film was invited to the Directors Fortnight at Cannes and launched the filmmaking career of writer-director Jacob Estes.

Mean Creek was followed by writer-director Scott Prendergast's first feature, Kabluey, starring Lisa Kudrow.

The fall of 2007 saw Ocean Grove, New Jersey become the site of Whitewater Films' Greta, video director Nancy Bardawil's feature debut, starring Hilary Duff and Ellen Burstyn.

Rosenthal started his career by directing Halloween II and returned to the genre 20 years later helming Halloween: Resurrection. In between he has directed films such as American Dreamer (1984), Russkies (1987), Distant Thunder (1988), Just A Little Harmless Sex (1999), and Nearing Grace (2005).

Rosenthal also directed The Birds II: Land's End, which he tried to disown by using the name Alan Smithee.

He met his wife, actress Nancy Stephens, while filming Halloween II. They have worked together on some films including American Dreamer (1984), Russkies (1987), and Mean Creek (2004).

Selected television series directed

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