Ed Burns

Ed Burns, married to model Christy Turlington, directs, writes and acts in his own films, which include the indie hit The Brothers McMullen.


Born in Queens, New York, in 1968, Ed Burns is a moviemaking triple threat, as he directs, acts and stars in his own films. He began his career by making film shorts in college and achieved success with his 1995 indie flick, The Brothers McMullen. He's been creating films ever since. Burns is married to supermodel Christy Turlington and the couple have two children.

Early Years

Edward Fitzgerald Burns was born on January 29, 1968, in the Woodside section of Queens, New York, to Edward J. Burns, a police sergeant, and Molly Burns, a Federal Aviation Administration manager. There were many movie buffs in his Irish-Catholic family, inspiring Burns to make short films at Hunter College. After graduating, he worked as a production assistant for various television shows, including Entertainment Tonight. When not at his day job, Burns concentrated on making the 45-minute movie Brandy, which was shown at the 1992 Independent Feature Film Market. Afterward, he was ready for feature films.

'The Brothers McMullen'

One year later, Ed Burns completed The Brothers McMullen. He produced it in only eight months, shooting it at his parents' house with a budget under $30,000. The story revolves around three Irish-Catholic brothers from Long Island and their various dramas. Burns portrayed one of the siblings. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival. It also solidified Burns' career in independent features after earning $10 million at the box office. The up-and-coming filmmaker produced She's the One a year later, with Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz. Despite not making a box-office splash with this follow-up or any others, Burns remains committed to being an independent-film trailblazer. In fact, his 2007 rom-com Purple Violets was the first feature film to debut on iTunes.

Acting for Other Directors

Ed Burns stars not just in his own flicks, but in other people's as well. Some notable examples include Steven Spielberg's 1998 World War II saga, Saving Private Ryan, and Tyler Perry's 2012 thriller, Alex Cross, based on a James Patterson novel. Next, Burns will team up with Billy Bob Thornton for the baseball movie Three Nights, about a 2003 series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.

Time on Television

TV projects are also part of Burns' repertoire. In front of the camera, he's had story arcs on programs like Will & Grace and Entourage. Behind the scenes, he took a crack at creating a show with his brother, Brian Burns, and their production company, Irish Twins. Unfortunately, his 2001 comedic series, The Fighting Fitzgeralds, about an Irish firefighter and his family, lasted only one season. Burns had better luck writing for an established show: The episode he penned for The Wire was nominated for an NAACP Award in 2002.

Marrying a Supermodel

Before his marriage, Burns was romantically linked with several of his co-stars, including Maxine Bahns, Lauren Holly and Heather Graham. But it was a model and not an actress who stole his heart. He married Christy Turlington in 2003. That same year, the couple gave birth to daughter Grace. In 2006, they had son Finn. This family man has come a long way personally and professionally since making The Brothers McMullen. He's now considering a sequel to the movie for the 20th anniversary of its release, in 2015.

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