Westport Library honors Barry Levinson
Booked for the evening
Library director Maxine Bleiweis with Mr. and Mrs. Levinson
Academy Award-winning director, screenwriter, and producer Barry Levinson was the honoree for the Westport Library’s signature annual benefit Booked for the evening with a turnout of nearly 400 people.
Known for his innovative style and prolific creative ability, Levinson was awarded the Best Director Oscar in 1988 for the multiple award-winning Rain Man starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, and nominated for ten Academy Awards for directing and producing Bugsy in 1991. As a screenwriter, Levinson received Oscar nominations for …And Justice for All, Diner, and Avalon. More of his productions, from The Natural to Good Morning, Vietnam to Sleepers, were huge box office hits.
The film Diner (1982), a small comedy about young men discussing record collections and girlfriends over a table, caused a fundamental shift in popular film culture. A recent Vanity Fair article cited Levinson’s “genius” in creating the film and credited it with revolutionizing film writing and acting, and becoming the standard for shows like Seinfeld, Pulp Fiction, and The Office.
Levinson’s career has spanned three decades, beginning in Los Angeles where he started acting as well as writing and performing comedy routines. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, he attended American University in Washington, DC, which later granted him the Doctor of Fine Arts for his defining impact on the motion picture and television industry. Levinson’s long list of productions includes Wag the Dog with Dustin Hoffman; Bandits with Bruce Willis and Cate Blanchett; Good Morning, Vietnam with Robin Williams, Christopher Walken, Laura Linney, and Jeff Goldblum; What Just Happened with Robert De Niro; and most recently You Don’t Know Jack starring Al Pacino. Throughout his career, Levinson has consistently enriched the art of American film.