Ron Shelton was born in Whittier, California and raised in Santa Barbara. A graduate of Westmont College and University of Arizona, Shelton also played professional baseball before becoming a filmmaker.
Shelton wrote 1983’s political drama Under Fire, his first film which was directed by Roger Spottiswoode and follows a journalist (Nick Nolte) covering the Nicaraguan revolution. Shelton’s 1988 Oscar-nominated screenplay for BULL DURHAM also marked directorial debut. The film garnered critical acclaim for Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, while Shelton was honored by the Writers Guild of America (Best Original Screenplay), the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics.
Blaze (1989) starred Paul Newman as Louisiana Governor Earl Long and Lolita Davidovich as “Blaze Star,” the stripper for whom Long jeopardized his political career. Shelton then teamed up with Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes in the 1992 basketball comedy White Men Can’t Jump. Cobb (1994), starring Tommy Lee Jones, was Shelton’s uncompromising depiction of one of baseball’s darkest heroes. Shelton and Costner re-teamed in 1996 with the romantic golf comedy Tin Cup. Play It to The Bone (1999) starred Woody Harrelson, Antonio Banderas, Lolita Davidovich and Lucy Liu in a road movie about boxing.
Shelton directed Dark Blue with Kurt Russell in the summer of 2001. The film was written by David Ayer and based on original material by James Ellroy. In 2003, Shelton co-wrote and directed Hollywood Homicide as well as co-wrote Bad Boys II directed by Michael Bay and starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
Shelton earned a Peabody Award in 2011 for directing Jordan Rides the Bus, a documentary about Michael Jordan’s brief career in minor league baseball for ESPN’s acclaimed 30 for 30 television series.
Bull Durhamn, the Musical, with book by Ron Shelton, music by Susan Werner, and produced by Jack Viertel, Laura Stanczyk and the Jujamcyn Theater Group, opens on Broadway Fall 2018.