Alumni Hot Shots {University Communications}

Image: Photos of SF State alumni

Film & Television

Photo of Jack Angel

Jack Angel
Director, actor, costume designer
This veteran voice artist has done the talking for dozens of animated characters in feature films, including Teddy in "A.I.," Astrotrain in "Transformers" and various voices in the "Toy Story" franchise.

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Photo of Annette Bening

Annette Bening
Actor
Long before she conquered Tinseltown and Warren Beatty's heart, this "American Beauty"and four-time Oscar nominee was a standout in the drama department, starring in Chekhov's "Three Sisters" and other productions.

Photo of Alex Borstein

Alex Borstein
Comedian, actress
One risqué song may have brought an end to her regular comedy gigs at Mary Ward Hall, but it didn't hurt her career. After five seasons on "MADtv," Borstein has performed at venues across the country and on the silver screen.
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Photo of Christopher Boyes

Christopher Boyes
Sound engineer/recording engineer
As an undergrad he was asked to make a film using sound only; It came out barely audible. Now a four-time Oscar winner ("Titanic," "Pearl Harbor," "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and "King Kong"), he's known as one of the best in the business.

Photo of David Carradine

David Carradine
Actor
While studying acting at SF State under the legendary Jules Irving and Herbert Blau, this star of Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" films and TV's "Kung Fu" supported himself working the graveyard shift cleaning tanks at a beer brewery.
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Photo of Dana Carvey

Dana Carvey
Actor/comedian
The comic genius who gave us the Church Lady and Wayne's sidekick, Garth, brought along his SF State classmates to fill seats when he started playing comedy clubs in the '70s.

Photo of Peter Casey

Peter Casey
TV producer
The executive producer of TV's "Frasier" couldn't attend the broadcast department's 50th birthday party but made up for it by taping a congratulatory message with Kelsey Grammar and David Hyde Pierce.

Photo of Michael Paul Chan

Michael Paul Chan
Actor
Continuing to enjoy a prolific career in film and TV, Chan stars as Lt. Mike Tao on the hit series The Closer. His feature film credits include "Spy Game", "The Insider", "The Joy Luck Club", "Falling Down", and "The Goonies". Chan's brother and wife are also SF State alums.

Photo of Glen Charles

Glen Charles
TV writer/producer
He and his brother, Les, were the co-creators and executive producers of "Cheers" for its 11-year run on NBC. Fellow alumnus Peter Casey has Glen to thank for creating the pompous yet endearing psychiatrist named Frasier Crane.

Photo of Lisa Cholodenk

Lisa Cholodenko
Screenwriter/director
This Oscar-nominee, whose credits include "The Kids Are All Right," says her time at SF State taught her how to be a better storyteller.

Photo of Curtis Choy

Curtis Choy
Filmmaker
The S.F. International Asian American Film Festival bestowed its 2003 Spotlight honor on this director of "The Fall of the I-Hotel," which chronicles the brutal evictions of elderly Filipinos from a San Francisco residence hotel.

Photo of Peter Coyote

Peter Coyote
Actor/activist
This New Jersey-born film star and left-leaning political activist moved West to study creative writing at SF State. His chronicle of life in the radical '60s is called "Sleeping Where I Fall."
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Photo of Roger Dobkowitz

Roger Dobkowitz
Producer
His thesis on scandals on television game shows caught the attention of network execs who asked him to "come on down" and work on "The Price is Right." He has been a producer on the show for more than two decades.

Photo of Arthur Dong

Arthur Dong
Filmmaker
Just for fun, he submitted his SF State senior thesis, a documentary called "Sewing Woman," for Oscar consideration in the short subject category in 1982. It won a nomination.
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Photo of Danny Glover

Danny Glover
Actor/activist
The "Lethal Weapon" star and champion of progressive political causes cut his activist teeth marching in demonstrations during the 1968-69 campus strike at SF State.

Photo of Michael L. Grace

Michael L. Grace
Writer/producer
He wrote/produced the internationally performed award-winning musical "Snoopy," the play "Kennedy," movies for TV, was a staff writer on "Love Boat" and "Knots Landing" and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta.

Photo of David Gropman

David Gropman
Production designer
This creative arts grad received an Oscar nomination for his art direction in "The Cider House Rules." His wide-ranging production design credits include "Hairspray," "Doubt" and "Life of Pi."

Photo of Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson
Film Producer
He served as executive producer on both the Disney feature film “Secretariat” and the DreamWorks Pictures comedy “I Love You, Man.”

Photo of Delroy Lindo

Delroy Lindo
Actor
Delroy Lindo was 50 years old and already famous when he enrolled in the cinema program at SF State under a pseudonym he won't reveal. He's appeared in more than 40 films, including "Cider House Rules," "Get Shorty" and Spike Lee's "Malcolm X."

Photo of Shawn Murphy

Shawn Murphy
Sound mixer/recording engineer
He has worked behind the scenes of more than 300 films and TV programs including stints as sound supervisor for the annual Academy Awards show. A three-time Oscar nominee himself, he took home a gold statuette for Best Sound ("Jurassic Park") in 1993.

Photo of Steven Okazaki

Steven Okazaki
Filmmaker
In 1991, this film major won an Oscar for his short-subject documentary, "Days of Waiting." In 2006, he was nominated for another Oscar in the same category for "The Mushroom Club," a film that deals with the effects of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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Photo of Marcy Page

Marcy Page
Animated film producer
She's worked at the National Film Board of Canada since 1990 as a director and producer of animated films, including the Academy Award-nominated "My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts," and "Ryan," the recipient of the 2005 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.

Photo of David Pollock

Anthony Peckham
Screenwriter/producer
At SF State, this South African native was introduced to the films of Clint Eastwood, his future collaborator on "Invictus."
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Photo of David Pollock

David Pollock
TV writer/producer
His numerous credits include co-writing the final episode of "M*A*S*H" in 1983. Watched by fans in 50 million homes the night it aired, the episode remains the most-watched program in television history.

Photo of Jonas Rivera

Jonas Rivera
Producer
This cinema graduate has worked on every Pixar film ever made, from an internship behind the scenes of “Toy Story” to his work as producer of the Oscar-nominated "Up."

Photo of Jay Rosenblatt

Jay Rosenblatt
Filmmaker
Found footage of Adolph Hitler calmly eating a piece of bread gave him the idea for "Human Remains," his haunting documentary which illustrates the banality of evil by creating intimate portraits of reviled dictators. It received a jury award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.
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Photo of David Sacks

David Sacks
Television executive
In just three years this radio/tv and film grad rose from an entry-level position in the Universal Studios mailroom to become an associate vice president. Now he's a senior vice president at Warner Bros. Television.

Photo of Ronnie Schell

Ronnie Schell
Actor/comedian
While a student at SF State, this "Gomer Pyle USA" star was getting yuks opening for Phyllis Diller and the Kingston Trio at North Beach's Purple Onion.

Photo of Jacqueline Phillips Shedd and Ben Shedd

Ben Shedd
Filmmaker
Jacqueline Phillips Shedd
Producer/lawyer
After switching from acting to directing at SF State, Ben teamed with Jacqueline on their first independent film, "The Flight  of the Gossamer Condor." The film received the 1978 Oscar for Documentary Short Subject.

Photo of Corey Sienega

Corey Sienega
Producer
This former teaching assistant was so captivated by a class screening of Orson Welles' "A Touch of Evil," she neglected to prep the final reel in time for the changeover. Clearly she learned from the mistake. She's since produced films including "Martian Child," "Miss Potter," "Secondhand Lions" and "Frailty."

Photo of Lisanne Skyler

Lisanne Skyler
Writer/director
Receiving both support and criticism from Professors Pat Ferrero, Karen Holmes and Bob Lewis helped this cinema student hone her skills. Her first feature film, "Getting to Know You," played in the 1999 Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Competition and received rave reviews.

Photo of Jeffrey Tambor

Jeffrey Tambor
Actor
A five-time Emmy nominee, he started his theatrical training at SF State at an early age. He was only 8 years old when he wandered across the street from his family's home in Parkmerced and into the Little Theatre.

Photo of Steve Zaillian

Steve Zaillian
Screenwriter
As a kid he ushered at a movie theater watching the films of producers and directors he'd one day work alongside. His screenplay for "Schindler's List" won an Oscar in 1993.

 


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