“When I was a teenager my sister burst in the door and said they were shooting a movie down the street where we lived. It was a picture called Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970). I ran down there and saw all these guys wearing shorts and sandals and they had hair down to their waist — this was an era when you couldn’t get a job if you had long hair. So I approached them and the film crew was very nice to me, gave me food and I watched everybody work. I was completely mesmerized by the process and stayed there until the sun came up.”
David Valdes – Biography
David Valdes is one of the film industry’s busiest and most respected film producers. During the course of his long and diversified career, he has enjoyed successful collaborations with such noted filmmakers as Clint Eastwood, Francis Ford Coppola, Frank Darabont, Kevin Costner and has helped launch the careers of a number of popular actors.
He is currently producing Avatar 2.
Mr. Valdes produced The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington and directed by the Hughes brothers in Albuquerque, New Mexico. David’s feature film Babylon A.D. starring Vin Diesel was released and the previous year, he enjoyed two Academy Award nominations for his most recent Warner Bros. western entitled The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford starring Brad Pitt. Prior to Jesse James, David wrapped another western (independent) entitled Open Range directed by Kevin Costner and starring Robert Duvall, Annette Bening and Sir Michael Gambon that was released domestically by Disney. David produced the re-imagining of The Time Machine based on the H.G. Wells’ classic science fiction novel for DreamWorks and Warner Bros. in 2000 and before this, received four Academy Award nominations (including one for Best Picture) for The Green Mile.
Other motion picture producer credits include Turbulence, featuring Ray Liotta and Lauren Holly; A Perfect World, starring Kevin Costner and Clint Eastwood; and The Stars Fell on Henrietta, with Robert Duvall and Aidan Quinn. He successfully teamed Clint Eastwood and Charlie Sheen in The Rookie, and likewise paired Dudley Moore and Kirk Cameron in LikeFather, Like Son. David served as the producer on Pink Cadillac and on the last of the popular series of Dirty Harry movies The Dead Pool, which marked the feature film debuts of Jim Carrey and Liam Neeson. In total, Mr. Valdes has collaborated on seventeen (17) films with Clint Eastwood.
David served as the sole executive producer on Clint Eastwood’s acclaimed revisionist Western
Unforgiven, which won four Academy awards, including one for Best Picture; and Wolfgang
Petersen’s multiple Oscar-nominated hit In The Line Of Fire, starring Eastwood, Rene Russo and
John Malkovich. He was also the executive producer on Eastwood’s critically acclaimed biopic Bird, starring Forest Whitaker, and White Hunter, Black Heart starring Clint Eastwood. Among the four movies he did with Francis Ford Coppola, most recently he served as the executive producer on the Vietnam War-era drama Gardens of Stone.
Among his extensive television credits David cites his tenure as a director of the innovative series Moonlighting, starring Cybil Shepherd and Bruce Willis, as his most challenging experience. He worked in all television formats; movies-of-the-week, series, commercials, and music videos before finding his niche as a producer of motion pictures.
Born and raised in southern California, David earned a Bachelor of Theatre Arts degree from UCLA graduating magna cum laude. He began his film career as an assistant director working alongside such esteemed directors as Martin Scorsese, Wim Wenders and beginning his longtime association with Clint Eastwood and Francis Ford Coppola. Some of the films on which he worked as an assistant director include The Raging BuIl, Oh God! Book II, Any Which Way You Can, Hammett, The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, Sudden Impact, and Tightrope. He later segued into producing as an associate producer on Eastwood’s Pale Rider in 1984.
He is a member of many organizations including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America and the American Film Institute. Currently he sits on the Board of Directors for the Latino Theater Company (LTC) and is also a mentor to graduate students studying at the USC Peter Stark graduate producers program.