Ron Austin Professional Biography
Ron Austin, a writer and producer in Hollywood for over fifty years, is the author of “In a New Light: Spirituality and the Media Arts” (2006) and “Peregrino: A Pilgrim Journey into Catholic Mexico” (2010). His essays on the relationship of faith and the media arts are in the anthologies Behind the Screen and Things of Heaven and Earth, and his autobiographical account of Christian-Jewish relationships in Hollywood, Star Crossed, will be published by Eerdmans early next year. He has written for several journals and periodicals such as Catholic World Today, the French edition of Communio, Citta Nuova (Rome), and the Image Quarterly, a Journal of Arts and Religion, on whose editorial board he has served since its inception.
He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, and the Directors Guild. A former member of the board of directors of the Writers Guild of America, he is the recipient of a Guild award for lifetime achievement on behalf of writers and the Hollywood community. He is a founding member of Catholics in Media as well as the Chairman of the Windhover Forum, a non-profit Catholic educational foundation.
Born in Hollywood, he worked as an actor in theater productions under the direction of Charlie Chaplin before graduating from the Los Angeles City College drama department and then the UCLA film school. Among his instructors were Kenneth MacGowan, John Howard Lawson, the director Jean Renoir, and the pioneering acting teacher, Viola Spolin.
He began his television career as one of the producers of the first “police reality” show on TV. His subsequent work in Hollywood as a writer and producer included feature films and over a hundred primetime TV credits, including popular shows such as Charlie's Angels and Mission Impossible as well as the British mini-series, Q.E.D. He has also produced several documentaries including The Hidden Gift, an account of the human rights crisis in Sudan which premiered at the United States Holocaust Museum. He was an associate producer of the newly rediscovered film, The Exiles, now considered an American classic. More recently, he was the creative supervisor of the experimental feature film, Blue and Green, which has been exhibited at numerous festivals.
He has taught screenwriting at the University of Southern California graduate film school, as well as the Writers Guild Open Door Program, the Cine Citta school in Rome, and the Act One Program in Hollywood.
A convert to Roman Catholicism, he has served as the director of a Catholic Charities program for homeless men and as a volunteer prison chaplain. He remains an active friend of Focolare, an international Catholic lay movement, and most recently was inducted into the College of Fellows of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley.
Most recently, he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California where he now lectures periodically and conducts a workshop on the media arts.