October 8, 1965
Washington D.C., United States
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Writer-director Burr Steers brought a light, witty touch to a variety of film and television projects, including "Igby Goes Down" (2002), "17 Again" (2010) and "Charlie St. Cloud" (2010). Born Burr Gore Steers in Washington, D.C. in October 1965, he hailed from a long line of political and business figures: he was a distant relative of Vice President Aaron Burr, from whom he drew his given name, while his great-great grandfather, Oliver Burr Jennings, was the founder of Standard Oil. His parents were Republican congressman Newton Ivan Steers, Jr., and Nina Gore Auchincloss, whose step- and half-siblings included First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and writer Gore Vidal. Steers was raised in Bethesda, Maryland, where his educational record was marked by expulsions from both the Hotchkiss School and Culver Military Academy. He eventually gained his GED and attended New York University before trying his hand at a career in acting. Minor roles in "Billy the Kid" (TNT, 1989), a TV adaptation of Vidal's biographical novel, and in Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" (1992) and "Pulp Fiction" (1993) - he was the ill-fated flunky whose unfortunate haircut earned him the nickname "Flock of Seagulls" from Samuel L. Jackson - preceded his debut as writer and director on "Igby Goes Down" (2002), an acidic coming-of-age story about a privileged young man (played by Kieran Culkin) who rebels against his wealthy, dysfunctional family. A critical hit at the time of its release, the film, which drew inspiration in part from Steers' own upbringing, was followed by the script for the Matthew McConaghey vehicle "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" (2003) and directorial assignments for a variety of television series, including "Big Love" (HBO, 2006-2011). In 2009, Steers returned to feature directing for the first of two back-to-back films with teen star Zac Efron: "17 Again" (2010) offered a take on the well-worn time travel/return to the past trope, with Efron as the teenaged version of frazzled businessman Matthew Perry, while "Charlie St. Cloud" (2010) was a melodrama, adapted from the novel by Ben Sherwood, about a young man contending with the death of his brother. Three years passed before Steers returned to features, this time as the producer of the documentary "Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia" (2013), a thoughtful tribute to the life and accomplishments of his relative. Off-screen, however, Steers and his mother were involved in a bitter legal battle with Vidal's estate after his entire fortune and assets were bequeathed in his will to Harvard University. While contending with this issue, Steers was selected to helm the film adaptation of the popular parody novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which was slated for a 2016 release.
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