Open main menu

Jonathan Michael "Jon" Avnet (born November 17, 1949), is an American director, writer and producer.

Jon Avnet
Jon Avnet.jpg
Jon Avnet presenting Art Directors Guild award in 2014
Jonathan Michael Avnet

(1949-11-17) November 17, 1949 (age 69)
Brooklyn, New York City
EducationAFI Conservatory
Alma materSarah Lawrence College
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, film producer
Known forco-founder of Avnet–Kerner Productions
Spouse(s)Barbara Brody
FamilyCharles Avnet (grandfather) Celia Avnet (grandmother) Lester Francis Avnet (father)

Early lifeEdit

Avnet was born to a Jewish family[1] in Brooklyn, the son of Joan Bertha (née Grossman) and Lester Francis Avnet, a corporate executive with Avnet (a Global distributor of IT & electronics)[2][3][4] founded by his grandfather, Charles Avnet. He attended Great Neck North High School in Great Neck, New York.[5] He earned a B.A. degree in film and theater arts from Sarah Lawrence College in 1971.[6]


Avnet directed his first movie, Fried Green Tomatoes, in 1991, followed by The War in 1994, with Elijah Wood in the lead and Kevin Costner in a supporting role as his father. He directed Up Close & Personal in 1996, which was loosely based on the life of Jessica Savitch. It was written by Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne and starred Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer. Avnet addressed political issues with his fourth film Red Corner in 1997, a movie about the Chinese legal system, starring Richard Gere and Bai Ling. Because of Gere's presence and support for Tibet and the Dalai Lama, they could not film in China, and the settings had to be recreated in Southern California. Avnet, however, did film a few scenes in Beijing and also put in some footage of actual Chinese executions.[6] Avnet was also the executive producer of the 2010 movie Black Swan.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Avnet has been married to the artist Barbara Brody since 1975.[8]





  1. ^ Interfaith Family: "Have a Little Faith: A Story of Two Good Men" by Neil Bloom November 22, 2011
  2. ^ "Jon Avnet Biography (1949-)".
  3. ^ New York Times: "Joan Avnet, Dealer, Collector and Donor Of Art, Is Dead at 80" By Rita Reif January 15, 1994
  4. ^ New York Times: "L.F. Avnet Dead; Industrialist, 57" January 4, 1970
  5. ^ Famous Great Neck Alumni from the 1960s, Great Neck School District. Accessed July 21, 2007.
  6. ^ a b "Jon Avnet: Biography". Yahooo Entertainment. Archived from the original on April 10, 2008. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  7. ^ "Jon Avnet Filmography".
  8. ^ "Barbara Brody Avnet".

External linksEdit