Gerald William Abrams

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Gerald William Abrams

Also Known As: "Gerry"
Birthplace: Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel David Abrams and Lillian Abrams
Widower of Carol Ann Abrams
Father of J. J. Abrams and Private
Brother of Allan Richard Abrams

Occupation: Television producer.
Managed by: Joan Davidson
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Gerald William Abrams

Emmy Award-nominated television producer Gerald W. Abrams is best known for the large number of TV movies he has produced since the mid-1970s. He is also the father of Star Trek director J.J. Abrams.

Abrams graduated from Penn State University and began his television career in 1965 with WCBS-TV as an account executive. He worked his way up through CBS Television national sales to head the West Coast Sales Department in 1971. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed General Sales Manager of KCBS-TV, the CBS-owned station in Los Angeles.

In 1973, Abrams joined The Jozak Company as Vice President of Creative Affairs, and segued into his producing career by producing a GE Theater television movie, The Secret Life of John Chapman. While with Jozak, a few of the projects Abrams executive-produced were James Dean, Portrait Of A Friend, Red Alert, the Emmy award-winning The Defection of Simas Kudirka, starring Alan Arkin, and the ABC series Julie Farr, M.D.

Abrams formed his own company, Cypress Point Productions, in 1978. Through Cypress Point, he executive-produced Flesh & Blood, starring John Cassavetes and Denzel Washington, Letters From Frank, starring Art Carney, The Gift starring Glenn Ford, Act Of Love, starring Ron Howard and Mickey Rourke, Berlin Tunnel 21, starring Richard Thomas, Marian Rose White, starring Katherine Ross and Valerie Perrine, the CBS series Cutter To Houston, starring Alec Baldwin, Found Money, starring Dick Van Dyke and Sid Caesar, Scorned And Swindled, starring Tuesday Weld, the Emmy award-winning Florence Nightingale, and A Woman Called Golda, starring Ingrid Bergman for Operation Primetime.

In addition to his television credits, Abrams was also the executive producer of Hearts Of Fire, a theatrical film for Lorimar, starring Bob Dylan and Rupert Everett.

Abrams formed Phoenix Entertainment Group with Gerald Isenberg in July 1985. In February 1989, Phoenix was acquired by The Hearst Corporation and renamed Hearst Entertainment Productions where he served as the Co-Chairman.

Abrams was also the producer of the four-hour miniseries, Monte Carlo, shot entirely on location in France, and executive-producer of A Father's Revenge, for ABC, which was filmed in Berlin, starring Brian Dennehy and Joanna Cassidy. Also in '89, he executive-produced the two-hour movie for ABC and London Weekend Television, Jekyll & Hyde, starring Michael Caine and Cheryl Ladd, filmed on location in England, which was followed by Daughter Of Darkness, starring Anthony Perkins, which was filmed in Budapest, Hungary, for CBS. Abrams also executive produced Family of Spies, the five-hour mini-series for CBS starring Powers Boothe and Lesley Ann Warren for which she was nominated for an Emmy.

Abrams executive produced Black and Blue, based on Pulitzer Prize winning author Anna Quindlen’s best selling novel, as well as Nuremberg, a four-hour mini-series for Turner Network Television starring Alec Baldwin and Brian Cox, which was nominated for both the Golden Globes and Emmy Awards, and Second Honeymoon starring Roma Downey and Tim Matheson for CBS. Following the critical success of those films, Abrams executive produced the Hallmark Channel’s A Christmas Visitor.

In 2003, Abrams executive produced 44 Minutes, the FX Network’s highest rated show in its nine-year history as well as the Emmy winning Out of the Ashes for Showtime starring Christine Lahti and directed by Joseph Sargent.

In March 2004, ABC aired The Mystery of Natalie Wood, executive produced by Abrams and based on Suzanne Finstad’s biography of Natalie Wood. Additionally, Abrams made See Arnold Run with Michael Goldstein about the historic California recall election for A&E. For ESPN in 2005, Abrams produced Four Minutes starring Christopher Plummer, chronicling Roger Bannister’s feat of being the first to run one mile in under four minutes, and is developing The Jack Johnson Story a look at the flamboyant life of the world’s first black heavyweight boxing champion.

In 2009, Abrams, alongside James McGrath, his son's father-in-law, had a cameo as a barfly in Star Trek.

Personal Life

Gerald’s late wife, Carol Abrams, is a Peabody Award winning producer and co-author of Shared Memories. They have two children: Director-producer-screenwriter J.J. Abrams, and Tracy Abrams, a screenwriter who has written TV movies and for series television.

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Gerald William Abrams's Timeline

September 26, 1939
Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States
June 27, 1966
Age 26
New York City, New York, United States