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Randall Wallace

Randall Wallace
Born (1949-07-28) July 28, 1949
Middle Fork, Tennessee
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, producer and songwriter

Randall Wallace (born July 28, 1949) is an American screenwriter, director, producer, and songwriter who came to prominence by writing the screenplay for the 1995 film Braveheart. His work on the film earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay and a Writers Guild of America award for Best Screenplay Adapted Directly for the Screen. He directed The Man in the Iron Mask, We Were Soldiers, and Secretariat.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Other work 3
  • Filmography 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Born in Jackson, Tennessee, he lived in Memphis and Henderson County, Tennessee before moving to Virginia. Wallace began writing stories at the age of seven. He graduated from E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Virginia and attended Duke University, where he studied Russian, religion, and literature and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He put himself through a graduate year of seminary by teaching martial arts. Wallace holds a black belt in karate.[1]


After managing an animal show at Nashville’s Opryland, Wallace moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in singing and songwriting. He began writing short stories, novels and scripts for movies. Wallace was taken under the wing of leading television producer Stephen J. Cannell and spent several years writing for television in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He gained recognition and commercial success by penning the screenplay for Braveheart (1995), which was inspired by a trip to Scotland to learn more about his Scottish roots. While there, he discovered the legend of the medieval Scottish patriot William Wallace. He is not related to William Wallace in any way, however. Braveheart became Wallace’s first screenplay to be produced after it drew the interest of director and star, Mel Gibson. It ended up as one of the most successful films of 1995, earning the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director as well as garnering other Oscar, Golden Globe, and Writers Guild Award for Best Screenplay nominations.

Wallace made his directorial debut with his own screenplay in The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, John Malkovich, Gabriel Byrne, Jeremy Irons and Gérard Depardieu. Shortly after, he wrote the screenplay for Pearl Harbor (2001), directed by Michael Bay and starring Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale.

This was followed by Wallace’s second film as director We Were Soldiers (2002). Moved by its starkly honest account of a singular battle in the Vietnam War, Mel Gibson re-teamed with Wallace to star in the film. Wallace trained with career soldiers at U.S. Army Ranger School in order to understand the motivation of his characters.

In 2010, Wallace directed Disney’s Secretariat, the true story of the racehorse that won the Triple Crown in 1973. The film chronicled the struggles and courage of owner Penny Chenery-Tweedy, portrayed by Academy Award-nominated actress Diane Lane. Wallace also wrote the end title song, It’s Who You Are, which was released with the Secretariat soundtrack.[2]

Wallace has been developing a movie about the Vikings with Mel Gibson.[3]

Wallace directed Heaven Is for Real, the story of a boy who says that he experienced heaven. The film was released on April 16, 2014.

Other work

Wallace is also the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels and the lyricist of the acclaimed hymn "Mansions of the Lord", performed as the closing music for President Ronald Reagan's national funeral.

In 2008, Wallace wrote several songs with singer/songwriter Richard Marx. One of those songs, "Flame In Your Fire", appears on Marx's album Emotional Remains.

In interviews he has acknowledged a deep commitment to Christianity, which he credits as an influence on his approach to filmmaking.[1][4]

He appeared in the seventh season of HBO’s hit comedy series Entourage as himself.

In addition to his work as a filmmaker, Wallace is the founder of Hollywood for Habitat for Humanity and the father of two sons. In 1999, he formed his own company, Wheelhouse Entertainment, which is focused on creating entertainment for worldwide audiences based on the classic values of love, courage and honor.

Wallace was the speaker at the Fellowship Foundation National Prayer Breakfast on 3 February 2011.[5]

Wallace also served as the commencement speaker at the Liberty University graduation ceremony on May 14, 2011.[6]


Year Film Director (Executive)
Writer Actor Notes
1995 Braveheart
Won—Writers Guild of America Award
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
1996 Dark Angel
1998 The Man in the Iron Mask
2001 Pearl Harbor
Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay
2002 We Were Soldiers
The Rookie
Texas Oilman
2010 Secretariat
2014 Heaven Is for Real
2016 Hacksaw Ridge


  1. ^ a b Stagg, Elizabeth (Winter 2005). "Seeking the Holy Among the Sacred and Profane". Divinity Online Edition Four (2). Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  2. ^ Director Randall Wallace on "Secretariat": An in-depth interview,
  3. ^ "Mel Gibson Talks 'Untitled Viking Movie,' 'Machete' Sequel and More at 'Get The Gringo' Premiere". Retrieved 2014-03-19. 
  4. ^ David, Eric (2006-10-18). "Hero Maker".  
  5. ^ Wallace, Randall (2011-02-03). "Fellowship Foundation National Prayer Breakfast". C-Span Video Library. Retrieved 2011-02-07. 
  6. ^ Wallace, Randall (2011-03-28). "Filmmaker Randall Wallace to speak at Commencement". Retrieved 2011-05-14. 

External links

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