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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Filmmaker Joel Silver Inducted Into Maplewood’s Hall Of Fame

Columbia High School, which serves students from Maplewood and South Orange, has announced that four notable graduates will be inducted into its Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

Joel Silver, CHS ’70, a South Orange native and producer of “Die Hard,” “The Matrix,” and many other iconic films, is one of them. Silver is a co-owner of a production firm with Robert Zemeckis, a well-known director.

Grace Mirabella, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, and the two alums who co-founded Ultimate Frisbee with Joel Silver will also be honored by the institution.

Joel Silver was born in the town of South Orange in the year 1952. He attended the South Orange-Maplewood School District from kindergarten to eighth grade before attending Columbia High School, where he graduated in 1970. During his time at CHS, he wrote for the Columbian and founded a film festival that lasted all day. Joel devised and wrote the rules for Ultimate Frisbee, which was originally planned as a Frisbee competition between Student Council and the school newspaper, with the help of his close friends “Buzzy” Hellring and Jonny Hines. Ultimate Frisbee has since grown into a global sport.

Joel moved on to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University to pursue film production. Joel went on to work for Lawrence Gordon Productions, where he initially worked as an assistant producer on “The Warriors,” a 1979 picture. Joel would go on to become the motion picture division’s President. Silver produced “48 Hours” (1982), “Streets of Fire” (1984), and “Brewster’s Millions” (1985) for Gordon Productions (1985).

Joel founded Silver Pictures in 1985 and produced a variety of action films, including “Commando” (1985), the “Lethal Weapon” franchise (1987-1998), the “Die Hard” franchise (1988-2020), and the first two films in the “Predator” series (1987). (1999).

“Split Personality,” an episode of HBO’s horror anthology “Tales from the Crypt,” was directed by Joel in 1992. Silver Pictures and Dark Castle Entertainment, which he co-owns with Robert Zemeckis, are his current production firms.

In 2005, Joel and co-founders Bernard “Buzzy” Hellring, Jr. and Jonathan H. “Jonny” Hines were inducted into the USA Ultimate Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization that acts as the regulatory body of the sport of Ultimate Frisbee in the United States.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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