John Gallagher To Receive HeartShare's Linda Dano Heart Award
Indie film icon John Gallagher will be honored by HeartShare Charities with the Linda Dano Heart Award at their annual spring gala on March 21, 2019 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom. The award honors a celebrity who has demonstrated the highest commitment to the betterment of the lives of at-risk populations, particularly those with intellectual/ developmental disabilities and/or children and youth. Founded in 1914, HeartShare is a leading charity with diverse social and medical programs.
A fixture on the New York scene for 40 years as a director, writer, producer, author, historian and educator, John's track record is especially strong in discovering and mentoring new talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Among the actors John has worked with in debut or significant early roles are John Leguizamo, Amanda Peet, Zach Braff, Michael Imperioli, Gretchen Mol, Matthew Lillard, Heather Matarazzo, Steve Stanulis, Samantha Scaffidi, and Denis Leary. His films include Beach House (1982, New Line Cinema), Kurt Vonnegut's Long Walk to Forever (A&E), Street Hunter (1990, Columbia/ TriStar), the multi-award winning feature Men Lie (1994, Panorama) and the cult comedy classic The Deli (1997, Warner/Ryko))
Blue Moon (2000, Castle Hill), also written and directed by Gallagher, followed, starring Ben Gazzara, Rita Moreno, Burt Young, and in an early role, Zach Braff. Gallagher also began a teaching career at School of Visual Arts, that continues to this day with his popular classes at One on One NYC. Other features include the improv comedy Cupidity (2004, Angel Baby), and The Insurgents (2006, Mill Creek). He directed a series of award-winning shorts (I Love You, Beautiful, We Remember, Want, Wink) and wrote the books Film Directors on Directing and Nothing Sacred: The Cinema of William Wellman (with Frank Thompson)..
In 2013 John almost perished in a fire and was given only a 10% chance of survival. After six weeks in a coma and six months in hospital, he survived and thrived, making eight films since, continuing to do what he loves and inspiring others with his upbeat attitude and sense of humor. "While I can no longer jump around on set," he says, "I direct out of a wheelchair, with no detriment to my talent or the film's schedule-as long as I don't do Westerns!"
His first post-hospital movie was The Networker (2015, The Orchard), starring Steve Stanulis, William Forsythe, Sean Young and Stephen Baldwin, and he debuted Sarah Q (2018, Goddess Girl Films) at the Golden Door International Film Festival, where Emmy James was awarded Best Actress in a Feature. Sarah Q, a serio-comic tale about a young woman in acting school in Manhattan, stars Oscar nominees Burt Young and Sally Kirkland and The Sopranos' Tony Sirico, Vincent Pastore, Federico Castelluccio, William DeMeo, and Artie Pasquale, with Steve Stanulis, Garry Pastore, Joseph D'Onofrio and Ashlee Macropoulos. A theatrical release is planned for 2019.
The Linda Dano Heart Award is his fourth career achievement award is John's fourth career award to date.