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Edward Bunker is a Actor, Scriptwriter and In Memory Of American born on 31 december 1933 at Hollywood (USA)

Edward Bunker

Edward Bunker
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Nationality USA
Birth 31 december 1933 at Hollywood (USA)
Death 19 july 2005 (at 71 years) at Burbank (USA)

For the founder of Bunkerville, Nevada, see Edward Bunker (Mormon).

Edward Heward Bunker (December 31, 1933 – July 19, 2005) was an American author of crime fiction, a screenwriter, and an actor. He wrote numerous books, some of which have been adapted into films. He was a screenwriter on Straight Time (1978), Runaway Train (1985) and Animal Factory (2000).

He started on a criminal career at a very early age, and continued on this path throughout the years, returning to prison again and again. He was convicted of bank robbery, drug dealing, extortion, armed robbery, and forgery. A repeating pattern of convictions, paroles, releases and escapes, further crimes and new convictions continued until he was released yet again from prison in 1975, at which point he finally left his criminal days permanently behind. Bunker stayed out of jail thereafter, and instead focused on his career as a writer and actor.


Early life
Bunker was born "on New Year's Eve, 1933" into a troubled family in Los Angeles. His mother, Sarah (née Johnston), was a chorus girl from Vancouver, and his father, Edward N. Bunker, a stage hand. His parents lived in a constant state of alcohol-fueled argument. His first clear memories were of his parents screaming at each other and the police arriving to "keep the peace." When they divorced, Bunker ended up in a foster home at the age of five, but he felt profoundly unhappy and ran away. As a result, Bunker went through a progression of increasingly draconian institutions. Consistently rebellious and defiant, young Bunker was subjected to a harsh regime of discipline. He attended a military school for a few months, where peer pressure caused him to take up stealing, but eventually ran away again, ending up in a hobo camp 400 miles away. While Bunker was eventually apprehended by the authorities, this established a pattern he would follow throughout his formative years.

Shoplifting and other crimes of similar scope eventually landed Bunker in Juvenile Hall, most notably Preston Castle in Ione, California, where he became acquainted with hardened young criminals. Although Bunker was younger and smaller than the other inmates, he was intelligent, streetwise and extremely literate. He soon learned to hide his fear and embraced the dog-eat-dog mentality that was the norm in his new surroundings. A long string of escapes, problems with the law and different institutions – including a mental hospital – followed.

At the age of fourteen, Bunker was paroled and sent to his aunt. However, the young man was already well on his way to a life of crime and, at the age of sixteen, he was caught on a parole violation. Instead of a reform school or some other institution designed for young offenders, Bunker was sent to prison. This did not chasten Bunker – on the contrary, the young offender was hard and vicious, and proud of it. Bunker believed that he could either be predator or prey, and did his best to establish himself in the former category. In Los Angeles County Jail, he stabbed another inmate (Bunker claims it was convicted murderer Billy Cook, although circumstantial evidence shows Cook couldn't have been the victim) in the showers and soon gained a respectful reputation as a fearless young man. Some thought he was unhinged, but in his book Mr. Blue: Memoirs of a Renegade he stated that it was merely a protective mechanism designed to make people leave him alone.

In 1951, the seventeen-year-old Bunker had the dubious honor of being the youngest ever inmate in San Quentin State Prison. While spending time in solitary – known as "the hole" – he was situated close to the death row cell of Caryl Chessman, who was writing on a typewriter. He had already met Chessman earlier, and Chessman sent him an issue of Argosy magazine, in which the first chapter of his book Cell 2455 Death Row was published. Bunker, inspired by his encounter with Chessman, drew upon his literary influences and decided to try to write his own stories.

When Louise Fazenda, a former star of the silent screen and the wife of motion picture producer Hal B. Wallis, with whom Bunker had already struck up a friendship during his earlier time on the outside and with whom he still kept in contact, arranged for him to have a typewriter, Bunker started to write. The resulting work was smuggled out to Wallis, who showed it to her friends. The work was considered to be unpublishable, but Bunker's talent had been recognized. (This manuscript eventually became No Beast So Fierce.)

Bunker was paroled in 1956. Now 22, he was unable to adjust to living in normal society. As an ex-convict, he felt ostracized by "normal" people, although he managed to stay out of trouble for several years. Although Mrs Wallis attempted to help him both with her connections and financially, her behaviour became increasingly erratic. She was diagnosed with a nervous breakdown, and her husband pronounced many of her former friends – including Bunker – personae non-gratae in the Wallis household. She died in 1962. For his part, Bunker held down various jobs for a while, including that of a used car salesman, but eventually returned to crime. He orchestrated robberies (although he didn't personally take part in the execution phase), forged checks and engaged in other criminal activities.

Bunker ended up back in jail for 90 days on a misdemeanor charge. He was sent to a low-security state work farm, but escaped almost immediately by climbing over a poorly guarded fence. He remained a fugitive for over a year, but eventually had to resort to armed robbery to survive. He was finally arrested after a failed bank heist and a high-speed car chase.

Bunker then attempted to stay out of jail by pretending to be insane (he went so far as to fake a suicide attempt and claim that the Catholic Church had inserted a radio into his head). The performance convinced the court, and he was declared criminally insane.

Although Bunker was eventually released, he continued a life of crime. In the early 1970s, Bunker ran a profitable drug racket in San Francisco; he was arrested again when the police, who had put a tracking device on his car, followed him to a bank heist. (The police expected Bunker to lead them to a drug deal and were rather shocked by their stroke of luck.) Bunker expected a 20-year sentence, but thanks to the solicitations of influential friends and a lenient judge, he got only five years.

In prison, Bunker continued to write. He finally had his first novel No Beast So Fierce published in 1973, to which Dustin Hoffman purchased the film rights. Bunker was paroled in 1975, having spent eighteen years of his life in various institutions. While he was still tempted by crime, he now found himself earning a living from writing and acting. He felt that his criminal career had been forced by circumstances; now that those circumstances had changed, he could stop being a criminal.

He published his second novel, Animal Factory to favorable reviews in 1977. A 1978 movie called Straight Time based on No Beast So Fierce was not a commercial success, but Bunker participated in the drafting of the screenplay, and also got his first acting part in the movie. Like most of Bunker's parts, it was a fleeting cameo, but Bunker eventually appeared in numerous movies, such as The Running Man, Tango & Cash and Reservoir Dogs (as Mr Blue), as well as the film version of Animal Factory, for which he also wrote the screenplay.

Bunker had better luck robbing banks in real life than he did in the movies. In Reservoir Dogs he played one of two criminals killed during a heist. In The Long Riders, he had an even briefer role as Bill Chadwell – one of two members of the James-Younger Gang killed during a bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota.

Writing style
Bunker's hard-boiled and unapologetic crime novels are informed by his personal experiences in a society of criminals in general and by his time in the penal system in particular. Little Boy Blue, in particular, draws heavily on Bunker's own life as a young man.

A common theme in his fiction is that of men being sucked into a circle of crime at a very young age and growing up in a vicious world where authorities are at worst cruel and at best incompetent and ineffectual, and those stuck in the system can be either abusers or helpless victims, regardless of whether they're in jail or outside. Bunker maintains that much of his writing is based on actual events and people he has known.

In Bunker's work, there is often an element of envy and disdain towards the normal people who live outside of this circle and hypocritically ensure that those caught in it have no way out. Most of Bunker's characters have no qualms about stealing or brutalizing others and, as a rule, they prefer a life of crime over an honest job, in great part because the only honest career options are badly paying and low-class jobs in retail or manual labor.

Bunker's autobiography, Mr. Blue: Memoirs of a Renegade, was published in 1999.

Personal life
In 1977, Bunker married a young real estate agent, Jennifer. In 1993, their first son, Brendan, was born. The marriage ended in divorce. A diabetic, Bunker died on July 19, 2005 in Burbank, California, following surgery to improve the circulation in his legs. He was 71.

Bunker was close friends with Mexican Mafia Leader Joe "Pegleg" Morgan, as well as actor Danny Trejo, who is the godfather of his son, both of whom he first met in Folsom State Prison. Michael Mann based the character of "Nate," played by Jon Voight, on Bunker for his 1995 film, Heat. The film also stars Trejo as a member of Robert De Niro's ("Neil McCauley" – another real life criminal) crew.

Best films

Runaway Train (1985)

Usually with

Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Edward Bunker (23 films)

Display filmography as list


High Hopes
High Hopes (2006)

Origin USA
Genres Comedy, Action
Actors Jason Mewes, Lacey Chabert, Danny Trejo, Andrew Roane Dick, Edward Furlong, David Faustino
Rating45% 2.2763752.2763752.2763752.2763752.276375
Hollywood hopeful Tom Murphy and his posse of pals conspire to get into the big leagues. Pinning their hopes of industry success on Tom's famous girlfriend starring in their first feature, falls to pieces when she dumps him. Tom and his pals learn of another possibility and devise a plan to steal a fenced case of government issued marijuana, return it to the FBI and use the reward money to finance their movie. Little do they know a scorned girlfriend and her deaf mute brother have other plans.
The Longest Yard, 1h53
Directed by Peter Segal
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Comedy, Comedy-drama
Themes Films about music and musicians, Prison films, Sports films, American football films, Musical films
Actors Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, James Cromwell, Nelly, William Fichtner, Bill Goldberg
Roles Doc "Skitchy" Rivers
Rating63% 3.199993.199993.199993.199993.19999
Paul Crewe (Adam Sandler) is a former NFL player disgraced for shaving points in a big game. One night, he gets drunk and goes joyriding in his girlfriend's Bentley, totals it, gets arrested, and is sentenced to three years in a Texas Federal Prison for violating his parole.
13 Moons
13 Moons (2002)
, 1h33
Directed by Alexandre Rockwell
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Comedy, Comedy-drama
Actors Jennifer Beals, Elizabeth Bracco, Steve Buscemi, Peter Dinklage, Danny Trejo, Sam Rockwell
Roles Hoodlum #1
Rating58% 2.902782.902782.902782.902782.90278
The film opens with a clown (Buscemi) whose wife (Beals) and stripper girlfriend (Parsons) just discovered each other's existence. When his wife is jailed for trying to run him over, the stripper, the clown and his partner (Dinklage) contact a bail bondsman (Proval) whose wife just left their sickly son Timmy (Wolff) in his care. On the way, they are accosted by a crazed drug addict named Slovo (Stormare) who is hit by a car soon after.
Animal Factory, 1h38
Directed by Steve Buscemi
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Crime
Themes Prison films
Actors Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong, Danny Trejo, John Heard, Mickey Rourke, Tom Arnold
Roles Buzzard
Rating65% 3.2989853.2989853.2989853.2989853.298985
Ron Decker, a young man convicted for drug possession, is sent to prison where veteran con Earl Copen takes Decker under his wing and introduces him into his own gang. Copen first helps out Decker when three Puerto Ricans attempt to lure him into a cell block to rape him, however Copen sees through their plans and talks to the Puerto Ricans, who quickly abandon interest in Decker.
Shadrach (1998)
, 1h29
Origin USA
Genres Drama
Actors Harvey Keitel, Andie MacDowell, Martin Sheen, Scott Terra, Darrell Larson, Muse Watson
Roles Joe Thornton
Rating63% 3.1989453.1989453.1989453.1989453.198945
Before the Civil War, the Dabney family of Virginia sold their slave, Shadrach (John Franklin Sawyer), to plantation owners in Alabama, separating him from his family. In 1935, during the Great Depression, Shadrach—at the age of 99—walks the 600 miles from his home in Alabama to the Dabney farm in Virginia. His one request is to be buried in the soil of the farm where he was born into slavery.
Chameleon (1996)

Directed by Benoît Cohen
Origin France
Genres Thriller
Actors Chiara Mastroianni, Jackie Berroyer, Seymour Cassel, Antoine Chappey, Julien Collet, Edward Bunker
Roles Sid Dembo
Rating60% 3.029763.029763.029763.029763.02976
Léa est serveuse dans un bar parisien. Un soir, alors qu'elle rentre chez elle après le travail, elle est abordée et poursuivie en voiture par un inconnu. Deux coursiers, Luc et Jean, la voient passer avec son poursuivant et tentent de lui venir en aide. Mais lorsqu'ils la rattrapent, elle vient de tuer son agresseur d'un coup de revolver. Elle appelle son ancien amant, le commissaire Moskovitch, pour l'informer de ce qui s'est passé. Ce dernier lui promet qu'il va s'arranger pour qu'elle soit mise hors de cause, mais en échange, il lui demande d'éliminer un autre homme...
Somebody to Love, 1h42
Directed by Alexandre Rockwell
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Comedy, Romance
Actors Rosie Perez, Harvey Keitel, Anthony Quinn, Steve Buscemi, Michael DeLorenzo, Stanley Tucci
Roles Jimmy
Rating52% 2.612272.612272.612272.612272.61227
Mercedes rêve de devenir comédienne. En attendant, elle est taxigirl dans un nightclub. C'est là que Ernesto tombe fou amoureux d'elle. Une étrange relation les unit, et quand la jeune femme se confie à lui, elle ne se doute pas que par amour, il est capable de tout pour l'aider...
Best of the Best 2, 1h37
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Thriller, Martial arts, Action, Martial arts
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films
Actors Eric Roberts, Phillip Rhee, Chris Penn, Ralf Moeller, James Lew, Meg Foster
Roles Spotlight Operator
Rating55% 2.752212.752212.752212.752212.75221
After returning home from South Korea to great acclaim, three members of the U.S. National Karate Team (Tommy Lee, Alex Grady, and Travis Brickley) set up their own martial arts studio in Las Vegas. Unbeknownst to his friends, however, Travis has been competing at "The Coliseum", a brutal underground fighting arena run by a shady promoter named Weldon (Wayne Newton), whose protégé Brakus (Ralf Möller) is the owner and undefeated champion. Though the rules of the Coliseum state that a challenger must defeat three of its "Gladiators" in order to face Brakus, Travis wastes little time in challenging Brakus outright. Amused by Travis's arrogance, Weldon eagerly grants his wish.
Last Light
Last Light (1993)
, 1h44
Directed by Kiefer Sutherland
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Thriller, Action, Crime
Themes Prison films
Actors Forest Whitaker, Kiefer Sutherland, Amanda Plummer, Kathleen Denise Quinlan, Lynne Moody, Clancy Brown
Roles Chess Player
Rating64% 3.24673.24673.24673.24673.2467
The film is about a prisoner awaiting execution. Denver Bayliss (Kiefer Sutherland) gains an unlikely friend and confidant in Fred Whitmore (Forest Whitaker), a former cop who is now a prison guard. Whitmore's life is a mess, however: he shuts out his wife and cannot relate to his son. As Bayliss' execution draws nearer, Whitmore clashes more and more with Lt. McMannis, his supervisor, over Bayliss' treatment. Bayliss gives Whitmore a new understanding of life by helping him come to terms with a traumatic past, and Whitmore helps Bayliss to make his peace with himself and the world.
Reservoir Dogs, 1h39
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Origin USA
Genres Thriller, Mob film, Crime
Themes Medical-themed films, Psychologie, Films about psychiatry, Heist films, Gangster films, Escroquerie
Actors Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen
Roles Mr. Blue
Rating82% 4.1495054.1495054.1495054.1495054.149505
Eight men eat breakfast at a Los Angeles diner before their planned diamond heist, most of them unknown to each other. Six of them use aliases: Mr. Blonde, Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown, Mr. Orange, Mr. Pink, and Mr. White. With them are mob boss Joe Cabot, the organizer of the heist, and his son/underboss, "Nice Guy" Eddie Cabot. During the course of the film, the major characters are sporadically introduced by subtitles (e.g., "Mr. White") and their character backstories are explored in subsequent, non-linear fashion.
Miracle Mile, 1h27
Directed by Steve De Jarnatt
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Science fiction, Thriller, Action, Romance
Themes Politique, Films about religion, Films set in the future, Political films, Dystopian films, Arme nucléaire, Disaster films, American disaster films
Actors Anthony Edwards, Mare Winningham, Denise Crosby, John Agar, Mykelti Williamson, Lou Hancock
Roles Nightwatchman
Rating69% 3.498693.498693.498693.498693.49869
The film takes place in a single day and night. The film opens with the two main characters, Harry (Anthony Edwards) and Julie (Mare Winningham), meeting at the La Brea Tar Pits and immediately falling in love. After spending the afternoon together, they make a date to meet after her shift ends at midnight at a local coffee shop, but a power failure means Harry's alarm fails to wake him and Julie leaves for home.
Best of the Best, 1h33
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Martial arts, Action, Martial arts
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films
Actors Eric Roberts, James Earl Jones, Chris Penn, Phillip Rhee, Sally Kirkland, John Dye
Roles Stan
Rating63% 3.199783.199783.199783.199783.19978
Alexander Grady, a widower and father of a five-year-old son, Walter, is chosen to represent the United States of America in an international martial arts tournament against Team Korea, despite a shoulder injury that once forced him into retirement. Also chosen for the team is Tommy Lee, a man seeking revenge against a member of Team Korea for the death of his brother during a previous tournament. The rest of Team USA consists of Travis Brickley, an extremely brash fighter with a short fuse; Virgil Keller, a devout Buddhist; and Sonny Grasso, a streetwise fighter from Detroit.
Tango & Cash, 1h37
Directed by Andreï Kontchalovski, Albert Magnoli
Origin USA
Genres Thriller, Comedy, Comedy thriller, Action, Adventure, Crime
Themes Prison films, Buddy films
Actors Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Jack Palance, Teri Hatcher, Brion James, Edward Bunker
Roles Capt. Holmes
Rating63% 3.1994653.1994653.1994653.1994653.199465
Beverly Hills LAPD Lieutenant Raymond Tango (Sylvester Stallone) and Downtown Los Angeles Lieutenant Gabriel Cash (Kurt Russell) have earned themselves reputations for disrupting crime lord Yves Perret's smuggling operation in their respective jurisdictions. One day, they are informed of a drug deal taking place later that night. Both detectives meet for the first time at the location, but discover a dead body that is wire-tapped before the FBI arrive and surround the duo. Agent Wyler (Lewis Arquette) finds Cash's backup Walter PPK pistol on the floor with a silencer attached and arrests both Cash and Tango. At their murder trial, Tango and Cash are incriminated by an audio tape, secretly given to Wyler by Perret's henchman Requin and verified in court by an audio expert, which appears to reveal them shooting the undercover FBI agent after discussing a drug purchase. They plead no contest to a lesser charge in exchange for reduced sentences in a minimum-security prison, but are instead transported to a maximum-security prison to be housed with many of the criminals they arrested in the past.
Relentless (1989)
, 1h32
Directed by William Lustig
Origin USA
Genres Thriller, Horror, Crime
Themes Serial killer films
Actors Judd Nelson, Robert Loggia, Leo Rossi, Meg Foster, Ken Lerner, Angel Tompkins
Roles Cardoza
Rating59% 2.9514452.9514452.9514452.9514452.951445
Sam Dietz (Leo Rossi) is a rookie Los Angeles detective recently transferred from New York City. He is paired up with veteran detective Bill Malloy (Robert Loggia) in order to find and stop a serial killer. The killer is Arthur "Buck" Taylor (Judd Nelson), the son of a former LAPD cop whose motive for killing is frustration over not having been accepted to the force and failure in the eyes of his father. Taylor chooses his targets by randomly looking up their names in the phone book and skillfully covering up his tracks by using his skills and knowledge that he learned while on the force. While in pursuit of Taylor, both Dietz and Malloy become his next planned targets for murder.
Relentless (1989)
, 1h32
Directed by William Lustig
Origin USA
Genres Thriller, Horror, Crime
Actors Judd Nelson, Robert Loggia, Leo Rossi, Meg Foster, Ken Lerner, Angel Tompkins
Roles Cardoza
Rating59% 2.9514452.9514452.9514452.9514452.951445
Un jeune policier et un vétéran de la police de Los Angeles font équipe pour élucider une série de meurtres. Les deux policiers retrouvent la trace du tueur en série. Il s'agit d'un fils de policier martyrisé par son père dans son enfance. Le tueur multiplie les meurtres et décide s'attaquer au vétéran et à la jeune recrue....