Biographical Information:

Dates: 1951-
Dates in Ridgefield: c.1978

screenwriter, actor, film producer, movie director, newspaper reporter

Tom Gilroy, a member of the Class of 1978 at Ridgefield High School, employs his way with words both on and off camera. The actor-filmmaker used his memories of Ridgefield--and used Ridgefield itself--to make his first feature-length film, Spring Forward in 1998. He wrote and directed the movie, which stars Ned Beatty and Liev Schreiber and which has won acclaim at major film festivals. After graduating from Boston College, Mr. Gilroy worked as a reporter at The Ridgefield Press and then went off to New York to attend the Lee Strasberg Institute. He started up a theater group for which he wrote, directed and acted in plays, and he has appeared in several films, including Ken Loach’s Land and Freedom, a tale of the Spanish civil war that earned an award at Cannes. One of the focal events in Spring Forward involves a parks department worker giving money to a homeless person, found sleeping under the bandstand in Ballard Park. "There were many acts, private acts of kindness and generosity that I saw when I was living here," Mr. Gilroy told The Press in 1998. "It is a place where many, many people gave what they could to the town, whether it was donating land for a park, or donating their time as volunteers." A two-time Sundance and three-time MacDowell Colony Fellow, his plays–notably The Invisible Hand and Halcion Days–have been produced around the world.

The Haiku Year (co-author), 2004
Spring Forward, 2000
–Sources: Notable Ridgefielders–Jack Sanders; Wikipedia