As the director of films Children of a Lesser God, The Doctor, Dance with Me and Wrestling Ernest Hemingway, Randa Haines has traversed drama and comedy in her exploration of universal themes of communication.
The power of exploring the world through fictional characters has always fascinated Haines, who grew up wanting to be an actress. She began acting at 10, and the day she was graduated from high school, she hopped on a plane to New York to study with Lee Strasberg. While working as an actress for budding directors at New York's School of the Visual Arts, Haines became fascinated with the creative enthusiasm she saw the student directors had for their work. She decided to move over to the other side, beginning as an all-around assistant for a small industrial film production company in New York. Haines went on to serve as script supervisor for many commercials and feature films.
Haines' first feature-film project, Children of a Lesser God, drew critical praise for her direction, including nominations for Directors Guild Award and Best Picture Academy Award nominations. Along with her partner, Todd Black, Haines produced A Family Thing, with Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones. During their partnership, Haines and Black developed the screenplay of what became Denzel Washington's directorial debut, Antwone Fisher, working closely with Fisher in the process of turning his remarkable life story into a powerful screenplay.
Haines has also directed several television projects, including Katherine Anne Porter's The Jilting of Grammy Weatherall, starring Geraldine Fitzgerald, for the American Short Story series. In addition to those professional television credits, she has directed several episodes of the acclaimed, hard-edged hit television series Hill Street Blues. Her first television feature film, Something about Amelia, was arguably one of network television's finest productions. She was nominated for both Emmy® and Directors' Guild Awards for Best Director.