Donal Lardner Ward
Donal Lardner Ward was born in Brooklyn Heights in the early 60's and
raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and in Elaine's restaurant on
2nd ave. Donal's father, Donald Edward Ward founded the restaurant with
Elaine Kaufman in 1962. Donal's mother, Mary Jane Lardner is from the
noted Lardner writing clan. Her father was the Newsweek columnist John
Lardner. Her uncle is academy award winning, Hollywood Ten, screenwriter,
Ring Lardner Jr. , and her grandfather was famed columnist and short story
writer, Ring Lardner Sr.
It seems being surrounded by the Elaine's showbiz crowd and a family full
of writers made an impact on Donal at an early age. He began acting in
commercials and PSA's at seven or eight, and performed in numerous school
plays, most notably a sixth grade production of "The King And I" (for
which he received great notices from four teachers and the janitor for his
riveting portrayal of the chauvinistic ruler of Siam.)
Donal began experimenting with super-eight films at the age of eleven and
temporarily gave up the stage to pursue this exciting new medium.
A mostly unsuccessful battle with high school, temporarily derailed
Donal's career. Like Muhammad Ali and the war, he declared himself a
conscientious objector but the authorities forced him to attend in spite
of his beliefs. The results were not positive. A rebellious and
destructive stage began and the only performing he accomplished was in
front of various guidance counselors, policeman and judges.
During a brief stint at New York's Hunter College, Donal found himself
following in the family footsteps and writing for the school newspaper.
He earned subsistence money working as a production assistant on
television commercials. This was his first taste of professional film
production. It intrigued him but he still wasn't quite sure of his
He felt he needed more 'life experience' and found it throughout the
eighties in various bars, nightclubs, and evil, dark places. Eventually,
he felt he had enough life experience, as did most of the counselors at
Attempting to find salvation in what had inspired him as a youth, Donal
enrolled in an acting program in New York and remembered the joys of
'striding the boards.' He formed a small theater company and began
producing and directing plays in tiny houses near the Hudson River,
unmolested by audiences. It was then that the, 'Who Can Make The Lowest
Budget Movie Movement,' exploded on the streets of New York. Donal had a
small role in one of those films, Whit Stillman's "Metropolitan." He
became determined to make his own movie and co-wrote, co-produced,
co-directed and co-starred in, "My LIfe's In Turnaround." He felt it had
all finally come together for him.
His success with M.L.I.T. earned him the right to plunge headlong into the
deep, soul-depleting abyss of the Hollywood studio system. He set
up movies around town and wrote screenplays feverishly, only to see each
project die slow ugly deaths. Just when he thought it couldn't possibly
get any worse... television came calling.
Donal co-created, co-produced and co-starred in the Fox series, "Too
There was a lot of excitement at Fox about the show and all the executives
were very vocal about how it was their favorite one of the season. They
liked it so much that they promptly canceled it after four airings.
It was back in the Hollywood trenches for Donal, writing more scripts
until he finally decided to get back to his roots in independent film.
With the help of an old friend from New York, Tony Guma, Donal came up
with the script for, "The Suburbans". Though now it seemed there were many
people writing, directing and acting in their films so Donal was forced to
raise the bar again by co-writing and singing lead vocal on the title
song. The movie was financed by Ignite Entertainment and is being released
this fall by Tri-Star Pictures.