With more than 30 years of TV and film production experience, Tommy Burke brings an extensive and diverse list of credits to his latest creative endeavor: a book about the industry and insurmountable odds. A graduate of Boston College, Burke started out in television as a production Assistant while working other odd jobs – from bar bouncer and golf caddy to factory assemblyman – to sustain the meager TV industry income. His work ethic and build came in handy, scoring him a gig loading grip trucks for Powerhouse Films, which further exposed him to commercials and films in and around the New England area. He soon became the ‘go to’ guy of Production Assistants in Boston, working every motion picture produced in Massachusetts. After a move to Los Angeles in 1990, Burke quickly moved up the production ranks, working as First Assistant Director on an independent film with Johnny Depp. In 2003, Burke was diagnosed with Hodgkinson’s Lymphoma. Three years of doctor visits, nine operations and chemotherapy treatments were all included in part of his rigorous 14-hour shoot day routine. To no surprise, given his well-known tenacity, Burke conquered the disease into remission mostly by himself. Now, as he faces Parkinson’s disease – his most challenging health problem yet – true to his style and heart, Burke is compelled to motivate and inspire others, so they learn from this experience.
From Hollywood to Parkinson’s: Tommy Burke’s Fighting Spirit – PMD Alliance