Edward J. Burns, Jr. (born January 29, 1968) is an American actor, film producer, writer and director.
Burns was born in Woodside, Queens, New York, the son of Molly (née McKenna), a federal agency manager, and Edward J. Burns, Sr., a public relations spokesman and police officer. He is the second of three children (with siblings Mary and Brian) in an Irish American family. He was raised in Valley Stream, New York, on Long Island. He briefly attended Chaminade High School before transferring to Hewlett High School. After high school, Burns attended SUNY Oneonta, and SUNY Albany, before receiving a degree in English from Hunter College in 1992.
Burns got his start in the film industry right after college as a production assistant on the Oliver Stone film, The Doors. While working as a gofer at Entertainment Tonight, he financed, produced, directed and starred in his first film The Brothers McMullen in his spare time, which was largely shot in his hometown of Valley Stream. Once he completed the film, he was able to get a copy to Robert Redford after an ET junket interview for Quiz Show at the Rhiga Royal Hotel in Manhattan. In 1996, Burns wrote, directed and starred in the ensemble drama She's The One with Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and Amanda Peet, as well as Sidewalks of New York in 2001.