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John Axness

John Axness

Picture editor | Showtime’s ‘Ray Donovan’ | Class of 1972

John Axness’ path to the bright lights of L.A. started on East Peabody Drive in Campustown, way back when.

“One evening during the winter of ’72, Rich Fruin knocked on my dorm room door and asked if I wanted to go with him to an open house at WPGU in the basement of Weston Hall,” says Axness (’75). “That moment changed the entire trajectory of my life — from mediocre engineering student to writer, director and editor in Hollywood. 

“That shift was possible for me because of the countless opportunities afforded by the U of I.”

As he spoke, Axness was cutting Season 5 of Showtime’s ‘Ray Donovan.’ Life’s been good in Hollywood, where his picture editor career has included 30 episodes of ‘Rescue Me,’ 15 of ‘Revenge’ and 13 of ‘Dream On.’

“And almost every Sunday morning for years, I bicycle 30 miles along the Pacific Ocean with (fellow UI) alums Mort Nathan and George Paulin, whose memories you profiled in Part 1.”