Born and raised in Los Angeles, Greg Bonannís childhood dream was to become a Los Angeles County Lifeguard. His dream came true in 1970 and he's been a dedicated lifeguard ever since.
After graduating from California State University, Long Beach, Greg combined his business education with his gift of storytelling and began a career in filmmaking. His love of sports, especially Olympic competition, eventually led him to produce and direct the official film for the U.S. Olympic Committee in Lake Placid.
"Fire and Ice" went on to win eight prestigious awards. More importantly, the honors gave him the impetus to produce and direct the official films for the 1984 Winter and Summer Olympic Games in Sarajevo and Los Angeles and the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary.
It all started in 1988, when Greg created a music video featuring his lifeguard buddies doing what they do best on a hot beach day to the beat of Don Henley's hit "Boys of Summer." This "montage" served as the blueprint for what would become "Baywatch" on NBC a year later.
After 10 years as the executive producer/creator, Greg relocated "Baywatch" to Hawaiiís beautiful shores. Bonann has directed over 70 episodes of "Baywatch", as well as most of the action and rescue scenes during the series run. He also directed over 400 of his signature music montages.
While on a routine scout to the beach with the writing staff during the first season of "Baywatch," Greg rescued a boy who was drowning. He had to make three dives to find the unconscious boy who had been submerged at the murky bottom for over five minutes. Performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while treading water, Greg saved the boy's life and, for this heroic effort, was awarded the prestigious Medal of Valor.
Bonannís other honors include the Gold Medallion Award, presented by the International Swimming Hall of Fame, the Title of Commander in the Order of Lifesaving, presented by the Belgian Life Saving Federation and the appointment to Knight in the Order of Lifesaving by the International Life Saving Federation.
In 1992, Greg and Tai Collins founded ďA Chance For Children,Ē a foundation dedicated to giving homeless and at-risk children a better chance to succeed in life. It is now in itís 18th year!