A graduate of Harvard, with a masters from UCLA, Madden began his Hollywood career as a story analyst for 20th Century-Fox in 1978. He rose through the ranks to executive story editor and finally vice president of production before moving to a similar post at Paramount in 1984. After a three-year stint, he decamped to join Interscope Communications as a producer and partner. His first effort as a producer was "Renegades" (1988), which teamed Kiefer Sutherland and Lou Diamond Phillips as a detective and a Native American tracking a criminal. "Relentless" (1989), with Judd Nelson as a serial killer, followed, although Madden did not have a big box-office smash until "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle." His attempt to duplicate that success with "The Tie That Binds" (1995), in which two psychotics terrorize the family that adopted their daughter, was unsuccessful. His other work as a film producer has included "Operation Dumbo Drop" (1995), with Danny Glover and Ray Liotta as Vietnam War soldiers who must replace a sacred elephant for a village and the Whoopi Goldberg vehicle "The Associate" (1996), with the actress as a Wall Street investment whiz who poses as her own male partner.That same year, Madden joined with Robert W Cort, who had headed production at Interscope, to form Cort/Madden Productions, with a production deal at Paramount (headed by Madden's former boss and mentor at Fox, Sherry Lansing). One of their first efforts to be filmed was "The Odd Couple II" (lensing 1997). Madden moved behind the cameras to helm "Separate Lives" (1995) which teamed Linda Hamilton and James Belushi in a somewhat bland and predictable murder mystery. He also wrote and directed the Lifetime cable TV-movie "A Part of the Family" (1994), in which parents try to undermine their daughter's marriage, and served as executive producer on "Body Language" (HBO, 1995), in which a district attorney becomes involved with a murderous woman.