About the Writers

STEVEN BOCHCO (writer/producer) was born in Manhattan; he started his career in television in 1965 when he parlayed an MCA fellowship into a writing job at Universal Studios during his junior and senior years at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University).

During the 1980's, Bochco set the stage for what would be a series of break through television projects. While at MTM Enterprises, Bochco co-created and executive produced Hill Street Blues, one of the most successful drama series in television history.

With nearly 30 years in the entertainment industry, Bochco has a track record for producing one notable series after another. Under the banner of Steven Bochco Productions he has co-created and executive produced Doogie Howser, M.D., Cop Rock, NYPD Blue, L.A. Law, Murder One, Total Security, Brooklyn South, City of Angels, Philly, and served as executive producer on Civil Wars and The Byrds of Paradise.

He received the Writers Guild of America 1994 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television in recognition of the contributions and advancements he has made to the television writing profession. He has won ten Emmy Awards -- six for Hill Street Blues, three for L.A. Law and one for NYPD Blue, and numerous Writers Guild Awards and nominations.

PADDY CHAYEFSKY (writer) was born in New York City in 1923. He attended City College of New York and Fordham University, where he studied languages.

He began his career in television, writing episodes of Danger and Manhunt. In 1952, he switched gears, moving from episodic series to television plays; penning Holiday Song and The Reluctant Citizen.

In 1953 he wrote Marty for television. Two years later, Cheyefsky won a screenwriting Academy Award for his Marty film adaptation.

Cheyefsky was nominated for another screenwriting Academy Award for The Goddess (1958), and won screenwriting Oscars for The Hospital (1971) and Network (1976). Both films were also honored with Writers Guild Awards. Chayefsky's career spanned 30 years; covering stage, television, film, and novels. He was the recipient of the Writers Guild of America, west Screen Laurel Award, and later the Guild re-named its lifetime achievement award for television in honor of his contributions, calling it the Paddy Chayefsky Television Laurel Award.

I.A.L. DIAMOND (writer/producer) was born Itek Dommnici in Romania in 1920, immigrating to the U.S. in 1929. He attended Columbia University where he chose the moniker I.A.L. while working on the university newspaper.

In 1941, I.A.L. moved to Hollywood and later established a long-term collaboration with writer/producer/director Billy Wilder. Diamond and Wilder worked on several films over their 20-plus years together including Some Like it Hot and The Apartment.

Diamond is credited with over twenty films and won an Academy Award with Wilder for his writing on The Apartment. Additionally, he won the Screen Laurel Award with Wilder.

WILLIAM GOLDMAN (writer) was born in Chicago in 1931 and attended Oberlin College in Ohio, where he got his only C in his creative writing class. He joined the army after graduation, and spent most of the time at the Pentagon (where he claims to have been assigned by mistake) writing stories and sending them out -- without much result.

After the army he attended graduate school at Columbia, following which he returned to Chicago to write his first novel, The Temple of Gold, which was published by Knopf in 1957. By the time his novel was published he was living in Manhattan with his brother James, a playwright (The Lion in Winter) and composer John Kander. He has been living in Manhattan and writing ever since. Goldman's 16 novels include Soldier in the Rain, Marathon Man (he also wrote the screenplay) The Thing of it is, and No Way to Treat a Lady.

His screenplays include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Great Waldo Pepper, All the President's Men, A Bridge Too Far, The Princess Bride, Misery, Absolute Power, Maverick, Hearts in Atlantis, and Dreamcatcher.

Goldman won the Oscar and Writers Guild Award for his screenplays for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and All the President's Men (1976). He was also the recipient of the Writers Guild of America, west Screen Laurel Award.

AMY HECKERLING (writer/producer/director) hails from New York where she attended N.Y.U. Film School. She was a Fellow at American Film Institute and, after finishing her student film, started writing for Warner Bros. Her writing credits include Look Who's Talking and Clueless as well as other scripts, TV pilots, and episodes.

Her directing credits include Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Johnny Dangerously, National Lampoon's European Vacation, Look Who's Talking 1 and 2, and Clueless. She also co-produced A Night At The Roxbury.

Other than worrying about her kid and all the scary stuff in the news, Heckerling's hobbies are downloading John Garfield movies from TiVo for her father, exercising, and trying to avoid toxins.

She's currently trying to make a film of a script she just completed, an adaptation of the Japanese film, Afterlife. Or maybe she'll do something else.

CALLIE KHOURI (writer/director) launched an impressive writing career with her very first effort titled Thelma and Louise (1991). The film garnered six Academy Award nominations (winning Best Original Screenplay) and the Writers Guild Award.

In 2002, Khouri made her directorial debut with The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, which she also adapted and co-wrote for the screen from the best-selling novel by Rebecca Welles. Her original screenplay Something to Talk About (1995) was directed by Lasse Hallstrom.

She is currently developing her next directorial projects, which include Hot Money at MGM, and a film about NASCAR's Petty family, which will star Dennis Quaid.

FRANK PIERSON (writer/producer/director) earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing Cat Ballou in 1965 and a decade later won an Oscar for the screenplay for Dog Day Afternoon. In between the two, Pierson co-wrote the Oscar-nominated script for Cool Hand Luke (1967). Before entering the film industry, the Harvard-educated Pierson was a correspondent for Time Magazine. He then became a story editor, and during the early '60s produced and directed many episodes of the Have Gun Will Travel television series.

He directed his first feature film, The Looking Glass War, in 1969. Other features he directed include the 1976 version of A Star Is Born and King Of The Gypsies (1978). More recently he has been nominated for Emmys for directing Citizen Cohn (1992), Conspiracy (2001) and Soldier's Girl (2003). He has won awards from the DGA and BAFTA, as well as a Peabody. Pierson was also the recipient of the Writers Guild of America, west Screen Laurel Award.

AARON SORKIN (writer/producer) graduated from Syracuse University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. In 1989, he received the Outer Critics Circle award as Outstanding American Playwright for A Few Good Men and followed that with the off-Broadway comedy Making Movies. His screen adaptation of A Few Good Men was nominated for four Academy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay.

Sorkin received his second Golden Globe nomination for his screenplay for The American President, and for co-writing the screenplay for Malice, which was nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe Award by the Mystery Writers Association of America. He is a founding member of the Playwrights Unit of Playwrights Horizons.

Sorkin's work on The West Wing has garnered 22 Emmys. In 2000, Sorkin won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. In 2002, The West Wing won its third consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. These wins make The West Wing the all-time leader with the most Emmys won by a series not only in its first season, but also the most Emmys won by any series in one season.

The series has also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Drama Series, two consecutive Peabody Awards for Broadcast and Cable Excellence, two Humanitas Prizes as well as, Television Critics Association Awards for Best Drama Series, New Program of the Year and Program of the Year. In 2001, Sorkin won the Writer of the Year Award from the Caucus for TV Producers, Writers, and Directors, and the Phoenix Rising Award. Sorkin was also the recipient of the Producers Guild Award, in addition to the People for the American Way's Spirit of Liberty Award. Sorkin has garnered six Writers Guild Award nominations, and won the award in 2001 for his work on The West Wing.

ROBERT TOWNE (writer/director) is a four-time screenwriting Academy Award nominee best known for his Oscar-winning classic, Chinatown. Towne was born in Los Angeles and went on to study philosophy at Pomona College in Claremont. Some of his many screenwriting credits include Mission Impossible I and II, The Firm, Greystoke (under the nom de plume, P.H. Vazak, his much loved Komondor dog), Shampoo, Days of Thunder and The Last Detail. He's directed three of his own scripts; Personal Best, Tequila Sunrise and Without Limits. He was recognized with the prestigious Writers Guild of America, west Screen Laurel Award for his extensive body of work.

Currently, Towne is writing Mission Impossible III, and preparing to direct his adaptation of John Fante's Ask the Dust.

BILLY WILDER (writer/producer/director) was born Samuel Wilder in Sucha, Austria in 1906. His mother nicknamed him "Billy" after the American legend, Buffalo Bill. Wilder briefly studied law in Vienna and, after moving to Germany, took a job writing for a Berlin tabloid. Wilder moved to the United States in 1934 after being forced to leave Germany during the rise of Nazism.

Wilder formed a partnership with writer/producer Charles Brackett in 1938; together they wrote such box-office successes as Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard. In 1957, Wilder teamed up with writer-producer I.A.L. Diamond--a collaboration that spanned more than twenty years. Wilder and Diamond would go on to write the box-office smashes Some Like it Hot and The Apartment.

During a career that lasted six decades, Wilder worked on over fifty films; received six Academy Awards and shared in two Screen Laurel Awards from the Writers Guild of America, west. Wilder is widely considered one of the greatest writer/producer/directors of all-time.


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