Scriptwriters

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2.
Charles Brackett
Writer, Sunset Blvd.
Charles Brackett, born in Saratoga Springs, New York, of Scottish ancestry, followed in his attorney-father's footsteps and graduated with a law degree from Harvard University in 1920. He practised law for several years, before commencing work as drama critic for The New Yorker (1925-29), in addition to submitting short stories to The Saturday Evening Post...
 
3.
Robert Bolt
Son of a small shopkeeper, he attended Manchester Grammar School. He later said that he made poor uses of his opportunities there. He went to work in an insurance office, but later entered Manchester University, taking a degree in History. A post-graduate year at Exeter University led to a schoolmaster's position...
 
4.
Tonino Guerra
Writer, Amarcord
Legendary Italian screenwriter was born Antonio Guerra on the 16th of March 1920 in Sant'Arcangelo, Italy, south of Ravenna. He wrote several short stories, poetry and novels and in 1956 his first screenplay "Man and Wolves" (co-written by Elio Petri) was directed by Giuseppe De Santis. Three years later he wrote the masterpiece...
 
5.
Ernest Lehman
One of the most critically and commercially successful screenwriters in Hollywood history, Lehman grew up on Long Island, graduated from NY's City College. One of his first jobs was as a copywriter for a Broadway publicist. This experience would later be reflected in his novel and screenplay, "Sweet Smell of Success." He also worked as a radio comedy writer...
 
6.
Preston Sturges
Preston Sturges' own life is as unlikely as some of the plots of his best work. He was born into a wealthy family. As a boy he helped out on stage productions for his mother's friend, Isadora Duncan (the scarf that strangled her was made by his mother's company, Maison Desti). He served in the U.S...
 
8.
Stephen King
Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, at the Maine General Hospital in Portland. His parents were Nellie Ruth (Pillsbury), who worked as a caregiver at a mental institute, and Donald Edwin King, a merchant seaman. His father was born under the surname "Pollock", but used the last name "King"...
 
9.
Carl Mayer
Carl Meyer was the son of a stock speculator who committed suicide. He had to leave school at 15 to work as a secretary. Mayer moved away from Graz to Innsbruck and then Vienna, where he worked as a dramatist. Meanwhile, the events of the First World War turned him into a pacifist. In 1917 he went to Berlin...
 
10.
Ben Hecht
Ben Hecht, one of Hollywood's and Broadway's greatest writers, won an Oscar for best original story for Underworld at the first Academy Awards in 1929 and had a hand in the writing of many classic films. He was nominated five more times for the best writing Oscar, winning (along with writing partner and friend Charles MacArthur...
 
12.
Paul Haggis
Writer, Crash
Paul Haggis is the award-winning filmmaker who, in 2006, became the first screenwriter to write two Best Film Oscar winners back-to-back - Million Dollar Baby directed by Clint Eastwood, and Crash which he himself directed. For Crash, he won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay...
 
15.
John Milius
John Milius is a screenwriter and director who came to prominence in the 1970s, when he was associated with Francis Ford Coppola and the pre-Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope George Lucas. Born on April 11, 1944 in St. Louis, Missouri, Milius was one of the first movie industry professionals to be a film school graduate...
 
17.
William Faulkner
William Faulkner, one of the 20th century's most gifted novelists, wrote for the movies in part because he could not make enough money from his novels and short stories to support his growing number of dependants. The author of such acclaimed novels as "The Sound and the Fury" and "Absalom, Absalom!"...
 
18.
Dashiell Hammett
Dashiell Hammett was born May 27, 1894, in St. Mary's County, Maryland, to Richard Hammett and Mary Bond. He joined the Baltimore branch of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in 1915. He enlisted in the US Army's Ambulance Corps in June 1918 and was posted to a camp 20 miles from Baltimore, where he caught the flu...
 
19.
Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming an English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer who is best known for his James Bond series of spy novels. Fleming came from a wealthy family connected to the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co., and his father was the Member of Parliament for Henley from 1910 until his death on the Western Front in 1917...
 
20.
Raymond Chandler
An American novelist, writer of crime fiction featuring the private detective Philip Marlowe, Raymond (Thornton) Chandler was born in Chicago of an American father and an Anglo-Irish mother. He moved to England when his parents divorced. He attended Dulwich College and studied languages in France and Germany before returning to England in 1907 and becoming a naturalized British subject...
 
21.
Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau was one of the most multi-talented artists of the 20th century. In addition to being a director, he was a poet, novelist, painter, playwright, set designer, and actor. He began writing at 10 and was a published poet by age 16. He collaborated with the "Russian Ballet" company of Sergei Diaghilev...
 
23.
Dalton Trumbo
Writer, Spartacus
Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, arguably the most talented, most famous of the blacklisted film professionals known to history as the Hollywood 10, was born in Montrose, Colorado to Orus Trumbo and his wife, the former Maud Tillery. Dalton Trumbo was raised at 1124 Gunnison Ave. in Grand Junction...
 
24.
Nikos Kazantzakis
Nikos Kazantzakis was born in Heraklion, Crete (Greece). He studied Law in Athens and in Paris, but soon he studied philosophy and literature. He travelled almost everywhere; he learnt many foreign languages and left his scientific research for Nitsche. At philosophy: "Ascetics" (Salvatores Dei, 1927)...
 
25.
H.G. Wells
Writer, born in Bromley, Kent. He was apprenticed to a draper, tried teaching, studied biology in London, then made his mark in journalism and literature. He played a vital part in disseminating the progressive ideas which characterized the first part of the 20th-c. He achieved fame with scientific fantasies such as The Time Machine (1895) and War of the Worlds (1898)...
 
26.
Arthur Miller
Writer, The Crucible
Arthur Asher Miller was born on October 17, 1915, in New York City, to Augusta (Barnett) and Isidore Miller. His family was of Austrian Jewish descent. His father manufactured women's coats, but his business was devastated by the Depression, seeding his son's disillusionment with the American Dream...
 
27.
Norman Mailer
Norman Mailer, the Brooklyn-born and -bred writer who fought for what he characterized as the "heavyweight championship" of American letters after the 1961 death of Ernest Hemingway, never came close to his dream of writing the Great American novel, but he was a colossus of American culture and literature in the 1960s...
 
28.
Tennessee Williams
Tom L. Williams, also known as Tennessee Williams, moved to St. Louis, MO at the age of 7, with his family, including his mother and sister, Rose. He lived there for the next 20 years in a number of middle-class and upper middle class apartment complexes and one rented home. He went to the Field School as a child...
 
29.
Eugene O'Neill
Transportation Department, The Good Wife
 
30.
D.H. Lawrence
David Herbert Lawrence was born in Nottinghamshire, England, 11 September 1885. His father was a coal miner, his mother a genteel woman who sought education and refinement for her son. Lawrence earned a university degree and taught school for a short time. While still a student he began to publish his poems and short stories...
 
31.
Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov was born Isaak Judah Ozimov, on January 2, 1920, in Petrovichi shtetl, near Smolensk, Russia. He was the oldest of three children. His father, named Judah Ozimov, and his mother, named Anna Rachel Ozimov (nee Berman), were Orthodox Jews. Ozimov family were millers (the name Ozimov comes from the eponymous sort of wheat in Russian)...
 
32.
Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke was born in the seaside town of Minehead, Somerset, England in December 16, 1917. In 1936 he moved to London, where he joined the British Interplanetary Society. There he started to experiment with astronautic material in the BIS, write the BIS Bulletin and science fiction. During World War II...
 
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34.
Erich Maria Remarque
German novelist Remarque was born in Osnabruck in 1898. His first novel, the anti-war All Quiet on the Western Front, was written in response to his experiences as a soldier in WWI, and published in 1929. He moved to Switzerland until 1939, when he emigrated to the U.S., where he lived and wrote until his death in 1970.
 
35.
Laurence Stallings
Stallings was a Marine Captain who lost his leg fighting in WWI, and wrote "What Price Glory" about his deep anti-war feelings. The spirit of the play is subverted in the film adaptations.
 
36.
John le Carré
He was born in Poole, Dorset in England on October 19th, 1931. He went to Sherborne School and, later, studied German literature for one year at University of Bern. Later, he went to Lincoln College, Oxford and graduated in Modern Languages. From 1956 to 1958, he taught at Eton and from 1959 to 1964...
 
37.
Woody Allen
Writer, Annie Hall
Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...
 
38.
William Inge
William (Motter) Inge brought small-town life in the American Midwest to Broadway with four successive dramatic triumphs: "Come Back Little Sheba" (1950), "Picnic" (1953; Pulitzer Prize), "Bus Stop" (1955) and "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" (1957). With the exception of his Academy Award-winning screenplay for Splendor in the Grass...
 
39.
Walter Reisch
Writer, Gaslight
After completing studies in literature at the University of Vienna, Walter Reisch began his screen career as an extra and title writer in 1918. He eventually made the acquaintance of Stephan Lorant, a refuge from the Horty regime in Hungary, who, within a single year, had made a name for himself in Austrian films as a film maker and cinematographer...
 
43.
Agatha Christie
Agatha was born as "Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller" in 1890 to Frederick Alvah Miller and Clara Boehmer. Agatha was of American and British descent, her father being American and her mother British. Her father was a relatively affluent stockbroker. Agatha received home education from early childhood to when she turned 12-years-old in 1902...
 
44.
Colette
Writer, Gigi
 
45.
Daphne Du Maurier
Writer, The Birds
Daphne Du Maurier was one of the most popular English writers of the 20th Century, when middle-brow genre fiction was accorded a higher level of respect in a more broadly literate age. For her services to literature, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1969, the female equivalent of a knighthood...
 
46.
Marguerite Duras
Ms. Duras was born in southern Vietnam and lost her father at age 4. The family savings of 20 years bought the family a small plot in Cambodia, but everything was lost in a single season's flooding. The disaster killed her mother as a result. After high school in Saigon, Ms. Duras left Indochina to study law in Paris...
 
47.
Pearl S. Buck
Writer, Guide
Daughter of Christian missionaries, Pearl Buck was reared and educated in China. She received her university education in America but returned to China in the mid-1910s. She became a university instructor and writer, eventually authoring novels about China, some of which were turned into Hollywood films...
 
50.
Sidney Buchman
The son of a Russian émigré clothing merchant, Sidney Buchman was born in Duluth, Minnesota, on March 27 1902. He initially attended the University of Minnesota. After his family moved to New York, he continued his studies at Columbia University, graduating in 1923. The following year, he travelled to England and worked as an assistant stage manager at the Old Vic...
 
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53.
Luciano Vincenzoni
Luciano Vincenzoni, born in Treviso, March 7, 1926, studied law in Rome and Padua. In 1952, with his friend Tony Roma, he produced "Oliva Incantesimo Tragico", starring María Félix. In 1954, he wrote his first script "Hanno Rubato un Tram", directed by Aldo Fabrizi. In this year, he met 'Pietro Germi' and wrote "The Railroad Man"...
 
54.
Mel Brooks
Melvin James Kaminsky was born on June 28th, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to television...
 
55.
Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo was born October 15, 1920, in "Hell's Kitchen" on Manhattan's (NY) West Side and, following military service in World War II, attended New York's New School for Social Research and Columbia University. His best-known novel, "The Godfather," was preceded by two critically acclaimed novels...
 
57.
Paul Schrader
Writer, Taxi Driver
Although his name is often linked to that of the "movie brat" generation (Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Brian De Palma, etc.) Paul Schrader's background couldn't have been more different than theirs. His strict Calvinist parents refused to allow him to see a film until he was 18...
 
59.
Herman J. Mankiewicz
Writer, Citizen Kane
Herman J. Mankiewicz, now known primarily as the man who co-wrote Citizen Kane with Hollywood's greatest wunderkind, Orson Welles, was one of the highest-paid screenwriters in Hollywood and the head of Paramount's screen-writing department in the late 1920s and early '30s. He reached the pinnacle of his craft soon after arriving in Hollywood...
 
60.
Paddy Chayefsky
Writer, Network
Author, producer and composer who earned a Bachelor of Science degree from CCNY, then a Purple Heart during World War II while serving in the US Army. Joining ASCAP in 1955, his chief musical collaborators included George Bassman and Harry Warren. His popular-song compositions include "Marty" and "Middle of the Night".
 
61.
Peter Shaffer
Writer, Amadeus
Educated St Paul's School & Trinity College, Cambridge. Worked in Aquisitions Dept. of New York Public Library and for music publisher Boosey & Hawkes before finding fame as playwright.
 
62.
Ennio Flaiano
Writer,
 
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66.
Rod Serling
John Phillips is the name used by longtime television and film writer Rod Serling when he asked that his real name be removed as the writer of the pilot episode of the series "The New People" in 1969. While Serling's name remained as series developer, he was sufficiently annoyed with ABC- TV's editing of the pilot-- it was cut from 52 to 45 minutes to fit into a 90 minute time slot...
 
67.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
"There are no second acts in American lives," wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald, who himself went from being the high priest of the Jazz Age to a down-and-out alcoholic within the space of 20 years, but not before giving the world several literary masterpieces, the most famous of which is "The Great Gatsby" (1924)...
 
68.
Theodore Dreiser
Theodore Dreiser was one of the great American writers, and a transitional figure between Victorian America and the "modern" age that was inaugurated after the cessation of hostilities after WWI and the publication of Sinclair Lewis' "Main Street" in 1920. A naturalist with a committed social conscience...
 
69.
W. Somerset Maugham
Popular British novelist, playwright, short-story writer and the highest-paid author in the world in the 1930s, Somerset Maugham graduated in 1897 from St. Thomas' Medical School and qualified as a doctor, but abandoned medicine after the success of his first novels and plays. During World War I he worked as a secret agent and in 1928 settled in Cap Ferrat in France...
 
70.
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway was an American writer who won the Pulitzer Prize (1953) and the Nobel Prize in Literature (1954) for his novel The Old Man and the Sea, which was made into a 1958 film The Old Man and the Sea. He was born into the hands of his physician father. He was the second of six children of Dr. Clarence Hemingway and Grace Hemingway (the daughter of English immigrants)...
 
71.
Sinclair Lewis
Writer, Elmer Gantry
Sinclair Lewis, the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, was a colossus of American letters in the first half of the last century. Arguably, he is the first major "modern" writer of the 20th century, as there is American literature before "Main Street" (1920) and after that seminal novel...
 
72.
Vladimir Nabokov
Writer, Lolita
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 22, 1899, the eldest of five children in a wealthy aristocratic family in St. Petersburg, Russia. His grandfather was a Justice Minister to the Czar Alexander II. His father, named Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov, was a liberal political leader, the editor of a liberal newspaper...
 
76.
Zane Grey
Born Pearl Zane Gray on January 31, 1872, in Zanesville, Ohio--a town founded by his mother's family--famed western novelist Zane Grey was an athlete and outdoorsman from an early age, with his main interests being fishing and baseball. He attended the University of Pennsylvania on a baseball scholarship...
 
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79.
Andrei Tarkovsky
Writer, Solaris
The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky (the son of noted poet Arseniy Tarkovsky) studied music and Arabic in Moscow before enrolling in the Soviet film school V.G.I.K. He shot to international attention with his first feature, Ivan's Childhood, which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival...
 
83.
Noël Coward
Writer, Easy Virtue
Noel Coward virtually invented the concept of Englishness for the 20th century. An astounding polymath - dramatist, actor, writer, composer, lyricist, painter, and wit -- he was defined by his Englishness as much as he defined it. He was indeed the first Brit pop star, the first ambassador of "cool Britannia." Even before his 1924 drugs-and-sex scandal of The Vortex...
 
85.
Gore Vidal
Writer, Caligula
Gore Vidal was born Eugene Louis Vidal in 1925 in West Point, New York, to Nina (Gore) and West Point aeronautics instructor and aviation pioneer Eugene Luther Vidal. The Vidals endured a rocky marriage divorcing ten years after Gore's birth. Young Gore spent much of his childhood with his blind grandfather...
 
86.
Luis Buñuel
The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the university there, where his close friends included Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca...
 
87.
June Mathis
Writer, Greed
June Mathis was born June Beulah Hughes in 1887 in Leadville, Colorado. Her father died at a young age and her mother married William Mathis. She grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, which she would proudly consider her hometown for the rest of her life. At the age of 13 she pursued a career in vaudeville...
 
89.
Terrence Malick
Terrence Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois. His family subsequently lived in Oklahoma and he went to school in Austin, Texas. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy in 1965. A member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, he attended Magdalen College...
 
90.
Philip Kaufman
Director and screenwriter Philip Kaufman was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Chicago and later Harvard Law School. He won the Prix de la Nouvelle Critique at Cannes in 1965 for his film Goldstein. He was the screenwriter for The Outlaw Josey Wales and was to direct it but was replaced as director by Clint Eastwood...
 
91.
Jules Furthman
Jules Furthman was a magazine and newspaper writer when he began writing for films in 1915. When the U.S. entered WWI Furthman used the name "Stephen Fox" for his screenplays because he thought his name sounded too German, but he reverted to his real name after the war. Furthman became one of the most prolific...
 
95.
Frances Marion
Writer, The Champ
The most renowned female screenwriter of the 20th century, and one of the most respected scripters of any gender, Frances Marion was born in San Francisco. She modeled and acted and had some success as a commercial artist. She entered into journalism and served in Europe as a combat correspondent during World War I...
 
96.
James Poe
Attended Bronxville High School in Bronxville, New York and then St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland.
 
100.
Ken Russell
Director, Tommy
Ken Russell tried several professions, before choosing to become a film director. He was a still photographer, a dancer and even served in the army, but it was film that was to be Mr. Russell's destiny. He began by making several short films, and those paved the way for his brilliant television films of the sixties that are acclaimed for his attention to detail and opulent visuals...