*NOTE: Amy Hempel would be on here if she had an IMDB page.
Joyce was born at 41 Brighton Square, Rathgar, Dublin, on 2 February 1882. His father invested unwisely, and the family's fortunes declined steadily. Joyce graduated from University College, Dublin, in 1902; he briefly studied medicine in Paris, but his mother's impending death brought him back to Dublin...
Born the son of an Opium Agent in Bengal, Eric Blair was educated in England (Eton 1921). The joined the British Imperial Police in Burma, serving until 1927. He then travelled around England and Europe, doing various odd jobs to support his writing. By 1935 he had adopted the 'pen-name' of 'George Orwell' and had written his first novels...
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born on November 11, 1821, in Moscow, Russia. He was the second of seven children of Mikhail Andreevich and Maria Dostoevsky. His father, a doctor, was a member of the Russian nobility, owned serfs and had a considerable estate near Moscow where he lived with his family...
Count Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in his ancestral estate Yasnaya Polyana, South of Moscow, Russia. He was the fourth of five children in a wealthy family of Russian landed Gentry. His parents died when he was a child, and he was brought up by his elder brothers and relatives...
Born on Salamis island around 484 BC, Euripides is considered the first professional writer in Athens. His dramas evolve around human passions and his interest lies in strong feelings of love, hate and revenge. Often also the gods themselves share the same low moral standards as the humans do. In several of his plays women take leading parts...
Versatile Greek poet and tragic dramatist. He was the son of Sophilus, a wealthy arms manufacturer. Sophocles studied tragedy under Aeschylus, whom he subsequently defeated in the dramatic festival of 468 BC, thus gaining his first victory at these competitions. He became a general under Nicias and...
William Shakespeare's birthdate is assumed from his baptism on April 25. His father John was the son of a farmer who became a successful tradesman; his mother Mary Arden was gentry. He studied Latin works at Stratford Grammar School, leaving at about age 15. About this time his father suffered an unknown financial setback...
Master of comedy novelist Pelham (Plum) Grenville Wodehouse was born on October 15, 1881, in Guilford, Surrey, England. He died in hospital in Southampton, New York, on Valentine's day (February 14) 1975, from a heart attack after a long illness at age 93. In that time he managed to write close to 200 novels, short stories, plays, song lyrics and so on...
U.S. writer whose novel "The Catcher in the Rye" (1951) won critical acclaim and devoted admirers, especially among the post-World War II generation of college students. His entire corpus of published works consists of that one novel and 13 short stories, all originally written in the period 1948-59...
Reclusive American author best known for his epic novels "Gravity's Rainbow," "V." and "Mason & Dixon."
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".
Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many German films until Adolf Hitler
came to power in 1933...
Franz Kafka was born into a German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, Austrian Empire, in 1883. His father, Hermann Kafka, was a business owner and a domestic tyrant, frequently abusing his son. Kafka later admitted to his father, "My writing was all about you...". He believed that his father broke his will and caused insecurity and guilt...
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!"...
Marcel Proust was a French intellectual, author and critic, best known for his seven-volume fiction 'In search of Lost Time'. He coined the term "involuntary memory", which became also known as "Proust effect" in modern psychology. He was born Valentin Louis Georges Eugéne Marcel Proust, on July 10...
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born in 1860, the third of six children to a family of a grocer, in Taganrog, Russia, a southern seaport and resort on the Azov Sea. His father, a 3rd-rank Member of the Merchant's Guild, was a religious fanatic and a tyrant who used his children as slaves. Young Chekhov was a part-time assistant in his father's business and also a singer in a church choir...
John Steinbeck was the third of four children and the only son born to John Ernst and Olive Hamilton Steinbeck. His father was County Treasurer and his mother, a former schoolteacher. John graduated from Salinas High School in 1919 and attended classes at Stanford University, leaving in 1925 without a degree...
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...
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...
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)...
Schulz is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable writers in Polish literature of the first half of the 20h Century. He was born in Drohobycz, a small village near Lvov, where he would live until he was shot by the Nazis on the street on November 19th, 1942. By then, Schulz had published two books. They were collections of stories and prose texts of extremely original style and contents...
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...
Tennessee Williams met long-term partner Frank Merlo
in the summer of 1948 (Merlo died of lung cancer in the fall of 1963). Though separated briefly in 1961 and again in 1962, the two were partners for 15 years. Merlo acted as his personal manager/secretary. Williams spent much of his most prolific years in Rome...
He married the actress Padma Lakshmi
, the hostess of "Padma's Passport," and dedicatee of his eighth novel, "Fury" (2001), on 17th April 2004. The late Ayatollah Khomeini declared a fatwa against him for the novel "The Satanic Verses" on 14th February 1989. He is currently completing a ninth novel...
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)...
A gifted poet, playwright and wit, Oscar Wilde was a phenomenon in 19th-century England. He was illustrious for preaching the importance of style in life and art, and of attacking Victorian narrow-mindedness. Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1854. He studied at Trinity College in Dublin before leaving the country to study at Oxford University in England when he was in his early 20s...
After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata
. Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater creative freedom...
Joseph Heller was born May 1, 1923, in the Coney Island section of New York City. He is best known for his 1961 novel 'Catch-22', whose title gave the English language a new phrase for a no-win situation. The situation was that of protagonist Yossarian, who claims that he is too crazy to fly any more bombing missions...
T.S. Eliot ranks with William Butler Yeats
as the greatest English language poet of the 20th Century and was certainly the most influential. He was born Thomas Stearns Eliot into the bosom of a respectable middle class family on September 26, 1888 in St. Louis, Missouri. The family had roots in New England...
Jean-Paul Charles-Aymard Sartre was born on June 21, 1905, in Paris, France. His father, Jean-Baptiste Sartre, was an officer in the French Navy. His mother, Anne-Marie Schweitzer, was the cousin of Nobel Prize laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer
. Sartre was one year old when his father died. He was raised in Meudon...
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...
Charles Bukowski, the American poet, short-story writer, and novelist, was born Heinrich Karl Bukowski, Jr. in Andernach, Germany on August 1920. He was the son of Henry Bukowski, a US soldier who was part of the post-World War I occupation force, and Katharina Fett, a German woman. His father, his wife and young "Henry Charles" returned to the United States in 1922...
Avid reader Charlie Kaufman wrote plays and made short films as a young student. He moved from Massapequa, New York to West Hartford, Connecticut in 1972 where he attended high school. As a comedic actor, he performed in school plays and, after graduation, he enrolled at Boston University but soon transferred NYU to study film...
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...
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr...
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July fourteenth, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions
is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film 'Söndagsbarn' depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Private Confessions
is the trilogy closed. Here...
Harold Pinter, the 2005 Nobel Laureate for Literature, was born October 10, 1930, in London's working-class Hackney district to Hyman and Frances Pinter, Eastern European Jews who had immigrated to the United Kingdom from Portugal. Hyman (known as "Jack") was a tailor specializing in women's clothing and Frances was a homemaker...
John Updike is among the leading novelists of the late 20th century, having twice won the Pulitzer Prize. Updike graduated Harvard College in 1954 to the staff of the New Yorker, with whom he has worked ever since as a contributor and reviewer. Updike has published 15 novels and lives in Massachusetts
Nelle Harper Lee grew up in Monroeville, Alabama in the 1920s. It was a time of hostility between whites and blacks in the United States, especially in Alabama. Her father, a lawyer, also ran a local newspaper. Her mother suffered from mental illness and oftentimes stayed inside from others; she was thought to suffer from bipolar disorder...
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...
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...
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola
, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola
(née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated with a degree in drama from Hofstra University...
Screenwriter, novelist, playwright, non-fiction author. Born in Highland Park, Illinois, USA, began his career as a novelist in 1957. Started writing screenplays in 1965 with "Masquerade". A two-time Academy Award Winner, he is one of the most successful screenwriters and script doctors in Hollywood.
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...
Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino
, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old. In January of 1992...
“ The profile is for a different guy ” - nouseforaname87
Nicholas Pileggi was born and raised in New York, the son of a shoe store owner. He worked as a journalist for Associated Press in the 1950s where he specialized in crime reporting. Over the next 30 years he built up his contacts and reputation, covering stories for New York magazine and contributing to many others...
“ ...and Ethan ” - nouseforaname87
Writer, director, producer, actor. Born in Los Angeles, California, USA, and raised in the seaport town of San Pedro. Got his start acting and writing for legendary exploitation director/producer Roger Corman
. Came into his own during the 1970s when he was regarded as one of the finest screenwriters in Hollywood...
Graham Greene was one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century and his influence on the cinema and theatre was enormous. He wrote five plays and almost all of his novels, including "Brighton Rock", "The Ministry of Fear" and "The End of the Affair", have been brought to the screen. A superb storyteller, he also wrote the screenplays for such classics as The Fallen Idol
and The Third Man
Clifford Odets dropped out of high school to pursue acting. In the 1930s he became a charter member of the Group Theatre, the famous "Method" acting troupe founded by Harold Clurman
, Lee Strasberg
and Cheryl Crawford
. Beginning with "Waiting for Lefty" (1935), Odets quickly became the most famous young playwright in America...
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...
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
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
There are but a few select screenwriters who are spoken of with the kind of reverence usually reserved for film Directors - Robert Towne
, Alvin Sargent
and Bo Goldman
. Goldman is a screenwriter's screenwriter, and one of the most honored in motion picture history. The recipient of two Academy Awards...
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...
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on February 11, 1909, Joseph Leo Mankiewicz first worked for the movies as a translator of intertitles, employed by Paramount in Berlin, the UFA's American distributor at the time (1928). He became a dialoguist, then a screenwriter on numerous Paramount productions in Hollywood...
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...
William S. Burroughs
William S. Burroughs, one of the three seminal writers of the Beat Generation (the other two being his friends Jack Kerouac
and Allen Ginsberg
), was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 5, 1914, to the son of the founder of the Burroughs Adding Machine Co. He grew up in patrician surroundings and attended private school in Los Alamos...
Richard Brooks was an Academy Award-winning film writer who also earned six Oscar nominations and achieved success as a film director and producer. He was born Ruben Sax on May 18, 1912, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants. He graduated from West Philadelphia HS...
Admirers have always had difficulty explaining Éric Rohmer
's "Je ne sais quoi." Part of the challenge stems from the fact that, despite his place in French Nouvelle Vague (i.e., New Wave), his work is unlike that of his colleagues. While this may be due to the auteur's unwillingness to conform, some have argued convincingly that...
Paul Thomas Anderson
Anderson was born in 1970. He was one of the first of the "video store" generation of film-makers. His father was the first man on his block to own a V.C.R., and from a very early age Anderson had an infinite number of titles available to him. While film-makers like Spielberg cut their teeth making 8 mm films, Anderson cut his teeth shooting films on video and editing them from V.C.R. to V.C.R...
Director, producer and screenwriter Alexander Payne was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents, Peggy (Constantine) and George Payne, ran a Greek restaurant. His father is of Greek and German ancestry, and his mother is of Greek descent; the family name was originally Papadopoulos. He has two older brothers...
Aaron Sorkin grew up in Scarsdale, a suburb of New York City where he was very involved in his high school drama and theater club. After graduating from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater, Sorkin intended to pursue a career in acting. It took him only a short time to realize that his true love...