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Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (16) | Personal Quotes (4) | Salary (1)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 15 July 1941Kingston, New York, USA
Birth NameLawrence G. Cohen

Mini Bio (1)

Larry Cohen was born July 15, 1941, in Kingston, New York, a small town north of New York City. At a young age, his family moved to the Riverdale section of the Bronx, and he eventually majored in film at the historic City College of New York, graduating in 1963. An independent maverick who got his start in studio-based television, he is best known for inventive low-budget horror films that combine scathing social commentary with the requisite scares and occasional laughs. He was also a major player in the Blaxploitation films of the 1970s. Later in his career, he became a sought-after screenplay writer. Although not very prolific in his screen writing, these works still combine provocative social commentary--but with more conventional storytelling.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: MuzikJunky

Spouse (2)

Janelle Webb (10 June 1964 - 1 January 1987) (divorced) (5 children)
Cynthia Costas (? - present)

Trade Mark (1)

A scene shot at his house in Beverly Hills

Trivia (16)

Educated at the City College of New York and New York University.
Fred Williamson was shooting That Man Bolt (1973) in Los Angeles at the same time as Hell Up in Harlem (1973) which was in production in New York, so a double was used for most of the Tommy Gibbs character's New York close-ups. According to Cohen, Williamson did not like the double's physical appearance, remarking that "his butt was too big."
Directed Hell Up in Harlem (1973) and It's Alive (1974) simultaneously, working on "It's Alive!" from Monday to Friday and "Hell Up in Harlem" at the weekends.
Sold the spec script thriller Captivity (2007). This is his fifth spec script thriller in the last five years. Phone Booth (2002) was sold in December 1998 in the mid-six figures. "Cast of Characters" for $350,000 and Cellular (2004) for $750,000 were both sold in 1999. "Man Alive" was sold in August 2002 for a mid-six-figure amount. [June 2003]
His younger sister, Ronni Chasen, is a well-known Hollywood publicist.
His wife, Cynthia Costas Cohen, is a psychotherapist and sculptor.
Does not use a computer or typewriter to write. Dictates his scripts into a hand-held tape recorder.
Father, with Janelle Webb, of Jill Gatsby and Melissa Inger.
Was the creator of the 1967 TV series Coronet Blue (1967), which was an offshoot of his work on the TV series The Defenders (1961). Cohen wrote in his autobiography, "The Radical Allegories of an Independent Filmmaker," why the mystery behind the short-lived series' title/catch-phrase was never solved, and what it actually meant. "When the Brodkin Organization took over the series, they wanted to turn it into an anthology...so they played down the amnesia aspect until there was nothing about it at all in the show. It was just Frank Converse wandering from one story to the next with no connective format at all. Anyway, the show ended after seventeen weeks and nobody found out what 'coronet blue' meant. The actual secret is that Converse was not really an American at all. He was a Russian who had been trained to appear like an American and was sent to the US as a spy. He belonged to a spy unit called Coronet Blue. He decided to defect, so the Russians tried to kill him before he could give away the identities of the other Soviet agents. And nobody can really identify him because he doesn't exist as an American. Coronet Blue was actually an outgrowth of the episode called 'The Traitor' of 'The Defenders.'"
Worked as a page at NBC.
Sold two teleplays to Kraft Mystery Theater (1959) when he was only 22 years old.
Drew comics and made 8mm movies with his friends as a kid.
Has said that if he had been allowed to run The Invaders (1967), he would have given David Vincent 1) more of a sense of humor, 2) fewer aliens to fight and made them harder to kill, and 3) more of an on-going team of "Believers" in the second year to help him fight the aliens.
Not often allowed to run the TV series that he created. He was removed from creative control of Branded (1965) after one year and was never involved with The Invaders (1967) once he had turned over his outline for the first year.
Older brother of publicist Ronni Chasen.
Lives in a house in Coldwater Canyon, a secluded area north of Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. The house was built by William Randolph Hearst in 1929. [February 2004]

Personal Quotes (4)

Life has been good to me. I keep making pictures. Every year I make something. As long as I keep working, I have nothing to complain about. And the films I've made have all had some point to them. Otherwise, I wouldn't have felt they were worth doing. You have to have some direction in which you're headed and a destination which you have to arrive at by the end of the film, so that you feel it was a satisfactory trip. Some kind of personal statement has to be made.
Sometimes the scenes that really make a movie work are the little scenes that have nothing to do with advancing the action, but just add a little something.
[on how he came up with the idea of the aliens' signature extended pinky finger on his series The Invaders (1967)] The extended pinky used to be a symbol of effeminacy . . . you know, the effete [person] holding a glass of champagne with the pinky extended? When this show was done back in the '60s, the homosexual community was kind of a submerged, invisible community. People were living secret lives. I thought, here are these aliens living amongst society, keeping their true identities secret, their true selves secret, and this is funny because the pinky kind of symbolizes homosexuality in some way, and nobody will get the gag, but I'll put it in there anyway.
Some kids were great playing baseball; other kids were great at playing the piano; some kids were terrific at math. Writing was just something that came naturally.

Salary (1)

Cellular (2004) $750,000

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