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Tom Fontana Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (1) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (8) | Trivia (8)

Overview (1)

Date of Birth 12 September 1951Buffalo, New York, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Tom Fontana was born on September 12, 1951 in Buffalo, New York, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for Oz (1997), Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) and St. Elsewhere (1982). He was previously married to Sagan Lewis.

Spouse (1)

Sagan Lewis (18 December 1981 - 1992) (divorced)

Trade Mark (8)

His stories frequently revolve around the concepts of Redemption and Forgiveness
Often writes Gay or Bisexual characters
Recurring Themes of Religion and a character's Faith
Brutal and graphic depiction of violence
His protagonists are often men caught in situations far out of their depth
Use of flashbacks and dream sequences
Effective use of soundtracks and music montages
Use of religious symbolism

Trivia (8)

Producer Dick Wolf is old friends with producer Tom Fontana. They often use actors from each other's TV series, usually resulting in the actors working on two shows at once. Examples are J.K. Simmons on Law & Order (1990) and Oz (1997), Christopher Meloni and Dean Winters on Oz (1997) and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) and Kathryn Erbe on Oz (1997) and Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001). Richard Belzer famously leaped from producers' show to show as "Detective John Munch".
He got his first big break in television in 1982, from producer Bruce Paltrow who hired him to write for the series St. Elsewhere (1982).
Attended Buffalo State College, Class of 1973
The character played by Dennis Farina on Law & Order (1990) is named Fontana. According to creator Dick Wolf, this is no coincidence.
Graduate of Canisius High School, class of '69 and active alumni member/donor
Appeared at a St. Elsewhere (1982) reunion at Buffalo State College, his alma mater, in the 2000-2001 school year along with cast members Ed Begley Jr. and Howie Mandel, among others.
He usually writes early in the morning just after waking up. He has said that most of the time ideas will come to him at this time from dreams he has had during the night. Prior to going to bed he usually will briefly look over the scenes he plans to write in the morning in order to generate these dreams.
Cousin of Patti LuPone and Robert LuPone.

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