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Aaron Sorkin Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (13) | Trivia (17) | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 6 June 1961New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameAaron Benjamin Sorkin
Height 6' 1½" (1.87 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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, and his true talent, lay in writing. His first play, "Removing All Doubt", was not an immediate success, but his second play, "Hidden in This Picture", debuted in 1988 at the West Bank Cafe Downstairs Theater Bar. A longer version of "Hidden in This Picture", called "Making Movies", opened at the Promenade Theater in 1990. Despite his youth and relative inexperience, Sorkin was about to break into the spotlight. In 1989, he received the prestigious Outer Critics Circle award as Outstanding American Playwright for the stage version of A Few Good Men (1992), which was later nominated for a Golden Globe. The idea for the plot of "A Few Good Men" came from a conversation with his older sister, Deborah. Deborah was a Navy Judge Advocate General lawyer sent to Guantanamo Bay on a case involving Marines accused of killing a fellow Marine. Deborah told Aaron of the case and he spent the next year and a half writing a Broadway play, which later led to the movie. Sorkin has gone on to write for many movies and TV shows. Besides A Few Good Men (1992), he has written The American President (1995) and Malice (1993), as well as cooperating on Enemy of the State (1998), The Rock (1996) and Excess Baggage (1997). In addition, he was invited by Steven Spielberg to "polish" the script of Schindler's List (1993). Sorkin's TV credits include the Golden Globe-nominated The West Wing (1999) and Sports Night (1998).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: A. Nonymous

Spouse (1)

Julia Bingham (13 April 1996 - 2005) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (13)

Appears as an extra in a bar scene in titles that he writes
Rapid quick fire exchange of tightly-scripted dialogue for characters
'Walk and talks' (or 'pedeconferencing') where two characters have a conversation while walking together.
His scripts often represent his liberal political views
Long character-driven speeches representing a character's beliefs and actions
Characters with Sarcastic dispositions
Stories regarding Government or Government Institutions
Intelligent and cocky but troubled Protagonists
Intelligent Female Characters
Often employs non-linear storytelling methods
Characters who successfully undergo psychoanalysis
Many of his films feature at least once character with an alliterative name (Sam Seaborn, Harriet Hayes, Matthew Markinson)
Often uses a legal proceeding as a plot device (trials, depositions, etc.)

Trivia (17)

In July 2000, he signed a four-year deal with Warner Bros. TV for approximately $15 million. The deal marks the first time that he has signed an exclusive long-term production deal.
In 19 June 2001, a judge sentenced him to a drug-diversion program as a result of his arrest at a California airport for carrying marijuana, rock cocaine and hallucinogenic mushrooms.
His daughter, Roxy, was born November 17, 2000.
Graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in Musical Theatre.
Wrote a 1988 Rolling Stone Magazine article about the top acting schools in the U.S. One of the featured schools was the State University of New York at Purchase (S.U.N.Y. Purchase) where Janel Moloney ("Donna" on The West Wing (1999)) happened to be attending at the time.
Many of his works contain references to the operas of Gilbert & Sullivan. In Malice (1993), the doctor played by Alec Baldwin boasts that he is "never, ever sick at sea", lyrics from "The HMS Pinafore". In The West Wing (1999), Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) says that he was recording secretary of the Princeton Gilbert & Sullivan society, and many of the regular characters welcome Ainsley Hayes (Emily Procter) to her new office by decorating it with G&S posters and singing "He is an Englishman", also from "Pinafore", to her. The second episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006) closes with the cast of the show-within-the-show singing a parody of "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" from "The Pirates of Penzance". In Charlie Wilson's War (2007), he gives Gust a throwaway line of "...and I'm never, never sick at sea", which is a line from "HMS Pinafore".
He is considered one of Scarsdale High School's "Distinguished Alumni." His picture hangs among the other alumni near the school's cafeteria.
His sister, Deborah Sorkin, is a Navy Judge Advocate General, who worked with David Iglesias. She told Aaron about a real-life case she had worked on with David, which became the basis of A Few Good Men (1992). The character played by Demi Moore was based on his sister. David Iglesias was a Republican, who would later gain fame as one of the U.S. Attorneys fired by the George W. Bush administration.
All three of his television shows feature a season finale episode entitled "What kind of day has it been?".
His play, "The Farnsworth Invention", at the TimeLine Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois, was awarded the 2010 Joseph Jefferson Award for Production of a Play (Midsize).
After he wrote the screenplay for A Few Good Men (1992), Sorkin rewrote the Broadway play for the National Touring Company, since there were elements added to the film that weren't originally in the play.
Sorkin seems to have an affinity for Nobel prize-winning economists. His fictional President in The American President (1995), "Andrew Shepherd", studied under a Nobel prize-winning economist. His President on The West Wing (1999), "Jed Bartlet", actually was a Nobel prize-winning economist.
Staunch supporter of the U.S. Democratic party.
He originally wanted to be an actor and did not discover writing until he was in his early twenties.
Worked odd jobs including limousine driver and singing telegram worker while struggling as an actor.
Working on a new show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006), set to premiere on NBC in the fall. [June 2006]
Was paid $700,000 to rewrite Warren Beatty's astronaut love story "Ocean of Storms" in 1996. He worked on several drafts of the script through 1997, which was originally written by Ben Young Mason & Tony Bill, who sold it in 1989.

Personal Quotes (15)

I love writing but hate starting. The page is awfully white and it says, "You may have fooled some of the people some of the time but those days are over, giftless. I'm not your agent and I'm not your mommy, I'm a white piece of paper, you wanna dance with me?" and I really, really don't. I'll go peaceable-like.
[speaking about freebased cocaine] I had found a drug I absolutely love and that gave me a real break from a certain nervous tension that I kind of carry with me moment to moment.
When things that are very mean-spirited and voyeuristic go on TV, I think it's [like] bad crack in the schoolyard.
When I am setting out to do something, I don't consider the state of the culture. I can't possibly conceive of what the most people are going to like. Honest to God, I write something that I like, that I think my friends would like and that I think my father would like, and I keep my fingers crossed that enough other people are going to like it that I can earn a living.
I am all for everyone having a voice, I just don't think everyone has earned the microphone. And that's what the Internet has done.
[on creating Mark Zuckerberg's persona for The Social Network (2010)] I identify with him. I've felt like I've had my nose pressed up against the glass of some cool party I have't been invited to. I've felt the world has reflected back to me that I'm a loser.
I think socializing on the Internet is to socializing what reality TV is to reality.
I became a writer, because I wanted to be Donald Hollinger, because he got a girl like Ann Marie.
[speaking about the importance of making good decisions at his 2012 commencement address at Syracuse University] I've made some bad decisions. I lost a decade of my life to cocaine addiction. You know how I got addicted to cocaine? I tried it. The problem with drugs is that they work--right up until the moment they decimate your life. Try cocaine, and you'll become addicted to it. Become addicted to cocaine, and you will either be dead, or you will wish you were dead, but it will only be one of the other. My big fear was that I wasn't going to be able to write without it. There was no way I was going to be able to write without it. Last month I celebrated my eleven-year anniversary of not using coke. In that eleven years, I've written three television series, three movies, a Broadway play, won the Academy Award, and taught my daughter all the lyrics to "Pirates of Penzance." I have good friends.
My big fear when I quit drugs was that I wouldn't be able to write anymore. Because if you're a writer, and you're on a roll - and I was on a roll when I was high - you don't want to change anything about the way you work.
[on how audiences are watching TV in 2012] Audiences are watching at a time other than when the network puts it on. Unlike with a movie or a play, I don't get to experience the audience watching the show. On Sunday night, it feels like I'm the only one watching it. It's hard to imagine anyone else is too.
I am truly at my happiest, not when I am writing an aria for an actor or making a grand political or social point. I am at my happiest when I've figured out a fun way for somebody to slip on a banana peel. That's really what I want to do.
[re his college mentor, the late Arthur Storch} Arthur's reputation as a director, and as a disciple of Lee Strasberg, was a big reason why a lot of us went to S.U. [Syracuse U.] As a freshman you didn't speak to him, and it was unlikely he'd know your name. But he'd generally zero in on two seniors who he felt were worth his time, and I was one of those seniors. 'You have the capacity to be so much better than you are,' he started saying to me in September of my senior year. He was still saying it in May. On the last day of classes he said it again, and I said, 'How?' and he answered, 'Dare to fail.' I've been coming through on his admonition ever since.
[to his daughter in a Father's Day letter] The nurse taught me bow to swaddle you. My first try didn't go so well.You had a look on your face that said, 'Oh my God, my father's a moron'.
[re A Few Good Men (1992)] A lot of what I was concentrating on in the screenplay adaptation was simply doing a rewrite - writing it better. But it was also my first time learning that a camera wasn't just a device to record performances, that it has a vocabulary. The audience may not know how to speak that vocabulary, but it understands it fluently. If you do a slow push-in on a glass of water, it becomes a meaningful glass of water, and you can cut that speech you love from the play about how meaningful the glass of water is. I've never written anything that I don't wish I could get another chance at. "A Few Good Men" has been my white whale for 25 years. Just a few years ago, I did a new draft for a West End production. I'm older and more experienced now, and I could write it better. I'd politely ignore the voices that are asking: How are you going to open it up? There's no rule of cinema that says claustrophobia is bad. Ask Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) or 12 Angry Men (1957).

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