James Ellroy Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (5)  | Trivia (15)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (4)

Born in Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameLee Earle Elroy
Nicknames Dog
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

James Ellroy was born on March 4, 1948 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Lee Earle Elroy. He is a writer and producer, known for L.A. Confidential (1997), Street Kings (2008) and The Black Dahlia (2006). He was previously married to Helen Knode.

Spouse (2)

? (? - ?)
Helen Knode (? - 2006) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (5)

Outsized, bombastic and contradictory public persona, with a greatly inflated view of his own work
Starting with L.A. Confidential, stripped-down, telegramatic prose that uses as few words as possible
Sprawling, epic noir tales with labyrinthine plots and ambiguous endings
Often writes crime stories centered around the LAPD
Nearly all his novels are set in Los Angeles, and most in the 1940s-1950s

Trivia (15)

The brutal murder of his mother, Jean Ellroy, in 1958, was the basis of his 1996 memoir "My Dark Places".
"The Black Dahlia" (1987) was his seventh novel. It was based on the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short. The same case was also the basis for John Gregory Dunne's 1977 novel and later movie True Confessions (1981) with Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall ). Black Dahlia was the first novel in a series to become known as "The L.A. Quartet." "L.A. Confidential," "White Jazz," and "The Big Nowhere" are the other novels in the quartet.
Prior to his success, he used to work as a golf caddy at the Bel Air Country Club. His first novel, "Brown's Requiem," was directly inspired by this experience.
Is an avid fan of ex-LAPD officer turned novelist Joseph Wambaugh.
Is a good friend of crime novelist Edward Bunker.
Is a huge supporter of the Los Angeles Police Department. He also has several friends on the force, like robbery-homicide Detective Rick Jackson and L.A. County Sheriff William Stoner.
His first unpublished novel was titled "L.A. Death Trap", which was later revised to give the first drafts of "Blood on the Moon", "Because the Night" and "Suicide Hill", three novels also known as the Lloyd Hopkins trilogy.
Wrote several scripts that never got made. Among others: White Heat, the remake of Raoul Walsh's classic; 77, a tough police drama set in South Central dealing with the SLA shootout with SWAT in the seventies; White Jazz, an adaptation of his own crime novel; and Mr. Smith, a film noir inspired by the real-life activities of LAPD firearms expert Richard Smith.
Was asked by his editor to shorten his novel "White Jazz" from 900 pages to 350. Rather than removing sub-plots, Ellroy achieved this by eliminating verbs, creating a unique style of prose.
In an E-pinion article on Empire Online, James Ellroy listed these as his Top 10 favorite films: Vertigo (1958), The Godfather: Part II (1974), The Prowler (1951), The Lineup (1958), The Big Knife (1955), Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Double Indemnity (1944), Out of the Past (1947), 711 Ocean Drive (1950).
In an article for the UK magazine Neon, Ellroy listed these as his ten favorite crime movies: L.A. Confidential (1997), The Godfather: Part II (1974), The Prowler (1951), Crime Wave (1954), Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), The Killing (1956), Plunder Road (1957), The Lineup (1958), 711 Ocean Drive (1950), Vertigo (1958).
During a 2005 book tour, Ellroy predicted that the film adaptation of his novel, The Black Dahlia, would be "an intriguing flop". The film was a box office failure.
A crime novelist. Fellow crime novelist Robert Crais must be a fan of Ellroy because he name-checks him in his novel, The Sentry.
Writes all his novels longhand as he has never learned to use a computer or even type. Doesn't own a cell phone.
According to the author, his novel "The Black Dahlia" sold 50 times as many books in 7 weeks as "L.A. Confidential" sold in 22 years.

Personal Quotes (6)

I'm happy for the money. I'm happy for the exposure... Every once in a while there's lightning in a bottle like with 'L.A. Confidential (1997)' so we'll see what happens with The Black Dahlia (2006). Even bad movies create substantial readership for your books.
I am a master of fiction. I am also the greatest crime writer who ever lived. I am to the crime novel in specific what Lev Tolstoy is to the Russian novel and what Ludwig van Beethoven is to music.
[on Ludwig van Beethoven] The greatest artist ever given to earth by God.
My novel The Black Dahlia (2006) will be poorly filmed in March of next year by overrated auteur Brian De Palma. Fatuously good-looking Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson will weakly star in this vehicle. The production designer is Dante Ferretti who production designed most of the great Scor-sleazy movies, so it will look very good and it will be shot by the esteemed Vilmos Zsigmond. I predict an intriguing flop...that will nevertheless sell me a shitload of books.
[on Zodiac (2007)] One of the half-dozen greatest American crime films.
We're still evolving. God's not finished with us yet.

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