More James L. Brooks Bios & Profiles
Biography #2For his feature debut, Terms of Endearment, which won eleven Academy Awards, James L. Brooks personally won three awards: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay Adapted From Another Medium. For his second film, Broadcast News, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won five awards from the New York Film Critics Association, he was nominated by the Academy for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay and was also nominated by the Directors Guild and the Writers Guild.
Prior to his involvement with features, he helped create such beloved television series as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant, Taxi, Room 222 and the currently acclaimed The Tracey Ullman Show, winning a total of eight Emmys for his contributions. Born in New York and raised in New Jersey, he started his career in television as a copyboy and was quickly promoted to newswriter. In 1966 he moved to Los Angeles and worked for David Wolper's documentary production company, until he created his first series, Room 222, in 1969. A year later, he and writer partner Allan Burns were approached by Grant Tinker to create a comedy vehicle for Tinker's then-wife, Mary Tyler Moore. The result was the much cherished The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which ran seven years and for which Brooks alone won four Emmys. The popular spin-offs Rhoda and Lou Grant followed, as well as the short-lived Paul Sand In Friends and Lovers.
In 1977 Brooks and fellow writer/producers David Davis, Ed Weinberger and Stan Daniels moved over to Paramount, where they founded their own production company. Their first series, The Associates, although highly praised, was not highly rated, but their second series, Taxi, scored on all counts. It ran for five years, receiving Emmy nominations as Best Comedy Series yearly and winning three times out of five.
When Brooks was approached to write his firm film, an adaptation of Dan Wakefield's Starting Over, the project lapsed, so he proceeded to option the book, write the screenplay and co-produce the film with director Alan Pakula, whom he had involved in the project. Both of the film's female leads, Jill Clayburgh and Candice Bergen, received Academy Award nominations for their performances.
Under the auspices of Gracie Films, the production company he set up at Twentieth Century Fox in 1984, Brooks has been involved with several other projects: He produced (with Robert Greenhut) last summer's hit comedy-romance Big, directed by Penny Marshall and starring Tom Hanks, which was nominated for two Academy Awards; currently oversees the highly lauded The Tracey Ullman Show, and is producing The War Of The Roses, which Danny DeVito will direct and star in with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.