JAMES L. BROOKS Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


Biography » theater opera and movie personalities » james l brooks


Name: James L. Brooks                                                                 
Born: 9 May 1940 Brooklyn, New York                                                   
James L. Brooks (born May 9, 1940) is a three-time Academy Award, nineteen-time       
Emmy and Golden Globe-winning American producer, writer, and film director.           
He is best known for producing American television programs such as The Mary         
Tyler Moore Show, The Simpsons (in which he created miscellaneous characters,         
including the Bouvier family), Rhoda and Taxi. His best-known film is Terms of       
Endearment, for which he received three Academy Awards in 1984.                       
Brooks was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised in North Bergen, New           
Jersey in a Jewish family. Brooks began his television career as a writer for         
CBS News from 1964 to 1966. After working for the ABC television series Room 222     
as executive story editor, Brooks was hired along with writing partner Allan         
Burns by television executive Grant Tinker to create a show that would later         
become The Mary Tyler Moore Show.                                                     
The Mary Tyler Moore Show became a critical and commercial success and spawned       
other television shows created by Brooks and Burns such as Rhoda, Paul Sand in       
Friends and Lovers, Taxi, The Associates, and Lou Grant. Brooks often sat in the     
studio audience of shows that he produced in the 1970s. Viewers can usually tell     
whether Brooks was in the audience by his distinctive loud guffaw. He would also     
make occasional cameo appearances.                                                   
In 1978, Brooks began work on feature motion films. His first project was being       
writer and co-producer on the film Starting Over and later wrote, produced and       
directed Terms of Endearment in 1983.                                                 
Brooks later started his own film and television production company, Gracie           
Films, in 1984. Gracie Films would produce the television series The Tracey           
Ullman Show and its spin-off, The Simpsons as well as the animated series The         
Critic. Gracie Films' notable film productions were Jerry Maguire, As Good as It     
Gets, Big, Bottle Rocket and Broadcast News.                                         
Brooks had a cameo in The Simpsons episode "A Star Is Born-Again". He also           
played a semi-fictional version of himself in friend Albert Brooks' comedy           
Modern Romance as an opinionated film director.                                       
Brooks mentored Cameron Crowe and was the executive producer of Crowe's               
directorial debut Say Anything.... Crowe recalled later in an interview of the       
film's anniversary that he approached Brooks and told him about these ideas he       
had. Upon hearing this, Brooks encouraged Crowe to keep writing.                     
Brooks also mentored Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson after they brought Bottle           
Rocket to his attention. Owen believes they wouldn't have gotten the film made       
if it wasn't for Brooks' help. In 2007, Brooks appeared --                           
along with star Hollywood screenwriters Nora Ephron, Carrie Fisher, and others --     
in Dreams on Spec, a documentary about filmmaking. Brooks is                         
one of the few people thanked during the end credits for the film Borat:             
Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.