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John Patrick Shanley

John Patrick Shanley

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: October 3, 1950 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: screenwriter, playwright, director, apartment painter, sandwich maker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In his early years as an off-Broadway playwright, John Patrick Shanley was celebrated for his intense dialogue and for his dysfunctional young New Yorkers in search of identity and love. His big-screen, romantic comedy version of his storytelling was the hit movie "Moonstruck" (1987), which earned the Irish-American an Academy Award for his script. He stayed in Hollywood for a number of years, where he wrote and directed the critically lambasted "Joe vs. the Volcano" (1990) and was subsequently pegged as an adventure writer, hired to do script adaptations like "Congo" (1993) and "Alive" (1995). A rare foray into television screenwriting resulted in an Emmy nomination for the fact-based Gulf War drama "Live from Baghdad" (HBO, 2002), but Shanley generally remained a prolific and versatile playwright on the New York stage. His off-Broadway fare was hit-or-miss with critics, with successes until 2004 when "Doubt" won a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Pulitzer Prize Award for Drama. In 2008, Shanley's suspenseful drama about sexual abuse allegations at a Catholic school was adapted and directed by him, making him one of the rare New York theater talents to successfully bring his vision to the screen...

In his early years as an off-Broadway playwright, John Patrick Shanley was celebrated for his intense dialogue and for his dysfunctional young New Yorkers in search of identity and love. His big-screen, romantic comedy version of his storytelling was the hit movie "Moonstruck" (1987), which earned the Irish-American an Academy Award for his script. He stayed in Hollywood for a number of years, where he wrote and directed the critically lambasted "Joe vs. the Volcano" (1990) and was subsequently pegged as an adventure writer, hired to do script adaptations like "Congo" (1993) and "Alive" (1995). A rare foray into television screenwriting resulted in an Emmy nomination for the fact-based Gulf War drama "Live from Baghdad" (HBO, 2002), but Shanley generally remained a prolific and versatile playwright on the New York stage. His off-Broadway fare was hit-or-miss with critics, with successes until 2004 when "Doubt" won a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Pulitzer Prize Award for Drama. In 2008, Shanley's suspenseful drama about sexual abuse allegations at a Catholic school was adapted and directed by him, making him one of the rare New York theater talents to successfully bring his vision to the screen without sacrificing artistic integrity.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Doubt (2008)
2.
  Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Crossing Delancey (1988) Celebrity Party Guest
2.
 Intimate Portrait: Park Overall (2000) Interviewee
3.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in East Bronx, NY
:
Began writing poetry at age 11
:
Wrote first play, "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea," while working as bartender in the 1970s
1982:
First play produced in NYC, "Welcome to the Moon"
1985:
Play "Savage in Limbo" produced Off-Off-Broadway
1986:
Penned the play "Women of Manhattan"; began association with Manhattan Theatre Club
1987:
Wrote first screenplay, "Five Corners"
1987:
Enjoyed success with Manhattan Theatre Club production of "Italian American Reconciliation"
1987:
First released film as screenwriter, "Moonstruck"
1987:
Directed first short, "I Am Angry"
1989:
Helmed debut feature, "Joe Versus the Volcano"
1993:
Wrote the screenplays for "Alive," about survivors of a plane crash in the Andes
1993:
Had a hit Off-Broadway with the Hollywood satire "Four Dogs and a Bone"
1995:
Penned the screenplay for "Congo," based on Michael Crichton's novel
1996:
Wrote the play, "Psychopathia Sexualis" as a response to a midlife crisis; staged in NYC at Manhattan Theatre Club in 1997
2001:
Premiered his play "Where's My Money?" at the LABrynth Theater in NYC
2002:
Penned the HBO movie "Live from Baghdad," adapted from CNN producer Robert Wiener's book about the Persian Gulf War in 1991
2004:
Scripted the Off-Broadway play "Doubt"; transferred to Broadway in March 2005
2008:
Wrote and directed the film adaptation of his Broadway play, "Doubt"; earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Screenplay
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Education

Thomas Moore Prep School: Harrisville , New Hampshire -
New York University: New York , New York - 1977

Notes

"I am not a courageous person by nature. I have simply discovered that, at certain key moments in this life, you must find courage in yourself, in order to move forward and live. It is like a muscle and it must be exercised, first a little, and then more and more. All the really exciting things possible during the course of a lifetime require a little more courage than we currently have. A deep breath and a leap." --John Patrick Shanley in an introduction to a volume of his plays

"I realized that in order to write an effective screenplay, you have to have no distance from your material. You have to be in the scene with the characters. You cannot be cynical, you cannot be removed, you cannot be in a place where you think you know more than they know. Emotionally, you have to respect your characters and you have to be there with them. And also, after all is said and done, there are heroes in the world." --John Patrick Shanley quoted in American Film, September 1989.

"You have to go in and be a fool, a true believer. You have to find a solid place in yourself to stand on--a single vantage, a value system from which you can view the world. If the ground underneath you is shifting the movie will have no point of view.

"Whatever you do in terms of telling a story, the most important thing that you can define is who you are. The stories are all out there; it's finding a place where you are in relationship to the story that will tell the story." --Shanley quoted in American Film, September 1989.

"Where I grew up was both an Irish and Italian neighborhood. I hung out with Italian kids, went to school them, went to their homes. And I was struck with the difference between their life and ours. Maybe that's why I tended to write more about them--their lives fascinated me more than my own." --John Patrick Shanley to Daily News, October 17, 1991.

"My plays are personal. I'm expressing personal questions, personal concerns. I think that most people go through the kinds of emotional reactions that I go through. They just don't say so. I might be wrong, but I know from the responses I get from the audiences that they seem to know what I'm talking about. It's not like they're going, "Whoa! I have no idea who these people are." I write things that people say out loud that other people think, but they don't say them because they're afraid or they're too wise, but I say them because that's my job." --Shanley to Beth Stevens of Broadway.com, July 2, 2001.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jayne Hayes. Actor. Divorced.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Collected Plays" Applause Books

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