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Steve Tesich

Steve Tesich

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Also Known As: Stoyan Tesich Died: July 1, 1996
Born: September 29, 1942 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Profession: screenwriter, playwright, welfare caseworker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Yugoslav-born Steve Tesich spoke no English when he and his mother and sister immigrated to the USA in 1957, but learning the language gave him the mechanism for responding to his adoptive country. He attended Indiana University on a wrestling scholarship, but his passion switched to cycling there, providing him the impetus for his Academy Award-winning screenplay for "Breaking Away" (1979) and the subsequent "American Flyers" (1985).

Yugoslav-born Steve Tesich spoke no English when he and his mother and sister immigrated to the USA in 1957, but learning the language gave him the mechanism for responding to his adoptive country. He attended Indiana University on a wrestling scholarship, but his passion switched to cycling there, providing him the impetus for his Academy Award-winning screenplay for "Breaking Away" (1979) and the subsequent "American Flyers" (1985).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1957:
Immigrated to USA
1968:
Worked as Department of Welfare caseworker in Brooklyn, NY
1970:
First play produced in New York, "The Carpenters"
1979:
First screenplay, "Breaking Away"; won Oscar for Best Original Screenplay
1980:
"Division Street", his first Broadway play, opened
1982:
Published first novel "Summer Crossing"
1985:
Last screenplays produced, "Eleni" and "American Flyers"
1989:
Returned to playwriting
1996:
Last play produced Off-Broadway, "Arts & Leisure"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Indiana University: Bloomington , Indiana - 1965
Columbia University: New York , New York - 1967

Notes

Tesich received a National Defense Education Act fellowship in 1965 and a Rockefeller Foundation grant in 1972.

"As soon as I started learning English, it was almost as though I had a tuning fork in me that could respond to the language and the country." --Steve Tesich

"You only have one shot at this thing called 'living.' At that horrendous moment of death, I don't think I'll be thinking, 'I shoulda bought that yacht.' I know I'll be thinking of the unexplored, the love I didn't express, all the untapped emotions and ideas that are going to be buried alive with me. That image haunts the hell out of me." --Steve Tesich in Newsday, May 19, 1996.

"I would say he became, not skeptical--he adored this country. But his ideas became more abstract and his political views changed. It started with the Reagan era, and the situation in Yogoslavia had a profound effect on him." --Sam Cohn, Tesich's lontime friend and agent, quoted in his obituary in The New York Times, July 2, 1996.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Rebecca Fletcher. Married on May 24, 1971; survived him.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Rade Tesich. Survived him.
sister:
Gospava Tesich. Older; survived him.
daughter:
Amy Tesich. Born c. 1987; survived him.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Summer Crossing" Random House

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