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Joan Tewkesbury

Joan Tewkesbury

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Also Known As: Joan Frances Tewkesbury, Joan Maguire Died:
Born: April 8, 1936 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Redlands, California, USA Profession: screenwriter, director, teacher, scriptgirl, dancer, choreographer, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Enmeshed in a failing marriage and with two young children in tow, Joan Tewkesbury never stopped to consider her limitations, parlaying her experience as a stage director into work as a script girl for Robert Altman on "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" (1971). Her skills honed in the nurturing womb of New Hollywood, which rejected sexist prohibitions and encouraged collaboration, instinct and improvisation, Tewkesbury found fame at age 40, scripting Altman's Depression era crime drama "Thieves Like Us" (1974) and his Academy Award-winning masterpiece "Nashville" (1975). Suddenly a hot commodity in the film industry, Tewkesbury turned down more jobs than she accepted, ultimately bargaining her way into a bid as a first-time feature director with "Old Boyfriends" (1979), a collaboration with screenwriter brothers Leonard and Paul Schrader. The poor box office for Tewkesbury's directorial debut drove her back to the stage, and to television, where she earned high marks for her teleplays "The Tenth Month" (1979), "The Acorn People" (1979), and "Cold Sassy Tree" (1989). Proving herself a reliable director-for-hire, Tewkesbury helmed episodes of such acclaimed weekly series as "Northern Exposure" (1990-95) and...

Enmeshed in a failing marriage and with two young children in tow, Joan Tewkesbury never stopped to consider her limitations, parlaying her experience as a stage director into work as a script girl for Robert Altman on "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" (1971). Her skills honed in the nurturing womb of New Hollywood, which rejected sexist prohibitions and encouraged collaboration, instinct and improvisation, Tewkesbury found fame at age 40, scripting Altman's Depression era crime drama "Thieves Like Us" (1974) and his Academy Award-winning masterpiece "Nashville" (1975). Suddenly a hot commodity in the film industry, Tewkesbury turned down more jobs than she accepted, ultimately bargaining her way into a bid as a first-time feature director with "Old Boyfriends" (1979), a collaboration with screenwriter brothers Leonard and Paul Schrader. The poor box office for Tewkesbury's directorial debut drove her back to the stage, and to television, where she earned high marks for her teleplays "The Tenth Month" (1979), "The Acorn People" (1979), and "Cold Sassy Tree" (1989). Proving herself a reliable director-for-hire, Tewkesbury helmed episodes of such acclaimed weekly series as "Northern Exposure" (1990-95) and "Chicago Hope" (1994-2000) while contributing a cameo to former mentor Robert Altman's "The Player" (1992). Focusing on theatrical work in later life, Tewkesbury kept a hand in cinema by mentoring young filmmakers via workshops, proving herself less interested in making her reputation than in making a difference.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Scattering Dad (1998) Director
2.
  Wild Texas Wind (1991) Director
3.
  Sudie & Simpson (1990) Director
4.
  Cold Sassy Tree (1989) Director
5.
  Acorn People, The (1981) Director
6.
  Old Boyfriends (1979) Director
7.
  Tenth Month, The (1979) Director
8.
  Strangers (1992) Director ("Windows")
9.
  Elysian Fields (1989) Director
10.
  On Promised Land (1994) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Player (1992) Herself
2.
 Thieves Like Us (1974)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1947:
Appeared as dancer in MGM film, "Unfinished Dance" at age 11
1954:
Worked as dancer and as flying understudy in Broadway and Los Angeles productions of Mary Martin's "Peter Pan"
1955:
TV debut, as Ostrich in TV broadcast of "Peter Pan"
:
Worked as director and choreographer of theater productions in Los Angeles
:
Did choreography for films made in Los Angeles area
1971:
Handled continuity for Robert Altman's "McCabe and Mrs Miller"; credited as Joan Maguire
1974:
First credit as screenwriter; co-wrote "Thieves Like Us"
1975:
First solo screenplay credit, "Nashville"
1976:
Wrote and made directorial debut on documentary about Anna Freud, "Hampstead Center"
1978:
Was playwright and director of off-off Broadway production, "Cowboy Jack Street"
1979:
Directed first feature film, "Old Boyfriends" (also co-wrote screenplay with Ppaul Schrader)
1979:
TV movie directing and writing debut, "The Tenth Month"
:
Directed episodes of the new Alfred Hitchcock Presents from 1986
1989:
Wrote, directed, and co-executive produced "Elysian Fields", a pilot not picked up by CBS which aired on its Summer Playhouse
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

American School of Dance: - 1947 - 1954
Mount San Antonio Junior College: Walnut , California - 1956 - 1958
University of Southern California: Los Angeles , California - 1958 - 1960

Notes

Tewkesbury has taught dance and drama at the following schools: American School of Dance, Los Angeles (1959-69); Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles (1960-63); USC, Los Angeles (1966-69). She also taught film writing at UCLA in 1986.

From 1965 to 1968 Tewkesbury was involved with both the USC Repertory Company and the London and Edinburgh Arts Festivals as choreographer, director, and actress.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Robert F Maguire III. Married on November 30, 1960; divorced in January 1973.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Frances M Tewkesbury. Registered nurse.
father:
Walter S Tewkesbury. Office machine repairman.
child:
Robin Tewkesbury.
son:
Peter Harlan.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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