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Alex Kurtzman

Alex Kurtzman

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Also Known As: Alex Kurtzman-Counter, Alexander Kurtzman Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Not every show biz hyphenate can live up to their adjectives. Alex Kurtzman certainly did. As a film and television writer, his work was both critically and commercially successful, but he also accrued a string of producer credits that were enviable in their own right. Kurtzman was genuinely multi-faceted, and became synonymous with Hollywood blockbusters in the sci-fi and fantasy genres.Kurtzman was born September 7, 1973 in Los Angeles, California. By the time he'd finished at Wesleyan University, he already had an unlikely cult television hit on his hands. Along with his writing partner Roberto Orci -- whom he met in high school -- he became co-executive producer on the tongue-in-cheek syndicated fantasy action series "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" (1995-99). Kurtzman and Orci were given the position after hammering out a storyline that successfully worked around the series' missing star, Kevin Sorbo, who had suffered a stroke during the show's first season.By 1999, Kurtzman had expanded on this early success with his first spin-off, the even more popular syndicated series "Xena: Warrior Princess" (1995-2001), on which he served co-executive producer and writer under executive producer Sam...

Not every show biz hyphenate can live up to their adjectives. Alex Kurtzman certainly did. As a film and television writer, his work was both critically and commercially successful, but he also accrued a string of producer credits that were enviable in their own right. Kurtzman was genuinely multi-faceted, and became synonymous with Hollywood blockbusters in the sci-fi and fantasy genres.

Kurtzman was born September 7, 1973 in Los Angeles, California. By the time he'd finished at Wesleyan University, he already had an unlikely cult television hit on his hands. Along with his writing partner Roberto Orci -- whom he met in high school -- he became co-executive producer on the tongue-in-cheek syndicated fantasy action series "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" (1995-99). Kurtzman and Orci were given the position after hammering out a storyline that successfully worked around the series' missing star, Kevin Sorbo, who had suffered a stroke during the show's first season.

By 1999, Kurtzman had expanded on this early success with his first spin-off, the even more popular syndicated series "Xena: Warrior Princess" (1995-2001), on which he served co-executive producer and writer under executive producer Sam Raimi. Where "Hercules" drew a young male following, "Xena" struck pay dirt with a devoted female fan base. Both the series and its star, Lucy Lawless, quickly became seen as the embodiment of the late '90s girl power zeitgeist.

Kurtzman's second syndicated project with Raimi was a quirky, historical mash-up starring sci-fi cult celeb Bruce Campbell called "Jack of All Trades" (2000-01), on which he served as executive producer and writer. His next major television project came in the form of the cult hit that kick-started Jennifer Garner's career, "Alias" (ABC 2001-06). Kurtzman wore a multitude of hats during the critically-acclaimed series' run, serving at various times as writer, supervising producer, co-executive producer, and executive producer. The show also introduced him to its creator, J. J. Abrams, who would go on to become one of his key creative allies.

2005 was the beginning of Kurtzman's foray into film. His first project was with collaborator Michael Bay as co-writer on "The Island," a film that scored tepid critical and box office reception. The Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones vehicle "The Legend of Zorro" (2005) was better received. In 2006 he joined forces again with Abrams, co-writing the Tom Cruise franchise vehicle "Mission: Impossible III" to mostly-positive critical and box office responses.

Kurtzman teamed up again with Bay as co-writer on the first in the series of the sci-fi franchise "Transformers" (2007). The film was Shia LaBeouf's star turn, and received multiple Oscar nods in technical categories. The following year saw Kurtzman's first producer credit on the film "Eagle Eye" (2008), also featuring LaBeouf. That same year, he returned to television as co-creator, with Abrams and Orci, of the cult hit "Fringe" (Fox 2008-2013). Kurtzman also served as executive producer, consulting producer, and writer on the series, which brought approving comparisons to legendary sci-fi series "The X-Files"(Fox 1993-2002).

In 2009, Kurtzman took on the reboot of perennial favorite "Star Trek" (2009), as writer and executive producer. Abrams directed the critically-acclaimed prequel to the decades-old science fiction franchise. The movie was by all standards a blockbuster and received four Oscar nominations. That same year, Kurtzman rejoined forces with Bay, penning the sequel "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (2009).

Kurtzman then toggled back to television, this time tackling the once-beloved police drama "Hawaii Five-0" (CBS 2010- ), on which he served as a writer and producer. His next major film work came as producer and co-writer on Jon Favreau's sci-fi hybrid "Cowboys & Aliens" (2011). This ultimate guy flick combined two boyhood obsessions, sci-fi and westerns, with two bastions of monosyllabic maleness, Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, yet failed to achieve more than a small cult following.

The following year Kurtzman expanded his reach again by adding director to his resume with the Chris Pine-starring relationship drama "People Like Us" (2012), which he also wrote and produced. In 2013, Kurtzman reprised his role as producer and writer on Abrams' sequel to their previous runaway hit, "Star Trek," with "Star Trek Into Darkness" (2013). The sequel had a somewhat shaky box office opening and was not as universally beloved as its predecessor, but performed well overall with the series' core following.

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CAST: (feature film)

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Education

Wesleyan University: -

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