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Bruce Jay Friedman

Bruce Jay Friedman

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: April 26, 1930 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Bronx, New York, USA Profession: screenwriter, playwright, novelist, producer, director, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Bruce Jay Friedman's brand of Jewish humor lies somewhere between Woody Allen's dark, paranoid musings and Henny Youngman's quick-fire one-liners. The author, screenwriter and playwright worked steadily through the 1970s and 80s, though his output has slowed with the 90s. Starting his career as an editor and magazine and short story writer, Friedman began writing novels in the early 1960s and plays later in the decade. His most successful were "Scuba Duba" (1967) and the dark comedy/drama "Steambath" (1970), which was shown on public television in 1973. He turned to the screen in 1971 with "The Owl and the Pussycat", adapted from William Manhof's play. He went on to provide the story for Neil Simon's "The Heartbreak Kid" (1972) and to write the successful comedies "Stir Crazy" (1980) and 1982's "Doctor Detroit" (co-wrote and provided story). Friedman's book "The Lonely Guy's Book of Life" provided the basis for a then atypical Steve Martin vehicle, "The Lonely Guy" (1984). Neil Simon did the adaptation, while TV veterans Ed. Weinberger and Stan Daniels ("Taxi") wrote the screenplay for this subdued comedy. In 1984, Friedman enjoyed a major success with "Splash" (Friedman and co-writers Lowell Ganz...

Bruce Jay Friedman's brand of Jewish humor lies somewhere between Woody Allen's dark, paranoid musings and Henny Youngman's quick-fire one-liners. The author, screenwriter and playwright worked steadily through the 1970s and 80s, though his output has slowed with the 90s.

Starting his career as an editor and magazine and short story writer, Friedman began writing novels in the early 1960s and plays later in the decade. His most successful were "Scuba Duba" (1967) and the dark comedy/drama "Steambath" (1970), which was shown on public television in 1973. He turned to the screen in 1971 with "The Owl and the Pussycat", adapted from William Manhof's play. He went on to provide the story for Neil Simon's "The Heartbreak Kid" (1972) and to write the successful comedies "Stir Crazy" (1980) and 1982's "Doctor Detroit" (co-wrote and provided story). Friedman's book "The Lonely Guy's Book of Life" provided the basis for a then atypical Steve Martin vehicle, "The Lonely Guy" (1984). Neil Simon did the adaptation, while TV veterans Ed. Weinberger and Stan Daniels ("Taxi") wrote the screenplay for this subdued comedy. In 1984, Friedman enjoyed a major success with "Splash" (Friedman and co-writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel were nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay). As an actor, Friedman has appeared in two films directed by Woody Allen: "Another Woman" (1988) and "Husbands and Wives" (1992).

Friedman has not had nearly as good luck with TV. He wrote the busted pilots for "The Ted Bessell Show" (CBS, 1973) and "Sniff" (CBS, 1988) as well as the premieres of two shortlived TV series based on his work: "Steambath" (Showtime, 1984) and "Stir Crazy" (CBS, 1985-86).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 New York in the Fifties (2000) Himself
2.
 Celebrity (1998) Elaine'S Book Party Guest
3.
 You've Got Mail (1998) Vince Mancini
4.
 54 (1998) Elaine'S Patron
5.
 Husbands and Wives (1992) Peter Styles
6.
 Another Woman (1988) Mark
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1951:
Served in US Air Force
:
Worked at Magazine Management Company; editor of <i>Man</i>, <i>Man's World</i> and <i>Male</i> magazines; assistant was Mario Puzo who later wrote "The Godfather"
1962:
Publication of first novel, <i>Stern</i>
1966:
First play produced, "23 Pat O'Brien Movies"
:
Contributed sketches to "Oh, Calcutta"
1970:
First stage success "Steambath"; produced off-Broadway
1971:
Feature screenwriting debut, "The Owl and the Pussycat"
1973:
TV writing debut, "The Ted Bessell Show" (CBS)
1973:
His off-Broadway hit "Steambath" was adapted for television; was the first American TV program to feature nudity
1978:
Wrote the novel, <i>The Lonely Guy's Book of Life</i>
1984:
Adapted <i>The Lonely Guy's Book of Life</i> into the 'Steve Martin' vehicle "The Lonely Guy"
1984:
Scripted the the Oscar-nominated "Splash"
1985:
TV directing debut, "George Burns Comedy Week" (CBS)
1988:
TV producing debut, "Sniff" (CBS); also scripted
1992:
Acted in Woody Allens' "Husbands and Wives"
1998:
Had a small roll in "You've Got Mail"
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Education

DeWitt Clinton High School: Bronx , New York - 1947
University of Missouri: Columbia , Missouri - 1951

Notes

"A wild poet of the secret life, one of the funniest of writers but with a dark echo to the laughter that gets painfully close to the bone"--Daniel Stern reviewing Friedman's "A Mother's Kisses" , SATURDAY REVIEW, 8/15/64

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Ginger Howard. Interior decorator, actor, model. Married June 13, 1954; divorced.
wife:
Pat O'Donohue. Married July 3, 1983.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Irving Friedman. Garment company manager. Former silent movie accompanist.
mother:
Molly Friedman. Former ticket seller on Broadway.
sister:
Dolly Friedman. Older.
son:
Josh Friedman. Mother Ginger Howard.
son:
Drew Friedman. Mother Ginger Howard.
son:
Kip Friedman. Mother Ginger Howard.
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Bibliography close complete biography

"Stern" Simon & Schuster
"Far from the City of Class" Frommer-Pasmantier
"A Mother's Kisses" Simon & Schuster
"Black Angels" Simon & Schuster
"The Dick"
"About Harry Townes"
"The Lonely Guy's Book of Life"
"Tokyo Woes" Donald I. Fine, Inc.
"The Collected Stories of Bruce Jay Friedman" Donald I. Fine, Inc.
"A Father's Kisses" Donald I. Fine, Inc.
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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