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Paul Attanasio

Paul Attanasio

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: November 14, 1959 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Bronx, New York, USA Profession: screenwriter, film critic, TV host, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of the more prolific screenwriters working in Hollywood, Paul Attanasio worked both sides of the field in television and movies, creating some of Hollywood's most acclaimed projects. After working for a time as a journalist, Attanasio segued to screenwriting and found his first success on the small screen as the creator and executive producer of "Homicide: Life on the Streets" (NBC, 1993-99), one of the most acclaimed crime procedurals of all time. From there, he earned an Oscar nomination for writing Robert Redford's brilliant look at the 1950s game show scandals, "Quiz Show" (1994), and later earned a second Academy Award nod for his work on "Donnie Brasco" (1997). Rapidly becoming one of Hollywood's go-to writers for uncredited script doctoring work, Attanasio did stumble a bit with underwhelming scripts for "Sphere" (1998) and "The Sum of All Fears" (2002), while creating short-lived shows like "Gideon's Crossing" (ABC, 2000-01) and "Century City" (CBS, 2003-04), both of which failed to last beyond their first season. But in collaboration with David Shore, Attanasio executive produced the long-running "House" (Fox, 2004-2012), which won a slew of awards while becoming a top 10 ratings winner....

One of the more prolific screenwriters working in Hollywood, Paul Attanasio worked both sides of the field in television and movies, creating some of Hollywood's most acclaimed projects. After working for a time as a journalist, Attanasio segued to screenwriting and found his first success on the small screen as the creator and executive producer of "Homicide: Life on the Streets" (NBC, 1993-99), one of the most acclaimed crime procedurals of all time. From there, he earned an Oscar nomination for writing Robert Redford's brilliant look at the 1950s game show scandals, "Quiz Show" (1994), and later earned a second Academy Award nod for his work on "Donnie Brasco" (1997). Rapidly becoming one of Hollywood's go-to writers for uncredited script doctoring work, Attanasio did stumble a bit with underwhelming scripts for "Sphere" (1998) and "The Sum of All Fears" (2002), while creating short-lived shows like "Gideon's Crossing" (ABC, 2000-01) and "Century City" (CBS, 2003-04), both of which failed to last beyond their first season. But in collaboration with David Shore, Attanasio executive produced the long-running "House" (Fox, 2004-2012), which won a slew of awards while becoming a top 10 ratings winner. Whether on television or the silver screen, Attanasio built a reputation for works of unrelenting realism and strong characters, making him one of the most highly sought scribes in the business.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Tenafly, New Jersey
1984:
Hired to work at law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore; turned job down to intern at <i>The Washington Post</i>
1984:
Worked as a film critic for <i>The Washington Post</i>
:
Host of film review and interview cable series, "The Movie Show" (Cinemax)
1987:
Moved to L.A.
1993:
TV scriptwriting debut with the pilot episode of NBC's "Homicide: Life in the Streets" (produced by Barry Levinson)
1994:
Feature film screenwriting debut, "Quiz Show"; Levinson's company (Baltimore Pictures) was one of producers; earned Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award nomination
1994:
Adapted the Michael Crichton novel "Disclosure" for Levinson
1997:
Scripted Mike Newell's hit mob movie "Donnie Brasco" (produced by Levinson); received second Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay
1998:
Co-screenwriting credit on Levinson-directed "Sphere", adapted from Michael Crichton's novel
1999:
Received six-episode series commitment from ABC for hourlong medical drama based on the nonfiction work "The Measure of Our Days"; series expected to debut in fall 2000
2000:
Created the ABC medical drama "Gideon's Crossing" loosely-based on the experience of the real life Dr. Jerome Groopman
2002:
Penned the pilot "R.U.S./H."; also served as an executive producer
2004:
Executive produced "House M.D." (Fox) a medical drama starring Hugh Laurie
2006:
Penned the adaptation for "The Good German" directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring George Clooney
2007:
Reportedly did uncredited rewrite for "The Bourne Ultimatum"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Harvard University: Cambridge , Massachusetts - 1981
Harvard Law School: Cambridge , Massachusetts - 1984

Notes

About his decision to forsake the practice of law: "He [a senior partner from Cravath, Swaine & Moore] said he'd rather be sitting in a vault in Omaha doing a document discovery in the middle of summer than playing golf or spending time with his family. He was very sincere about it. And I felt I should find something I love to do, too. And this was not it." --Paul Attanasio quoted in The New York Times, September 12, 1994.

Recalling his years as a critic with certain distaste: "I was like the snotty boy critic. It was the time of the teen-age comedies, and just seeing one after another was wearing me out. I remember my last review was for 'Over the Top', a Sylvester Stallone arm-wrestling movie. I had already used my Sylvester Stallone insult jokes in my 'Rambo' review. I had nothing new to say. It was probably the shortest review of all time. Two paragraphs." --Attanasio in The New York Times, September 12, 1994.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Katie Jacobs. Producer.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jospeh Attanasio. Actor, retired commercial consultant.
mother:
Connie Attanasio. Former real estate broker.
brother:
Robert Attanasio. Novelist. Born c. 1963.
daughter:
Annie Attanasio. Born c. June 1992.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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