Family & Companions
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).
Cast (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Special Thanks (Special)
Served in US Air Force
Publication of first novel, <i>Stern</i>
First play produced, "23 Pat O'Brien Movies"
First stage success "Steambath"; produced off-Broadway
Feature screenwriting debut, "The Owl and the Pussycat"
TV writing debut, "The Ted Bessell Show" (CBS)
His off-Broadway hit "Steambath" was adapted for television; was the first American TV program to feature nudity
Wrote the novel, <i>The Lonely Guy's Book of Life</i>
Adapted <i>The Lonely Guy's Book of Life</i> into the 'Steve Martin' vehicle "The Lonely Guy"
Scripted the the Oscar-nominated "Splash"
TV directing debut, "George Burns Comedy Week" (CBS)
TV producing debut, "Sniff" (CBS), also scripted
Acted in Woody Allens' "Husbands and Wives"
Had a small roll in "You've Got Mail"