John Ridley

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For other people named John Ridley, see John Ridley (disambiguation).
John Ridley
John Ridley at the San Diego Film Festival in 2013
Born John Ridley Jr.[1]
1965 (age 49–50)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin US
Occupation Screenwriter
Film director
Novelist
Television writer
Years active 1993-present
Notable work(s) 12 Years a Slave
Three Kings
Children 2
Parents John Ridley III
Website
jridley.com

John Ridley (born 1965) is an American screenwriter, film director, novelist, television showrunner and writer known for 12 Years a Slave and Three Kings.[2]

Early life[edit]

Ridley was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to a father, John Ridley III, who was an ophthalmologist, and mother Terry Ridley, who worked in the Milwaukee Public Schools.[3][4] Ridley's family moved to Mequon, Wisconsin when he was 7 years old.[3][5] He is the middle sibling of two sisters.[3]

Ridley graduated from Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin in 1982. He enrolled in Indiana University, but transferred to New York University where he graduated in 1986.[3]

Career[edit]

Knocked around New York after college doing stand-up comedy and landing spots on “Letterman” and “The Tonight Show.” Moved to L.A. in 1990. Broke into TV, writing for “Martin,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “The John Laroquette Show.”[6]

Wrote his first novel, Stray Dogs, the story of a small-time gambler who finds himself helplessly stranded in a tiny Arizona town, which was made into Stone’s U Turn. Wrote his second novel, Love Is a Racket, story of a small-time con artist trying to wrangle his way out of debt. Wrote third novel, Everybody Smokes in Hell, story of a small-time loser who finds himself in possession of the last recording of a dead rock star. Made his debut as film director on his first screenplay, Cold Around the Heart. Wrote Spoils of War, which was adapted into Three Kings. Returned to television as writer and supervising producer on “Third Watch.”

His works include the feature films 12 Years a Slave,[7] Red Tails, U Turn, Three Kings, and Undercover Brother.

Ridley wrote the novels The Drift, Those Who Walk in Darkness, A Conversation with the Mann, Love is a Racket, Everybody Smokes in Hell, and Stray Dogs.

He wrote the graphic novel The American Way.[8]

The Ridley-penned script for 12 Years a Slave won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, making Ridley the second African-American to win the award after Geoffrey S. Fletcher for Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire.[7][9][10]

Filmography[edit]

Movies[edit]

Year Feature film Credit/Role Notes
1997 U Turn Writer
1997 Cold Around the Heart Writer/Director Urbanworld Film Festival Jury Prize for Best Director
1999 Three Kings Writer Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Original Screenplay (Runner-Up)
Nominated — Golden Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay (shared with David O. Russell)
Nominated — Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay (shared with David O. Russell)
2002 Undercover Brother Writer Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Screenplay
2012 Red Tails Writer
2013 All Is by My Side Writer/Director
2013 12 Years a Slave Writer Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
African-American Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Black Film Critics Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Black Reel Award for Best Screenplay
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
Capri Film Festival Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Screenplay
Indiana Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay(Runner-Up)
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture
North Carolina Film Critics Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
Utah Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (Runner-Up)
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — AACTA International Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — Central Ohio Film Critics Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — Denver Film Critics Society Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — Georgia Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated — London Film Critics' Circle Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated — San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay
2016 Ben-Hur Writer

Television[edit]

Year TV series Credit/Role Notes
1993 Martin Writer
1994 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Writer
1995 The John Larroquette Show Writer
1995 The Show Writer
1998 Team Knight Rider Writer
1995 Trinity Writer
1999 - 2004 Third Watch Writer
2003 Platinum Writer/Director
2003 Static Shock Writer
2004 Justice League Writer
2005 Barbershop: The Series Writer
2005 The Wanda Sykes Show Writer
2014 American Crime Creator/Writer/Director

Works and publications[edit]

Novels[edit]

Graphic novels[edit]

Stage plays[edit]

  • Ridley, John. Ten Thousand Years. 2005 (world premiere).

Essays[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Ridley is married to his wife, Gayle, a former script supervisor.[5][11] They have two children and live in Los Angeles.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dudek, Duane (5 September 2013). "With '12 Years a Slave,' Ridley brings the heat to fall film season". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Shattuck, Kathryn (16 January 2014). "What the Writer Had to Edit From ‘12 Years a Slave’". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Chandler, Kurt (31 January 2008). "How to be a Famous Hollywood Writer". Milwaukee Magazine. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Bence, Susan (4 March 2014). "Oscar Winner John Ridley's Father Talks About Life Before Desegregation" (Audio). WUWM Milwaukee. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Dudek, Duane (16 January 2014). "Mequon native Ridley talks Oscar nominations for '12 Years A Slave'". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  6. ^ McCarthy, Sean L. (3 March 2014). "Oscar-winner John Ridley, from former stand-up comedian to adapted screenplay for “12 Years A Slave”". The Comic's Comic. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Cieply, Michael; Barnes, Brooks (2 March 2014). "A Landmark Oscar Win for ‘12 Years a Slave’". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Gross, Terry (2 May 2007). "A Disenchanted Look at 'The American Way'" (Audio interview). Fresh Air (NPR). Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Feldman, Eric; Carr, David; Scott, A.O. (3 March 2014). "No Great Surprises for Oscar Night" (Video). The New York Times. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Lee, Chris (2 March 2014). "Oscars 2014: '12 Years a Slave' wins for adapted screenplay". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "John Ridley, easy writer". Entertainment Weekly. 8 October 1999. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Gennusa, Chris R. "John Ridley: Burnt Noir." Creative Screenwriting. Winter 1997, v. 4 n.4, pp. 33–38

External links[edit]